I first encountered John Brattain when this blog was mostly railing at real sports journalists instead of all pitch f/x all the time, and I wrote a couple of scathing articles about his bunt fetish. To my incredible surprise and terrible embarrassment, he came onto the site and responded in detail with good humour and great candour.
He then went on to enact revenge for my sabrmetric abuse of him by constantly plugging this blog at The Hardball Times, even getting them to publish an article of mine. While we were both writing for Baseball Daily Digest, he would email me when one of his particularly controversial articles was coming out with the subject: “Give me hell!”, gleefully encouraging me to give it the once over. He took any kind of criticism as a learning experience and an opportunity for further discussion, and I learnt a lot from that.
So, here we go for old times sake: John, you wrote the longest, most rambling baseball articles I have ever read, and I have no idea how the Princess Bride managed to make its way into more than half of them. I rarely agreed with you, but you were funny as hell and I truly enjoyed our endless back and forths about baseball and everything else. A good man, a great fan, gone far too young.
Edit: There’s a great and suitably endless comment section at Baseball Think Factory full of crass jokes in his memory (at his request).