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Tim Brown

New York Times bestselling author and
award-winning sports journalist




“This isn’t just a story about baseball. It’s about life and the beauty of knowing and accepting who you are.” - Jeff Passan, ESPN

"If God is in the details, then what Tim Brown has done with the story of Eric Kratz is divine" Mark Kriegel, author of Pistol


"This is a tale of ultimate grinders who toil in obscurity yet epitomize integrity." - Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times

In baseball there are superstars and stars and everyday players and then there are the rest. Within the rest are role players and specialists and journeymen and then there are the backup catchers. The Tao of the Backup Catcher is about them, the backup catchers, who exist near the bottom of the roster and the end of the bench and between the numbers in a sport–and a society–increasingly driven by cold, hard analytics.This is a story of grown men who once dreamed of stardom and generational wealth. Instead, they were handed a broom and a deeper understanding of who wins and why, who stands tall and who folds, and who will invest their own lives in catching bullpens and the back ends of doubleheaders.

Backup catchers survive in part because every team needs one. They are necessary, once or twice a week. They prosper because the game, like the world around the game, still needs good souls, honest efforts, open eyes and ears, closed mouths, compassion for the sad parts, a laugh for the silly parts, and a heart that knows the difference. Backup catchers are sports’ big brothers, psychologists, priests, witch doctors, player coaches, father figures and drinking buddies, all wrapped in a suit of today’s polycarbonate armor and yesterday’s dirt. They come with a singular goal–to win baseball games. They play for the greater good. After that, they play for themselves. A reverie on loving the grind and the little things baseball can teach us, The Tao of the Backup Catcher profiles Erik Kratz, Josh Paul, AJ Ellis, Bobby Wilson, Drew Butera, Matt Treanor, and John Flaherty to name a few. 



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"Each year lots of baseball books roll off the presses. Some are very good, a few are extraordinary. Rick Ankiel's memoir falls into the second category. A story of rare promise and bewildering pain. The heartbreak, the humiliation and the high points - fewer than expected, but memorable still. All told with honesty, humility, empathy and an eye for telling detail. A winding and often bumpy road that ends with perhaps that best of victories - good-natured acceptance and the personal understanding and insight that goes with it."-Bob Costas

"Rick Ankiel has always been a true phenomenon. He had phenomenal talent, and when he faced hardship, he proved he had phenomenal character too. His book is a candid and powerful story of his pitching success, his cruel and dramatic career derailment, and his historic resurrection as a power-hitting outfielder. Your lasting impression is of Rick the winner and champion husband, father, and person, with a story that impacts us all. - The Atlantic

“Funny, heartbreaking, and triumphant . . . Still, to label this fine book ‘an inspiration’ almost misses the point. Imperfect isn’t about learning to cope with a disability. It’s about becoming a man in America.”—Mark Kriegel, author of Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich and Namath: A Biography

“Terrific . . . Imperfect can teach all of us valuable lessons.”—Cal Ripken, Jr.

“Compelling . . . [a] big-hearted memoir.”—Los Angeles Times

“Honest, touching, and beautifully rendered . . . Far more than a book about baseball, it is a deeply felt story of triumph and failure, dreams and disappointments. Jim Abbott has hurled another gem.”—Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Man


Tim Brown is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning national sports columnist covering Major League Baseball most recently at Yahoo! Sports for nearly 15 years. He formerly served as a national baseball columnist at the Los Angeles Times and freelanced for the Wall Street Journal, and also had stints as a reporter earlier in his career at The Star-Ledger, Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Los Angeles Daily News.


Tim is a renowned, award-winning sportswriter with a national reputation for writing human interest stories, ranging from in-depth features on Mike Trout to Derek Jeter to Kim Ng throughout their careers, to covering broader cultural issues in sports from controversy around steroid usage in the game, as well as the under representation of Black baseball players. He also has written personal essays, spotlighted local efforts to elevate underprivileged youth baseball players, and championed women rising through the ranks of the League.


Earlier in his career, Tim covered the Los Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Times for five years, writing hundreds of stories and front-page features about the storied championship team in the era of Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.


As a New York Times bestselling author, he's written two non-fiction books. The first, in 2013, was a biography about Jim Abbott, a candid and reflective life story, about his journey as a one-handed pitcher. The second book, released in 2018, chronicled the rise, fall and comeback of pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel.


He is currently under contract for two upcoming books with the Hachette Book Group (HBG) imprint Twelve. 


As a revered sports expert and an animated storyteller, Tim is a popular and frequent contributor to national and local sports radio shows, podcasts, and he also served as the host of a podcast series at Yahoo! Sports, and was a television broadcaster for the Major League Baseball network.


He studied journalism at the University of Southern California and Cal State Northridge. He and his wife live in Raleigh, North Carolina with their two Labrador retrievers.



To contact Tim Brown, please e-mail him at

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