CBN’s Alexis Brudnicki lands plum job with MLB.com
By Kevin Glew
Canadian Baseball Network
She is as talented as she is tenacious.
That would be a succinct way to describe Alexis Brudnicki, who has been the Canadian Baseball Network’s most prolific writer over the past eight years.
In the modern sportswriting landscape, where churning out copy at lightning speed has become the expectation, I sometimes fear there’s too much emphasis on quantity over quality. With Alexis, we, at CBN, were spoiled, we got both – quality and quantity.
In case you haven’t heard, Alexis is moving on from CBN to start a job as a reporter/producer for MLB Advanced Media based in Toronto. And while we’re very proud of her and walking taller around the website’s headquarters in Mississauga and London, we sure will miss her.
Canadian Baseball Network editor-in-chief Bob Elliott used to tell me the story of how he discovered Alexis’s work in Baseball America after she had written an article about the Baseball Canada banquet in 2011.
“I emailed John Manuel – the way guys will email guys in a wise-acre fashion – in January 2011, asking ‘who is this Alexi guy and how come his story was so much better than mine?’” recalled Bob. “Well, it turned out I had skimmed the byline. The first name was Alexis not Alexi.”
Manuel then provided Bob with Alexis’s contact information and Bob said his decision to connect with her was one of the best he has made in his more than four decades in sports journalism.
From her first CBN story, which was about a vintage base ball game being played in London, Ont., in 2011, to her last, an article about Goderich, Ont., native Brock Dykxhoorn signing with a pro team in Korea, Alexis has consistently delivered strong and compelling articles for our readers.
“I remember in the spring of 2012, Alexis was in Florida and she told me she was going to write an article on every player on the Canadian Junior National Team, and all 12 Canadians in the Jays minor-league camp,” recalled Bob. “I thought she was biting off too much of an assignment. There was no way she could do that.
“Of course Alexis wrote pieces about all the Junior players, plus the minor leaguers in less than a month. She wrote about 45 stories for us in a month. It was unbelievable. I remember thinking that there must have been sparks flying off her keyboard.”
That was when Bob learned not to doubt Alexis’s drive and determination, or her passion. Over the past eight years, Alexis has penned memorable articles about high school players. Canadian national women’s team members, Canadians in college and Canucks in the major and minor league ranks. And her stories have not only been timely and meticulously written (that required virtually no editing), they have also exhibited a sensitivity towards her subjects that’s become so rare in sports journalism. In Alexis’s stories, you really get to know the people she writes about. And it’s safe to say there’s not a Canadian on the men’s or women’s national teams or in the professional ranks that does not know and respect Alexis.
Since her first assignment with CBN, we’ve been privileged to watch Alexis develop into a highly respected voice on Canadian baseball, a national award ceremony emcee, an in-demand presenter at conferences across North America, a scout school graduate and a SABR award-winning writer. Her award-winning article entitled, “I’m Different, I’m the Same,” which was originally published on the Hardball Times website in November 2015, was a brave first-person essay in which she opened up about the personal challenges she has faced as a woman in the male-dominated baseball industry.
“Often Alexis will thank me for helping her,” Bob said. “All I did was make a suggestion once in a while and edit in mistakes to her copy — which she always caught. The people in New York hiring her for one of their 10 new positions is a testament to perseverance ... and something other young writers should keep in mind.”
As a male in the baseball writing industry, I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of what it would be like to be Alexis, a female reporter, in clubhouses or at functions where 99% of the attendees are men. But hard as I try, I’ll never be able to fully grasp what it’s like or what she has to deal with. But I can say that I greatly respect and admire Alexis. I’ve watched her persevere through barriers, demeaning questions and unfortunate objectification with strength, dignity and class. And for anyone who has a daughter looking to get into the baseball industry, I’d strongly recommend Alexis as a role model.
So as we watch Alexis move up to the next level in her career, we, at CBN, are feeling a sense of pride, mixed with a selfish tinge of sadness. But given her talent, her tenacity, her work ethic, her courage and her sensitivity, we’re not surprised that this day has come. We feel fortunate that we’ve had eight excellent years with Alexis. She has raised the bar for our site.
So we thank you and salute you, Alexis, and wish you all the best in your new role. You’ve been promoted to the major leagues now, but you’ll always have a place on our team and, more significantly, in our hearts.