Maria Torres, a University of Georgia journalism student, does not claim that she knew from the moment she was born that she wanted to write about sports. In fact, it took Torres until her early teens to discover a burning love for baseball that still resides within her today.
Growing up, Torres’ father was always a big baseball fan. He rooted for the Yankees, and Torres justifies this by saying he roots for the brand, not the team in which she is not too fond of today. But when her dad was engulfed in the 2003 World Series between “his” Yankees and the Florida Marlins, Torres discovered that there was something there that sirened her towards the draw of the sport.
Giddy about her new passion, Torres found herself in uncharted territory.
“It was never really on my radar,” Torres said. “I did not play sports growing up, as my parents never really emphasized that, and I never really thought about watching sports on television.”
But it was too late. A passion was quickly struck for the hometown baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, and particularly for one of their better players: Andruw Jones.
So when Jones trade talks heated up in 2006, Torres got her first taste of interacting with the baseball media, calling into a radio show to voice her opinion on the rumors.
“I wrote it down, and knew exactly what I was going to say,” Torres said. “I just went off on a tangent on how I did not want him gone because he helped the Braves go from the 90s funk that they got through, all the way to 2006, and helped the Braves along. I was insistent on the fact that they could not trade him!”
Today, Torres finds herself in a sports writing class within the Grady College of Journalism at UGA, and covers the women’s softball team for the school paper, the Red & Black.
Torres continues to bond with her father through the game of baseball, as they are able to relate the sport to any other life conversations that may come up along the way.
“We talk about sports stuff,” Torres said. “My dad is my go-to for anything, whenever I am having a crisis for anything with journalism and sports. I learned from him what I know about baseball.”