Justin Abramson | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Justin Abramson

Justin Abramson, known in his prime simply as the Towel, is a 2008 graduate of Grinnell College living in Arlington, Virginia.  Referred to by many Grinnellians as the voice of Pioneer athletics, Justin was the play-by-play announcer for Grinnell’s basketball teams, the color analyst for the football team and the stadium announcer for the baseball and softball teams during his college days.  A first baseman for most of his baseball career, he also played one season as a second baseman and one as a designated hitter.  Though he retired from baseball at the conclusion of the 2005 season and his abilities on the field pale in comparison to those of The Golden Sombrero’s other contributors, he still has a great passion for the game.  In 2007, his first year of fantasy baseball, Justin shocked Grinnell’s fantasy baseball community by winning the championship (they’re not booing, they’re yelling “fluuuuuuuke”) in a twenty-team league after such blunders as drafting Troy Glaus in the top fifty and taking Jason Kendall when Russell Martin was available.  He is a die-hard Rockies fan and although he attended both of the World Series games played at Coors Field, he hopes they do not turn out to be the only ones.  He was also at Nationals Park on June 4, 2009 to witness Randy Johnson’s 300th win.  Justin currently works as an Associate Director on the marketing strategy team at the Advisory Board Company, a healthcare research firm based in Washington, DC. He pitches for the company’s softball team, The Big Units, which has won the league championship five seasons running.  Though his tally currently stands at just 10, Justin hopes to one day visit all thirty major league ballparks.

Justin can be reached at abramson.justin@gmail.com

Staff Picks: Justin’s 2012 MLB Predictions

National League West: Arizona Central: St. Louis East: Philadelphia Wild Card: Washington Wild Card: Miami NLDS: Phillies def. Nationals in four; D-Backs def. Cardinals in five NLCS: D-Backs def. Phillies in six NLCS MVP: Justin Upton Awards NL Rookie of the Year (hitter): Devin Mesoraco NL Dark Horse Rookie of the Year (hitter): Yonder Alonso NL […]

Come on out to the ballpark with us, Part II: One fan’s top five MLB venues

5. Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim, CA) Angel Stadium, despite being the fourth-oldest ballpark in the Majors today, is definitely an interesting ballpark and a fun place to watch a ballgame.  One of its notable features is the rockpile in left center field.  Scattered with a few palm trees and set against a background of […]

Come on out to the ballpark with us, Part I: A ranking of ten MLB venues

As I sat in the left field corner of Nationals Park last Friday evening, enjoying baseball, banter and beer with friend and colleague Jimmy Chiang, I was reminded once again that watching a baseball game live at the ballpark is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, […]

Pandemonium in the Parking Lot and Other Stories: What I Learned During Spring Training

Spring Training is a wonderful time of year.  It portends warmer weather, hope for the future and of course, the beginning of a brand new baseball season.  As someone whose spirits lift dramatically at the mere utterance of the words “pitchers and catchers report” each February, I truly believe that Spring Training conveys much more […]

Sombrero Staff Prognostications: Justin’s 2011 Predictions

AL East: Boston Red Sox New York Yankees (Wild Card) Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays Baltimore Orioles AL Central: Chicago White Sox Minnesota Twins Detroit Tigers Cleveland Indians Kansas City Royals AL West: Texas Rangers Oakland A’s Los Angeles Angels Seattle Mariners ALDS: Red Sox def. Rangers in 5 White Sox def. Yankees in 4 ALCS: […]

Five games, Five ballparks, Five sunburns and the Q: Another Spring Training in Phoenix

Last Wednesday, my dad and I flew in to Phoenix for Spring Training.  It was our second year in a row of watching baseball that doesn’t matter in the Valley of the Sun, and this year’s trip was even better than the last.  Of course, the outcomes of the games don’t mean anything. The players […]

Keep Albert in St. Louis: Why Pujols’ venture into free agency is bad for the game

My esteemed colleague and rival fantasy owner Griffin Phelps posted a few days ago that Albert Pujols’ failure to sign an extension with the Cardinals was good for baseball.  Griffin’s principal argument is that, at a time when baseball season is over but the other three major American sports are in full swing, the impending […]

A Towel’s First Words: One fan weighs in on his teams’ big moves

It has been altogether too long since I have written for the Sombrero, and with the news of pitchers and catchers reporting on Monday morning, I knew that this amateur writer needed to report very soon as well.  It has been a terribly long offseason, and with a potential trip to Phoenix for Spring Training […]

Four Ballparks Part IV: Chase Field. Hot Dogs for Three and Change for your Five

When Dad and I woke up for the final day of the Four Ballparks, Four Cities, Four Days trip, we realized immediately that we had some serious ground to cover.  Although we could walk to Ballpark #3 from our Los Angeles Hilton, it was located a full 375 miles from Ballpark #4—Chase Field in beautiful […]

Voices of the Game Part II: The Best Outside the NL West

Recently, first-team all-Midwest Conference South Division pitcher Ryan Harris wrote his second Golden Sombrero article, where he rightfully rips into beleaguered FOX Sports color commentator Tim McCarver. While I could not agree more with his candid (and rather harsh) account of Joe Buck’s right hand man, I believe that calling baseball games is a difficult […]

Four Ballparks Recap Part III: Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Calling all Towels

Day three of the Four Ballparks trip began at the Hilton in beautiful Anaheim, California, just minutes from Angel Stadium.  Hungry and bored and with the game not until six PM, we were two weary travelers with some time to kill.  So we figured that, since we were staying right near the ballpark, there must […]

Four Ballparks Recap Part II – Dodgertown. Population: Towel

After a thrilling Rockies win at Petco Park in Game One of our four-day, four-city, four-game road trip, it was time to visit Dodger Stadium. Following dad’s aforementioned seven-dollar breakfast of bread and coffee at the Toscano Café, only a quick two-hour trip north on I-5 separated us from Ballpark #2.  Since we were traveling […]

Four Ballparks Recap Part 1: PETCO – Where the Towels Go

On Labor Day weekend, my dad and I woke up at 5AM and flew all the way to the other side of the country.  We battled hellacious Los Angeles traffic with tiny maps and bad directions.  We spent $34 on parking—for the first night.  And we drove six hours across the desert, dozens of miles […]

Four Games, Four Ballparks, Four Cities, Four Days: A Baseball Fan’s Dream Vacation

A few months ago, someone I barely knew asked me what I want to do before I die.  As common a question as that may be, it was one I’d never been asked before.  So naturally, as I often do in situations where I don’t know what to say, I blurted out the first answer […]

Voices of the Game: A tribute to baseball’s greatest broadcasters (Part I)

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a die-hard fan of the Colorado Rockies. And at times, being a fan of a team in the NL West is tough.  After all, I live in DC, so most Rockies home games don’t start until around 9PM.  And when they’re on the road, sometimes […]

National Holiday: Strasburg Dazzles in Washington Debut

It’s official.  Baseball is back in the nation’s capital. A casual fan might point out that no, baseball actually returned to Washington in April of 2005, when the Nationals played their first game in DC after 36 years as the Montreal Expos.  Others might say that it came on March 30, 2008, when they played […]

Blown call a terrible moment for baseball, but instant replay NOT the path to perfection

As even the most casual of baseball fans know by now, Armando Galarraga retired 26 consecutive batters to open a game against the Indians on Wednesday, but failed to complete a perfect game as first-base umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly ruled that Cleveland’s Jason Donald beat out an infield single with two outs in the ninth. […]

In Mile-High City, it’s all about the U: Rockies’ Jimenez poised to become franchise’s first twenty-game winner

June 1, 2010 “With the one hundred fourth pick of the 2010 Denslow Cup Draft, the Capital City Corporate Towls select Ubaldo Jimenez, Starting Pitcher, Colorado Rockies.” These words (which would have been uttered by Denslow Cup commissioner Robbie Unsell had we done an in-person draft but were instead simply printed on a screen) have […]

All Eyes on Grinnell: Pioneers from across the globe reunited through Midwest Conference baseball

May 22, 2010 Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2010 Midwest Conference Baseball Tournament and calling the action for Midwest Conference Television all tournament long.  The whole weekend was one of the best times I’ve had since I graduated from Grinnell two years and three days ago.  And while it was great […]

Perfect Ten: Pioneer baseball team clinches division title, to host Midwest Conference Tournament for first time since 2000

May 4, 2010 Much to the delight (and to some, the disbelief) of the Grinnell College baseball community, it became official late Saturday afternoon: the Pioneers are a perfect 10-0 in Midwest Conference play and South Division champions for just the second time ever.  They’ll be hosting the Midwest Conference Tournament beginning on Friday, May […]

Why Didn’t They Just Walk Casey? The use of the intentional walk in Major League Baseball

April 14, 2010 Saturday night, in the bottom of the 14th inning with the Padres up one run on the Rockies, manager Bud Black had a decision to make.  There were two outs and the tying run was on second.  Ian Stewart was at the plate and Chris Iannetta was on deck.  Black decided to […]

Justin Abramson’s 2010 Predictions

April 6, 2010 AL East: Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays AL Central: Twins, Sox, Tigers, Indians, Royals AL West: Angels, Rangers, Mariners, A’s AL Wildcard: Rays NL East: Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals NL Central: Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Astros, Reds, Pirates NL West: Rockies, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres NL Wildcard: Braves ALCS: Rays […]

Are We There Yet? Troubled Franchice Finally Has Help On The Way: A Washington Nationals Season Preview

April 3, 2010 Baseball here in the nation’s capital has been rather difficult to watch at times.  Since I arrived in the District of Columbia on June 5, 2008, the woebegone Nationals have compiled a record of 93-169, good for an anemic .355 winning percentage.  To put that in perspective, No team has posted a […]

Patience is for Suckers: The Case for Swinging First-ball, Fastball

April 1, 2010 Many coaches teach that the best way to approach hitting is to work the count against a pitcher.  After all, the more pitches a pitcher must throw, the better chance a hitter has to time his delivery, get a sense for his stronger and weaker pitches and learn what he might throw […]

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