Tim Kurkjian is the 2022 winner of the BBWAA Career Excellence Award, per an announcement.

Kurkjian, a long-time ESPN columnist and on-air personality, received votes on 211 of the 375 cast for this year’s award. The runner-up was Marty Noble with 89 votes, followed by Allan Simpson with 71. Recent winners of the award include Kurkjian’s long-time ESPN colleague Jayson Stark (the 2019 honoree), Nick Cafardo (posthumously honored with the 2020 award), and Dick Kaegel (last year’s winner).

Prior to this year, the Career Excellence Award was known as the JG Taylor Spink Award. However, in February, the BBWAA voted to remove Spink’s name from the award, with 325 votes in favor and just nine opposed. The name change was spurred on by Spink’s history of racist and anti-integration writing in the Sporting News.

Kurkjian’s colleagues poured out their congratulations.

Ken Rosenthal, Kurkjian’s former colleague on the Baltimore Orioles beat, wrote a stirring tribute to him on The Athletic. Here are a couple of notable passages.

Competition on a beat can spark jealousy, friction, even outright bitterness. But with Tim, I never felt any of that. Truth be told, I worshipped him. And all these years later, I am welling up with the announcement that Tim is this year’s winner of the Career Excellence Award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. The honor, quite frankly, is overdue.


Tim’s love for the game defines his career and his hundreds of relationships in the industry. His enthusiasm is so infectious, he converts non-fans into casual fans and casual fans into devoted fans, literally drawing people into the sport. Not many of us can say that. And an even smaller number commands as much respect from people in the game. Tim has one agenda: To tell stories. Few have told them better, or taught his audience more.


Yet as competitive as Tim was (and is), I could never get mad at him, and neither could anyone else. He is a shining example of how a ball writer should act – with class, dignity and self-effacing humor. He also is a shining example of how a ball writer should conduct his or her life away from the park, no matter how busy one gets. Tim’s devotion to his family had nothing to do with him receiving this award. But it’s another reason many of us are so happy for him.

And just for the hell of it, here’s a video of Scott Van Pelt driving Kurkjian into hysterics during an interview with his Baltimore accent.

[Baseball Hall of Fame]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.