ESPN's Stark to visit Penn State for Foster Conference

February 23, 2010

University Park, Pa. — A senior baseball writer for will make a timely visit to Penn State just days before the baseball season begins as part of the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers.

Jayson Stark, who writes several online columns a week and appears on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” as well as ESPN Radio shows, will read from his work and participate in a question-and-answer session at 10:10 a.m. on March 24 in Heritage Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State's University Park campus. The session is free and open to the public.

Prior to joining ESPN in 1999, Stark worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 21 years, serving initially as the Philadelphia Phillies beat writer and then as national baseball writer and columnist. He also was the creator and author of the nationally distributed Baseball Week in Review column, known for unearthing obscure, historic and humorous aspects of baseball, from 1983 to 1999. While with The Inquirer, Stark twice received the Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year award. He has written two books -- “The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History” and “Worth the Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies.”

Along with Stark, the Foster Conference includes a session by John Grogan, author of the best-selling novel “Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog,” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 23, in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium.

Grogan worked for newspapers (The Philadelphia Inquirer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel) for 15 years as a government reporter, bureau chief, projects writer and columnist before authoring “Marley & Me” in 2005. The book became an instant success and spent 23 weeks at No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. It was made into a motion picture in 2008. His latest book is “The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir.”

The Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers takes place twice a year and has attracted many of the top journalists and writers in the country, including two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners, thanks to the support of the Foster family. 

In 1997, Larry Foster, a 1948 Penn State graduate, and his wife, Ellen Miller Foster, a 1949 graduate, gave $500,000 to endow the Foster Professorship in Writing and Editing. The program was designed to support new strategies for improving students’ writing skills and enables the University to host the annual Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers.

In addition to the series, the couple endowed the Larry and Ellen Foster Communications Librarian and funded the Foster Auditorium, a tiered 134-seat facility in the Pattee Library designed to support library instruction and programming. They also provided the lead gift for the renovations to the Carnegie Building, home of Penn State’s College of Communications.

  • Jayson Stark

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015