Baseball and Brothers – Good Journalism on a Celebrity and a Disabled Sibling

The celebrity with disabled sibling genre of story tend to be pretty awful. The celebrity is asked about their sibling and, in response, the celebrity says things like overcome, inspiration, and other usual platitudes. This is partially because that’s how we’ve learned to talk about disability, partially because celebrities sell clicks and so interviewer isn’t really that interested in the disabled individual as a person, and partially because cliches are safe (as Bull Durham taught us).

Adam Newman, however, directed me to this story about a young player for the Dodgers and his older brother, Champ, who has Down syndrome.

This is a story in dialogue, with both men given equal time to talk about their relationship. The picture that emerges is meaningful reciprocity with some depth (especially given the format). Champ talks about his relationships with baseball players, his job, his aspirations, and his thoughts about Down syndrome. It’s a really nice model of what’s possible, especially nice to see in this context.

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