Yet Keri’s path from Concordia’s journalism program to his current top-level assignments was certainly not direct — as Keri points out, he didn’t land his first full-time sports gig until he was 37 years old.
After graduating in 1997, he moved to the United States and worked for several newspapers over the next decade and a half, writing mostly about business and the stock market. He eventually started to contribute to Baseball Prospectus, a statistics-based annual guide, and soon after to ESPN, men’s magazines such as Penthouse and Playboy, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
He was hired as lead baseball writer for the sports and pop-culture website Grantland in 2011, and remained there until 2015. He currently writes for CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated and hosts his own podcast.
“My main advice is, just be ready to pivot,” he says, reflecting on his own career trajectory. “You don’t know where things are going to go. Take whatever job you need to.”
Keri will discuss his career, his books and more at the 2017 Reader’s Digest Annual Public Lecture in Journalism at Concordia on November 16. The lecture’s title is Up, Up, & Away: A journey into sports journalism.
With the baseball playoffs in full swing, he took some time out of his busy schedule to touch upon a number of the topics.
How did you arrive at Concordia’s journalism program, and what did you get from your experience?
Jonah Keri: “The first time I applied to the Concordia journalism program, I was rejected! But I understood that. The high school I went to didn’t have a school paper or anything resembling journalism. So in my first year my major was philosophy, which I enjoyed greatly.