ESPN Baseball Writer and Transgender Activist Christina Kahrl
April 4, 2016
Welcome to Episode 27 of Products of the Mind. On this episode, I speak with sports writer, activist, and A’s fan Christina Kahrl.
“My entree into the game initially as a fan was pretty much the same kind of experience as my great grandfather’s. I was listening to a lot of ball games on the radio, I was getting my information on how the A’s did the night before through box-scores, and I was not getting to see my team on television very often if at all. I was not getting to consume information in the ways that we take for granted today.”
“I was very fortunate because a lot of people responded very positively. So on that level that was perhaps the truly extraordinary experience I had in coming out as the first trans sports writer.“
“Trans kids who want to play sports are just kids. Trans people who are your teammates are just teammates; and in the same way you shouldn’t get hung up on questions of race or religion, gender and sexuality also really shouldn’t matter. You define people by their qualities, not by the qualities you might ascribe to groups.“
Today we speak with Christina Kahrl, a sports nut and current writer for ESPN’s SweetSpot (among others).
Christina shares with us the history of analytics in baseball, including how they became popular (or perhaps became more depended upon) with the growth of the sport in the 60’s and 70’s; and how the love of stats motivated Christina to help co-found Baseball Prospectus: a baseball and statistician lover’s dream that eventually became a New York Times best seller.
Christina also talks about growing up on a horse farm and having limited access to her beloved A’s; her first game at Old Comiskey Park; buying tickets from a scalper for a buck; and much to this host’s dismay—an insights into my beloved Padres’ future.
This episode isn’t just about baseball and stats. Christina shares her story about coming out as trans in a predominantly male-centric profession. She shares about coming to know her true self, and the struggle of how to best communicate with her family, friends, and coworkers. Ultimately Christina’s positive attitude helped her move forward with her transition, earning the respect of her peers of all genders.
Now an accomplished writer and analyst, Christina makes time to support efforts in the LGBTQ community.
This and more today with Christina Kahrl.
Links and Honorable mentions from this Episode:
- Christina Kahrl Wiki
- Christina is @christinakahrl on Twitter
- Baseball Prospectus Wiki
- Bill James
- Earl Weaver
- Terry Pluto
- Moneyball (book, wiki)
- Weaver on Strategy (book, Goodreads)
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Products of the Mind is produced by Mana Monzavi.
The illustration accompanying these show notes is by Whit Harris.
The theme music for this episode was provided by Le Chateau. The track name is “Bury You.” Go buy it on Soundcloud!
This episode and these show notes © 2016 David Lizerbram