By Jordan Kobritz
(The author has published many articles in Hackney Publications over the last decade, earning our appreciation.)
If you read the headline, you know where this is going. After 17-plus years and more than 850 columns, I’m “retiring.” To be more precise, I’m retiring this column.
My definition of “retired” is doing what you want to do, and by that standard I’ve lived a dream my entire adult life. First, I practiced law for ten years while also teaching the subject at the university level. When the idea of practicing law for the rest of my life no longer seemed appealing, I substituted baseball and have somehow been able to juggle dual careers. When people ask me where I work, I pinch myself. In spite of the long hours, “work” and “ballpark” in the same sentence has to be the ultimate oxymoron. Blessed is the best way to describe my life.
I’m proud to say I’ve never missed a deadline. Unlike the postman, I didn’t have to contend with inclement weather; however, time and circumstances always seemed to be a challenge. Whether from work, my home office or on a plane, anywhere I happened to be in the lower 48 and Alaska, even while visiting a foreign country, and always with the help of my wife, somehow a column got to the publisher on time.
The first column I wrote was for the Prescott Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona. I quickly added print publications from coast to coast and sports websites soon followed. As the newspaper business became more challenging, a number of papers consolidated or went out of business. But I persevered, until now.
Over the past few years, my life has become more complicated and hectic, leaving precious little time for family, hence the difficult decision I have kept postponing.
I will miss the challenge and energy of producing 500-700 words on a sports topic that interested me. Not once has anyone told me what topic to write on and how to write it. Wait, that’s not entirely true. My dear wife, the best editor and supporter anyone could have, has made suggestions from time-to-time, sometimes when asked and at other times when she thought I was ignoring her beloved Yankees. She may have been right!
I will also miss all of you who graciously allowed me to enter your lives and space, whether via a newspaper or on a device. You didn’t have to do that, which makes it all the more appreciated. Your comments, mostly positive or inquisitive, were likewise welcome. How else to know if anyone was actually reading? Even when you disagreed with me, at no time did any of you become disagreeable, something that can’t be said for the current climate that seems to have enveloped our world.
For those of you who will miss reading my column, please accept my apology. I know how difficult it is to break a habit, especially the ones we enjoy. However, I’m convinced for me the time is right.
Please know it has truly been an honor and a privilege to be a small part of your lives. God bless!
Jordan Kobritz is a non-practicing attorney and CPA, former Minor League Baseball team owner and current investor in an MiLB team. He is a professor in the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland and maintains the blog, sportsbeyondthelines.com. The opinions contained in this column are the author’s. Kobritz can be reached by email at email@example.com.