Tuesday, June 22, 2021

From the Field to the Press Box: How One Local Sports Writer’s Disability Created a Love for Sports

By Kendall Van Daele
IMC Student

Adam Brown has been the sports editor for ‪HottyToddy.com‬ since October 2012, but he’s had a love for sports since he started playing baseball at the age of nine. Though playing sports was a big part of his childhood, he had one major obstacle to overcome.

Brown was born with cerebral palsy and said the doctors diagnosed him when he was around three months old. 

“It basically affected my left leg and my left arm, but growing up I always wanted to do what my parents were doing and what my cousins were doing. I always followed them and never thought to myself of having a disability,” Brown said.

Following his family’s footsteps, Brown wanted to play baseball in the same way that his cousins did. More specifically, he desired to play third base. After having an eye injury, he then asked to be moved from third base to the outfield. In spite of his injury, Brown did not want to give up. 

“I’m the only person to this day between the ages of nine and 14 that has a perfect batting average of 1,000. Before every game, they would let me hit and open the game and let me run around the bases,” Brown said. “The games that we didn’t have enough players, I actually got to play more as we grew up. After going through that for several years, I knew going into high school I couldn’t play baseball. I wasn’t quick enough or fast enough.”

While in high school, Brown decided to keep score for the baseball team. He wanted to be a part of the team, so he was elected as the team’s manager. In Brown’s sophomore year of high school, he became a scorekeeper for the Oxford Park Commission and stuck with them for 20 years. He knew in his heart that sports were his passion, and he wanted to make a career out of it which is why he took on sports writing.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.

“For me, writing brought me the same joys as playing did, and I put the passion I had from playing sports into my writing. Being able to relate to my writing brought almost a calmness about it, and knowing I’m able to share with others who are reading my articles from the field makes me feel blessed,” Brown said.

Brown’s first bowl game to cover was the 2012 Compass Bowl when Ole Miss defeated Pittsburgh in Birmingham, and he got the opportunity to talk to a reporter from ESPN afterward. While chatting about Brown’s story the reporter said, “If you love sports you always get to work, but it’ll never feel like you’re working.” That was Brown’s outlook on his entire situation.

Now 37 years old, Brown has never given up and accomplished a lot in his career. Even with having a disability, he has never forgotten his passion and has never given up his love for sports. 

Being from Oxford and still writing for Ole Miss years later, he is a big inspiration for everyone in the sports department. He is the spitting image of never giving up on something you love no matter the challenges you face.