The baseballblogosphere lost one of its most clever and most thoughtful voices on Monday with the passing of John Brattain, 43. Brattain most notably wrote at The Hardball Times, his personal blog Ground Rule Trouble, and Baseball Think Factory; his tribute page at BBTF has garnered over 500 comments already. For a sample of his clever writing, head over to Baseball Analysts who have reprinted Brattain's piece on Philadelphia A's player Robert Lee "Indian Bob" Johnson from December 2005. Also, our friend Jonah Keri has a spirited remembrance of his friend John at his own website.
Online baseball writing is definitely a young person's game, so to lose someone so well known and so prolific is a total shock to the system. We're just not prepared to see someone go so soon. Even when talking about mainstream media folks who have been doing their best work online, we've got young folks like Derrick Goold, Tyler Kepner, and Geoff Baker outshining their older, crustier counterparts. We never stop and think about the fragility of human beings because we're too busy worrying about our favorite team's chances or whether or not our favorite beat writer is missing the boat with his latest column. Well now, Brattain's passing has squelched our best-laid plans for baseball writing and forced us to both recognize the preciousness of mortality and salute a life well-lived.
We at Walkoff Walk are saddened to hear this news and wish Brattain's family the best in these difficult times.