The Baseball 100 Begins

The Baseball 100 is off and running.

No. 100: Ichiro

No. 99: Mike Mussina

No. 98: Carlos Beltran

Oh, and if you want to see the thing in full, The Athletic created a sweet landing page for the entire Baseball 100.

Many people have — rightly — started busting my chops about how this is the third time I’ve started this Baseball 100. My favorite crack was, “I can’t wait to see this list end and find out who the 30th best player was.” Yes, that’s where the first one ran out of steam.

I’m not going to tell you I will make it to the finish line because, honestly, my credibility on the subject is pretty low. But I AM going to tell you two things:

  1. I don’t think The Athletic will LET ME stop in the middle.

  2. No, seriously, I really don’t think they will. I’ve thought a lot about it.

One thing you have to do when you are writing a book is put it out of your mind that you are writing a book. If you start thinking about the absurdity of it all, start thinking about all those words, all that research, all those hours spent alone trying to fashion something out of nothing, you will never get it done. You will sit frozen in your office with the lights out.

This project will be 150,000 or 200,000 words by the time its finished (maybe more — you know how I can’t help myself). Some of those words will come from previous Baseball 100 attempts, yes, but I’ve been surprised how few. If I spend any time thinking about it, I’ll never get it done.

So instead, I just keep writing and occasionally reminding myself that Anthony Burgess wrote “A Clockwork Orange” in three weeks.