ATHENS – I’m a writer. Specifically, a sports writer, or reporter, if you prefer. At the end the day, though, all reporters and writers are the same. We’re storytellers, and we all take pride in telling those stories well.
In this regard, sometimes you just have to tip your hat. That’s the case for me with Jerry Crasnick’s recent story on the Dodgers’ Dogs.
Crasnick is a senior writer for ESPN and covers baseball mostly. You might have seen Sunday night that Kyle Farmer, a former Bulldogs baseball player, hit a game-winning double for Los Angeles in the 11th inning against San Francisco in his first major-league at-bat.
Certainly it was an exhilarating moment for the Dodgers, for Farmer and for Bulldogs everywhere. The video of Farmer’s hit and the unbridled on-field celebration that followed spread like wildfire on social media channels tuned into all things UGA. That’s where I first saw it, in my Facebook and Twitter feeds.
But to Crasnick’s credit, he recognized the story behind the story. He noticed the identical tattoos that occupy a small space on the inside of the biceps of both Farmer and his teammate — and fellow UGA alum — Alex Wood, the Dodgers’ all-star pitcher. He saw the inscription “Second Chance” that the two Bulldogs turned Dodgers share, asked about it and then delved into it deeper, made more calls and asked more questions.
Major-league players Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood share a special bond with their former teammates Jonathan Taylor (left) and Chance Veazey. (Louie Favorite/Shepherd Center)
The resulting opus was published on ESPN.com this morning. A link to it was sent to me by former Georgia baseball coach David Perno. He coached Chance Veazey and Jonathan Taylor, who inexplicably both suffered paralyzing spinal-cord injuries within two years of each other while playing baseball for the Bulldogs.
Georgia fans know the story well, and I do, too, of course. I knew how those two devastating injuries had such a profound and negative impact on UGA’s baseball program and how much they hurt Perno, both personally and professionally.
But I didn’t know about the tattoos and the close connection that Veazey has with Farmer and Wood and other members of their little group they’ve deemed “The Entourage.” I wish I’d known. I wish I’d delved into it deeper before now.
But I’m glad Jerry Crasnick did and I’m glad Perno shared his account with me and I hope you take a few minutes to enjoy his work.
I promise it will be worth your time.