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I’m Joining VEB and Here’s What You Won’t Be Reading

Gary Lankford
  • Play-by-play
  • Hot takes
  • Beat reporting
  • Gossip
  • Any type of upcoming prospect bullshit (I’ll save you some time: Just print out a sheet of the highest signing bonuses, and you will find an 80% match of highest prospects. Simple as that).
  • Any other type of bullshit
  • Click-bait
  • Stories I would not buy at a bookstore
  • Stories not worth your time
  • Stories that compete with Google (My day job is as an SEO Specialist; Google is already cluttered enough).

So, why should you read me?

Most shouldn’t. But I’m not here for them.

I’m here for the ones who expect more—the ones who crave more from sports writers. The ones who believe the best stories are about people, love, lost, courage, fear, and the game of baseball.

And to the ones who do want more and decide to read my stories, I thank you. You are giving me a second chance at a dream I thought I had once lost—a dream I now get to tell rather than play.

In my life, I’ve only ever seen myself as a baseball player. Perhaps it was the only side I ever wanted to see.

The moment God made me Jake, He made me a ballplayer, and when the latter ended, I had to rediscover the former. And in that process, I’ve had to see myself, the game, and what comes after in a way that I ever imagined—without a uniform.

This is what shaped me as a writer.

It’s given me a perspective I never wanted to see. It’s taught me how to listen. How to mourn. How to move on. It’s taught me how to find my God that does not surround a 3-1 count. And because of you, the reader, I’ve been able to tell stories that have healed a wound in my heart that I was sure would bleed out.

I vow to write stories from the diamond that impact people beyond it.

I vow to bring stories to your doorstep that an athlete cannot write about because it’s too close to the bone, and stories beat writers can’t find because they can’t know where and when to look.

I vow to give you work at the intersection where sports journalism, personal narrative, and vivid storytelling collide and hope to blur the edges until you cannot see where one ends, and the other begins.

I vow to give you everything I have.

But I need something in return: for you, the reader, to do the same.

Give me your thoughts.

Evaluate my work.

Cheer me, boo me, love me, hate me.

My goal is to bridge the gap between the ones who make a living from the game and the ones who live for the game. So, let’s open the dialogue. If you have any questions about baseball, the Cardinals, the minor league life, ask me here.

This is not a press conference. I vow to answer the best ones like 90 proof no chaser, intended to start conversations rather than end them.

And above all, If I ever give you Walmart-brand stories or cheap and discounted takes, promise me you’ll stop reading.

I am your chauffeur. The moment I lose my ability to transport you to a place of wonder, of thoughtfulness, of humor, or sadness, get out and call an Uber. You have graciously given me a platform, and I pledge to honor that by writing with the same passion and fortitude I brought to the diamond every day as a player. The moment I cannot do that anymore, cut me. Viva.