“The 7 Questions” is a new sports questionnaire — the Eephus way of catching a snapshot of the fan’s life. From writers to artists and beyond, we bring you answers every Monday morning.
Today, we get the answers from Ben Lindbergh, co-author of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work, an excellent book about running an independent league baseball team. We reviewed that book here, and asked the authors a few questions about it here. Ben is also a staff writer for The Ringer and, with Sam Miller, the cohost of Effectively Wild, the daily Baseball Prospectus podcast. He is a former staff writer for Grantland and a former editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus. He lives in New York City.
1. When was the last time sports made you cry?
The 2001 World Series. Although the knowledge that I cried about my team winning only a pennant instead of winning a fourth consecutive World Series kind of makes me want to cry right now. This time out of shame.
2. What’s your most treasured piece of sports apparel or memorabilia?
I’m not really a sports apparel/memorabilia enthusiast, but I can think of two things I’d save from a fire if I had a lot of time (like, enough time to put out the fire, probably). First, my Clay Bellinger autographed ball, because it’s the first autograph I remember getting signed in person, and also because it reminds me that Clay Bellinger has three World Series rings, which always amazes me/makes me happy. And second, my Stompers game ball, signed by Sean Conroy.
3. Competed in any sports lately, at any level?
No, not unless you count video games. And even then, “competed” probably isn’t the right word for what I do.
4. What’s your desert island sports movie or book?
The Roger Angell Baseball Collection. If I can’t bring an e-reader, I’ll try to print it out before I get stranded.
5. What do you like to eat and drink while you watch sports?
If it’s a live event, as little as possible. I don’t want to wait in line and miss the thing I’m there for (or get in people’s way, spend too much money, etc.). At home, I go through green tea like Joe Torre, although unlike Joe Torre I’ve never been paid to do it by Bigelow. Bigelow, if you’re reading, I’m easy to reach.
6. What’s the greatest length you’ve gone to watch or attend a game?
I’ve never paid an exorbitant amount or traveled a great distance to go to a game, but when I used to play fantasy, back in the days before all hotels had wi-fi, I’d spend my travel time touring internet cafes the way most tourists tour tourist traps.
7. Ever caught a foul ball?
No. Never really even try when one comes near me, because of my aforementioned apathy about sports memorabilia. Someone else will be happier to have it.