Last weekend, as part of getting to know my long lost sister, Alysia, I was telling her about my career. One of the most tangible representations of my career — other than the thousands of photos I’ve shot — are the many media credentials I’ve saved. She was amazed when I told her about my 4-foot length of pipe strung with “a ton” of them. It occurred to me that others might like to know about it.
I have had a wonderful career journalism, most of which was spent in daily journalism. I had the privilege of covering a lot of major events, the kind big enough to require the media to be credentialed. Somewhere along the line I started to save them in various drawers.
Then I came to the University of Missouri and I found a purpose for them.
The credentials mark the amazing experiences and accomplishments through my career. From Major League Baseball (Cubs, White Sox, Mets and Yankees), the NFL (Bears, Giants) to various political conventions and journalism workshops. Hanging on my wall, they make a powerful statement to students: This could be your future, and I’ll help you get there.
Some of my favorites include three Olympics (Atlanta, Australia and Vancouver); the XLF, which lasted just one season (New York/New Jersey Hitmen) and the Ali-Frazier fight: Laila Ali and Jackie Frazier-Lyde in 2001.
When I came to Missouri I moved out of daily journalism figured my credential gathering days were behind me. Then a few years ago we created a sports journalism class and I started a new round. I get credentialed for Missouri’s sports so that I can go with the students for their first few games, getting them acclimented. Many of our sports start before school or last past graduation so I get to practice when the students aren’t in session.
If you’re a working journalist, I encourage you to save your mementos from your experiences. You won’t regret it.