Neither would anyone else at Baseball America. And it’s likely that a number of draft and prospect writers at other outlets also have their vocations because one Canadian baseball fan looked at baseball differently.
If you’ve ever scanned a list of top prospects, you also have reason to thank Simpson.
Because of that, we can’t help but be thrilled that Simpson, the founder of Baseball America, is one of three finalists for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for his “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” The winner is selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and awarded every summer during Hall of Fame induction weekend.
Simpson’s selection would be a non-traditional choice for the Spink Award. He was never a member of the BBWAA, and only one non-BBWAA member—Roger Angell in 2014— has been honored previously. Simpson himself estimates that the number of big league games he has attended in person is fewer than 200.
But it’s fitting that Simpson’s selection would be unconventional, because nothing about Simpson’s path in baseball was ever normal. As a Canadian growing up hundreds of miles from professional or even college baseball, conventional options for a career in the game were closed to him. Even following the game was difficult. He read everything about baseball he could get his hands on—The Sporting News was his lifeline—and he listened to any baseball broadcast he could find.
“You had to improvise. Any form of baseball, I lapped it all up,” Simpson said.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
OLD MEETS NEW
Brian Snitker expertly navigated the Braves to a third straight division title despite myriad pitching injuries
Focusing on the Northeast pays off for the Indians
Over the past few years, the Indians have mined the Northeast for talent. The 2020 team got big-time contributions from former college righthanders Aaron Civale (Northeastern) and James Karinchak (Bryant). Waiting in the wings are three more prospects from the region, all from high school: third baseman Nolan Jones (Bensalem, Pa.), catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and righthander Lenny Torres (Beacon, N.Y). All five of those players were signed by area scout Mike Kanen, a former Baseball America intern. BA recently spoke with Kanen about his first impressions of those players. The interview is edited for brevity.
Bobby Dickerson was integral in transforming the Padres’ infield from error-prone to October-caliber
TRUST THE TOOLS
The minor league season was lost, but dynasty players should keep the faith for these nine prospects
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: FEW TEAMS CAN MATCH THE DODGERS' DOMINANCE
The 2020 Dodgers led the National League in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
From scouting to player development to analytics to acquisition, the Dodgers cover all the bases as baseball’s model franchise.
COAST TO COAST
Andrew Friedman has more money to play with in Los Angeles than he did in Tampa Bay, but his core principles remain unchanged— just like the results
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
The hot stove could quickly turn to deep freeze
A MODERN-DAY CRASH DAVIS
Cody Decker mashed his way into the hearts of minor league fans
A LASTING LEGACY
All-star player. Decorated manager. Ambassador for the Dominican Republic. Felipe Alou wore many hats, but above all he was a pioneer who helped pave the way for generations of Latino players.
2021 TOPPS PRO DEBUT CHROME GOES BACK TO THE MINORS
2021 Topps Pro Debut Baseball offers the annual flagship-style look at minor league baseball.
EARLY LOOK AT 2021 TOPPS TRIBUTE
THE PRODUCT HAS SOME BIG-TIME HITS
FAT'S IN FIRE FOR A-ROD & J.LO!
She’s nagging about weight, but sports big doesn’t care
ALL-STAR RARITIES LINEUP
Dreams for Every Collector and Investor
Turn a Classic Wooden Bat
Learn how to beat the chatter.
The security guard at the gate had a particular look on her face, one I’d become accustomed to over the previous month. I met her gaze with a big, cheesy grin. She looked confused. “What the hell are you doing out here mate, and where the hell have you been?”
GOT QUESTIONS ON 2020 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL?
WE’VE GOT ANSWERS
A sofa, the site of a family’s history, receives and gives a second life.
THE GAMES MUST GO ON
COVID-19 UPENDED THE NBA, THE NFL, THE NHL, AND MLB. HOW THE PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUES RESPONDED OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO OUR FUTURE.
FULLY LOADED Fernando Tatis Jr. does it all
Stop me if you have heard this before: Baseball is in trouble. The game has lived through more than its share of scandals, work stoppages, and demographic challenges. And that was just in 2020.