10 baseball people I’d like to interview

Roger Kahn: I’ve had good luck interviewing baseball writers for this site, with me getting to talk to Joe Posnanski, Rob Neyer, and Josh Wilker among others. Kahn’s another big name, most known perhaps for The Boys of Summer, but interesting in other respects as well. Besides embarking on an ill-fated autobiography project with Pete Rose years ago and being present when former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis said on national television that blacks lacked the capabilities to manage, Kahn wrote beautifully about the 1987 suicide of his son.

Michael Lewis: I met the “Moneyball” author once or twice when I was covering Triple-A baseball in 2004, and more recently, one of my friends was a nanny for his family. I asked my friend awhile back to put me in contact with Lewis, and I may ask again at some point.

Will Clark: My all-time favorite player.

Jim Bouton: After the latest update to Ball Four was released last year, I contemplated making a trip from Northern California to see Bouton speak near Los Angeles. My car died shortly thereafter so it’s probably good I abandoned my plans.

Murray Chass: Sure he’s the Lord Voldemort of the baseball blogosphere, his Web site an emphatic “Fuck you” to the rest of us, though that’s part of the reason I’m interested in talking to Chass and listening to what he has to say. I’d like to understand where the former New York Times baseball columnist comes from, if he’s operating from resentment and entitlement, or if something else is fueling his fires.

Bill James: If Chass is Voldemort, I suppose James is Aldus Dumbledore, a beloved figure of the baseball research world. While I admit I haven’t read James’ Abstracts, and I consider myself more of a historian than a researcher or sabrmetrician, I’d still love a chance to pick James’ brain. I’m waiting on my owl.

Sean Forman: Forman runs Baseball-Reference.com, and I wanted to get him to vote in my project last year on the 50 greatest players not in the Hall of Fame. Forman didn’t get to my email in time to take part, though he wrote back after, wishing me well in writing career.

Bob Uecker: Honestly, I don’t know if I’d rather interview Uecker or the character he played in the Major League films, announcer Harry Doyle, though I’m guessing it would be entertaining either way. And as I learned from talking to former San Francisco Giants announcer Hank Greenwald, broadcasters can be awesome interviews, able to talk at length and speak without the “umms” and “ahs” that plague us ordinary folk.

Rickey Henderson: Gotta love a player who might do his interview in the third person.

Roger Angell: Angell has provided beautiful baseball essays to The New Yorker for years, and at a week shy of his 91st birthday as of this writing, he’s the oldest man on this list. Still, he wouldn’t be the oldest person I’ve interviewed, and some of the 90-plus-year-olds I’ve talked to like Sacramento Solons owner Fred David and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Art Mahan have been awesome experiences.

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All this being said, I have an interview scheduled for Thursday afternoon with someone not on this list. He’s a well-known baseball name in his own right and has been a supporter of this site. The interview should also be somewhat timely. Stay tuned….

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