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As long as I can remember I've loved sports, and when professional baseball player didn't quite pan out as a career path (though I'm still holding out hope for a Jim Morris-type comeback), sports writing became the next best thing to being on the field.

I worked as a stringer at the Elgin Courier News of Sun-Times News Group from 2006-12, covering anything that falls under the scope of "high school sports". That meant everything from your standard basketball and football game to cross-country meets and volleyball matches, and everything in between.

While the local sports scene was fun, there is no question my dream job is covering Major League Baseball, and Bleacher Report has afforded me that opportunity.

I began writing for B/R not seeking employment of any sort, but simply looking for an outlet where I could hone my writing skills and get some feedback from the sports fan community.

In any event, I published my first article on April 29, 2009 back when the site was still finding its footing and I was thrilled to see it read by literally hundreds of people over the course of a few weeks.

In my five-plus years writing for the site, I've managed to work my way up from contributor, to Cubs Featured Columnist, to National MLB Featured Columnist, and now I'm in a position where I've turned writing for B/R from a hobby into a career.

I'm thankful for everything I've gotten so far out of my time here at B/R, and I look forward to watching the site continue to grow.

Now to brag about myself with a series of numbers and dates:

Surpassed 1 million reads on August 4th, 2011.
Surpassed 2 million reads on February 6th, 2012.
Surpassed 5 million reads on July 13th, 2012
Surpassed 10 million reads on March 17th, 2013
Surpassed 15 million reads on September 19, 2013
Surpassed 20 million reads on February 13, 2014 (42nd writer to reach that mark)
Surpassed 25 million reads on May 25, 2014 (37th writer to reach that mark)
Surpassed 30 million reads on August 26, 2014 (37th writer to reach that mark)
Surpassed 35 million reads on January 7, 2015 (40th writer to reach that mark)
Surpassed 40 million reads on April 25, 2015 (38th writer to reach that mark)

7/12: First 1 million read month by an MLB writer
4/13: Featured Columnist of the Month

1 Million Read Months: 17
2 Million Read Months: 1

For all things baseball, follow me on Twitter.

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  • Brandon Terrell posted 1 day ago

    Brandon Terrell

    Hey Joel, with the best teams in the wc tonight, who do the Cardinals WANT to play?

  • Kevin Pham posted 31 days ago

    Kevin Pham

    Hey Joel! It's great to follow your updates. I am a graphic designer in Minneapolis, MN..I will be back soon..keep up your hard working!
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  • Andrew Heitkamp posted 34 days ago

    Andrew Heitkamp

    You're recent rankings are awful.

  • Josh Kuh posted 42 days ago

    Josh Kuh

    Cruz as dark horse for MVP? I know the M's stink but his numbers are great

  • Chandler Frankenfield posted 57 days ago

    Chandler Frankenfield

    Do you think the Twins are still in the running for the Wild Card?

  • jason peters posted 58 days ago

    jason peters

    "Then we have the reigning AL champion Kansas City Royals, who caught lightning in a bottle last season on the strength of defense, base-stealing and a dominant bullpen.

    Those three areas will again be a strength in 2015, but the offense is still lacking in punch and the rotation will undoubtedly feel the loss of James Shields. There is plenty of talent on the roster, but other teams around them seem to have passed them by."......Nice call buddy, KC owns THE BEST record in the AL on AUg 11, 2015 (67-44.)

  • Lee Akrish posted 82 days ago

    Lee Akrish

    Congrats on your success man, hope I can become a writer on here too! I'll be writing about Cleveland sports so hope you can follow and read my posts when you get a chance if I get accepted!

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