Award-winning alumnus Verducci set as Bellisario College commencement speaker

April 02, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Award-winning and multitalented journalist Tom Verducci, who has been honored for his work in a variety of mediums, will present the commencement address for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications during exercises May 4 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Alumnus Tom Verducci
IMAGE: Kevin Lynch

Verducci, a Penn State alumnus who was named most outstanding journalism graduate when he earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in 1982, ranks as one of the most authoritative voices on baseball, with more than three decades of unique achievement across multiple platforms.

He serves as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and an analyst for MLB Network and Fox.

He is the only dedicated baseball writer to be named National Sportswriter of the Year three consecutive years (2014-16). He is a three-time Emmy Award winner, including one for Outstanding Studio Analyst — making him the only person ever to win the award who was not a former player or coach and the only person ever to win Emmys for both reporting and analysis. In his broadcasting role with Fox, he is the only writer ever to call a World Series as a color analyst.

Verducci also is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist and the author of two New York Times best-sellers: “The Yankee Years” and “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse.”

He is the only Sports Illustrated writer ever to be featured on the magazine’s cover, the result of a first-person account of playing with the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training 2005. Verducci’s elegant writing has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated since 1993.

His groundbreaking 2002 special report “Steroids in Baseball” earned a National Magazine Award nomination and helped stir congressional involvement and the sport’s first testing program for performance-enhancing drugs. An anthology of some of his memorable SI stories, titled “Inside Baseball: The Best of Tom Verducci,” was released in 2005. His work also has been featured in “Best American Sports Writing” multiple times and in “Sports Illustrated: Great Baseball Writing.”

Before joining Sports Illustrated, Verducci spent 10 years (1983-1993) as a sports reporter for Newsday, serving as its national baseball columnist from 1990-1993. He also had a one-year stint as a sports reporter for Florida Today in Cocoa, Florida, covering the Miami Dolphins.

Verducci can be seen regularly on MLB Network, where he has served as an in-studio and game analyst since the network’s debut in 2009, and on Fox, where he has become the rare journalist to serve as a game analyst on national telecasts.

Verducci received the 2012 Dick Schapp Memorial Award for Media Excellence from the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation, served as a consultant on Ken Burns’ documentary “The Tenth Inning,” and is a member of the alumni council for the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

Born and raised in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Verducci attended Seton Hall Prep, where he played football and baseball and is a member of the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of the baseball team at Penn State, too.

Verducci lives in Montgomery, New Jersey, with his wife, Kristen. They have two sons, Adam, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Penn State, and Benjamin, who earned a bachelor’s from Haverford College and a master’s from the University of Chicago.

Last Updated June 14, 2021