Thanks for Being Awesome, Grantland

ESPN announced today that they are suspending operations — in other words, closing down — Grantland, the site that was originally built around Bill Simmons but grew into a place with some of the best sportswriting on the planet. Their baseball coverage was phenomenal, as Jonah Keri (hired away from FanGraphs when they decided to bring in a full-time baseball writer) and Ben Lindbergh regularly put out the kind of in-depth, intelligent-but-still-approachable writing about the sport that made me jealous of their abilities.

So, as a celebration of their work, here are some of the best baseball pieces I read at Grantland over the last few years. This is just off the top of my head (and a few of FG authors who kicked in suggestions while I was writing this), so I’m certainly going to be missing a good number of great pieces, but feel free to add your own favorites in the comments below.

The Art of Pitch Framing — Lindbergh’s seminal piece on the topic.

Grand Theft Baseball — Keri’s terrific piece on stealing bases with Coco Crisp.

Rocked — An oral history of the 1989 World Series earthquake.

The Tragedy of Derek Jeter’s Defense — Lindbergh on The Captain’s glovework.

Ty Cobb as Detroit — Anna Clark on the Tigers legend.

The Website MLB Couldn’t Buy — The story of Twins.com.

Before Beane — Lindbergh on the early days of analytics in baseball.

The Year of Living Less Dangerously — Lindbergh on MLB’s changing home plate collision rule.

The Curious Case of Mark Buehrle — Rany Jazayerli on the guy who gets outs throwing 83.

Eephus Influence — Keri on the most fun pitch in baseball.

Just so much great work was published over there, because Grantland hired really talented people and gave them the ability to do creative interesting stories. I’ll miss Grantland as a one-stop place for this kind of writing, but with writers this good, I’m sure we’ll keep seeing great work from them at other places in the not too distant future.

We hoped you liked reading Thanks for Being Awesome, Grantland by Dave Cameron!

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Jason B
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Jason B

Really enjoyed their baseball writing and writers, from the offbeat stuff (like the Twins’ website) to the harder analysis. I hope all the displaced writers speedily find new homes.