Most Americans know Keith Olbermann for his political work, but the award-winning journalist always has been a self-described "baseball nerd." Now he'll be writing about the sport he loves as an at-large columnist for MLBAM.
"I've long respected MLB.com's editorial independence and I'll be delighted to test it," Olbermann said.
His appropriately named Baseball Nerd MLBlog launched last month, and he is currently blogging three times a week. He has blogged about the debuts of both New York ballparks, including photos from his visits, and his column today took a look at a wild night of action Tuesday.
Olbermann asked that his full salary for his MLBAM work be split equally among three charitable organizations: the Baseball Assistance Team, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Jayden Braden/Ariana Marzano College Fund, established in support of the late John Marzano's grandchildren. Marzano, a former Major Leaguer and MLB.com host, died a little more than one year ago in a home accident in Philadelphia.
"Seriously, it's an honor to be able to write about all the obscure things I love inside the game I love, and to help some worthy causes in the process, and to honor an old friend," he said. "Not to mention that it will be my politics-free oasis. Unless another cat jumps up at another Governor."
The host of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" got his broadcasting start in sports journalism with CNN and ESPN. After leaving ESPN, Olbermann became a sports anchor and producer for Fox Sports Net from 1998 to 2001, during which he hosted several World Series broadcasts. The past two NFL seasons, Olbermann has served as co-host of NBC's "Football Night in America."
Olbermann becomes the first national journalist to join the digital newspaper initiative that MLBAM has scheduled to launch in May.
Dinn Mann, Executive Vice President of Content for MLBAM, spoke highly of Olbermann, saying, "Keith is not just a student of the game, he is an unmistakable personality who combines punch line instincts with journalistic drive. This is an exciting step in the landscape of sports commentary and MLBAM."
Given the nature of his political commentary and the highly charged emotions of that crowd, Olbermann offered this advice for any fans eager to flame him on the comments of his MLBAM content: "I don't care."
On April 14, Olbermann was a guest on MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow's show and they talked at length about Olbermann's MLBlog and his baseball views, from the Cubs' alleged curse of the Billy Goat (which he suspects is "made up") to the intricacies of the balk. "I have just one more question," Maddow said at the end of the chat, "can we do this all the time?"
Baseball fans who follow Olbermann's commentary here will be able to relate.
Jacob Wilson is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.