A Q&A with Joe Posnanski

May 02, 2024


Joe Posnanski answers some of our questions about the his latest book—and other books—in a new author Q&A.


Joe Posnanki has written eight books, and enough words to fill about 800. He has written for Sports Illustrated, The Kansas City Star, NBC Sports, and The Athletic, among others, and was an early pioneer of sports blogging—writing what he once described as "curiously long posts" for over fifteen years now. Somehow he has also managed, in that same time, to co-create Tip Your CapFirst Woman Voter, and Honor Your Hometown, all "projects designed simply to make the world a better place." 

These days, you can find him at JoeBlogs or on his PosCast, which he co-hosts with television producer, writer, director, and actor Michael Schur—who you may know as "Mose" from The Office

Joe recently took the time to answer some of our questions about his latest book, Why We Love Baseball, and to sign some bookplates for the book. If you order by June 1st, you'll get a signed bookplate copy of the book before Father's Day. 


Porchlight Book Company: Writing a book is no small undertaking. What compelled you to write this one? 

Joe Posnanski: After getting so much incredible feedback from my book The Baseball 100—every single day, I would hear from people who wanted to share their baseball story with me—I felt like I needed to write a book called Why We Love Baseball. It is the first book I've ever written where I had the title before I had a full idea for the book. 

PBC: Writing (and reading) always prompts as many new questions as it offers answers. What is one unanswered question you encountered as you wrote the book that you are most interested in answering? 

JP: Not to dodge the question, but I think that one of my favorite parts of being an author is that I am very comfortable living in that world of unanswered questions.  That is to say, I love writing about myth and reality and how they swirl together to make life richer. This was really at the heart of my book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini, but it was also very much at the center of Why We Love Basseball too. There are so many unanswered questions in the book. Did Babe Ruth really call his shot? Did Pee Wee Reese really put his arm around Jackie Robinson? Did Satchel Paige really strike out Josh Gibson on three pitches after purposely walking the bases loaded to face him? I think in these cases, as so many others, the answer is not as interesting to me as the question. 

PBC: If there is only one thing a reader takes away from reading this book, what would you hope it to be?  

JP: My deepest hope is that readers will see themselves in this book. If they love baseball, I hope they will find moments that spark that love in very personal ways. If they used to love baseball, I hope they will feel some of that again. If they don't know much about baseball, I hope they too will see why the sport captures so many of our hearts. 

PBC: One of the great things about books is that they tend to lead readers to other books. What book[s] related to this topic would you recommend people read after (or perhaps even before) reading your book? 

JP: There are too many wonderful baseball books to recommend. I will offer up three that had a big impact on my life. The first is the classic Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn; it is the book that made me want to be a writer. The second is Clemente by the incomparable David Maraniss. And the third is a bit more obscure, it's called A Game of Inches, by Peter Morris, and it more or less answers every baseball question ever asked. 

PBC: What is your personal favorite (on anytopic, fiction or nonfiction) book?

JP: I'd say the book that has meant most to me in my life is Catcher in the Rye, because it changed the way I thought about what a writer could do. But my favorite book might be The Power Broker by Robert Caro. I try to re-read it every few years just to marvel at the masterpiece. Also a shoutout to Hell of a Book by Jason Mott, which was the most jaw-dropping reading experience I've had in probably the last 20 years. 

PBC: What are you reading now? 

JP: I just finished Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard and it was spectacular. 

PBC:Do you have any future projects in the works that we can look forward to?   

JP: I do! My book Why We Love Football will be published by Dutton in September and I cannot wait. 


About the Author

Joe Posnanski is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including The Baseball 100, Paterno, and The Secret of Golf. He has written for The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, and The Kansas City Star and currently writes at He has been named National Sportswriter of the Year by five different organizations and is the winner of two Emmy Awards. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family.

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