So, I’ve been open for business here at East 33rd and Ellerslie for a couple of weeks now, and I haven’t gotten around to properly introducing myself, or setting up what exactly I’m going to do here and what the name means or stands for.
Let’s take them in order. I’m Milton Kent, a once and hopefully future sports writer. For 23 years, I worked at the Baltimore Sun before I took a buyout in August, 2008. Before I left, I covered a gamut of activities, from college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL and sports media. In December of 2009, I joined on with Fanhouse, a sports website operated by AOL. I’d still be there now, except that in March of 2011, AOL entered into a deal with the Sporting News to have that magazine handle sports content for it. The Sporting News cut loose a lot of good talent (myself included) and kept just four columnists.
No pity parties here, though; I am doing some freelance work for a few outlets, and I do a weekly essay for WYPR 88.1 FM, the NPR affiliate in Baltimore. It’s called “Sports at Large,” and it airs Mondays at 5:30 p.m. and again the next day on “Maryland Morning.” intermittently, the script for that week’s show will appear here as a post, and there might even be an audio link or two.
Which leads me to what you can expect from this space, which is a little bit of everything. For instance, there will be a monthly post on the work of a musician/songwriter that piques my interest. I’m a huge consumer of popular culture, so you can expect commentaries on the best and worst of the form, from my vantage point. And I expect to reflect on the world as I see it from the standpoint of being a Black man in America and as a practicing Methodist, as well as from my political perch, which is almost always from the left of center.
But, mostly, this will be a place for me to comment and occasionally report on sports. I’ve spent too many years in press boxes, press rows, clubhouses, locker rooms, newsrooms, production trucks and in studios to let that go to waste. I have interesting things to say and I hope you’ll enjoy reading and hearing them.
Oh, and about the name of the blog. The spot is a few blocks away from my church, New Waverly United Methodist. Of course, Baltimore sports fans of a certain age will recognize it as the address of the late, lamented Memorial Stadium, the home of the Colts and the Orioles. The ballpark, which closed in 1997 and was demolished four years later, was the site of a ton of my most cherished memories. I saw my first ball game there as a 10-year old between the Orioles and the Kansas City Royals. Eighteen years later, I shed tears in the press box on the afternoon of the last baseball game there, when the heroes of my childhood, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, Paul Blair and Jim Palmer and the like, trotted out one final time to their positions while the music of “Field of Dreams” played in the background.
The stadium is gone now, replaced by a youth baseball stadium and a YMCA, but the memories it created and the impressions the people who played there left on me still reside in me, never to leave. I’ll be happy to share some of those thoughts and a lot others with you over the years to come.