Waking up knowing I get to cover a baseball game is the best feeling in the world. Having a football or basketball or field hockey game on my schedule never fails to excite me either.

Most days during my trip to the baseball stadium, whether it is Turner Field in Atlanta or Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., I think back to a scene in “The Rookie.” Dennis Quaid’s character Jimmy Morris has just made the decision to stick out the season in AAA instead of returning to the teaching job waiting for him at home. With a big smile on his face, Morris says to his teammate “You know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball.”

That’s how I feel on the beautiful days when I get to live my dream of writing about sports.

It’s been that way throughout my writing life, no matter whether my work would be appearing on or in Baseball America or The Plain Dealer.

I’ve had some excellent guides as I have learned the craft. Without people like Natalie Sekicky, my high school journalism teacher, or Justice Hill, my mentor, I don’t know where I’d be. But I’m certain I wouldn’t have found the same success in journalism.

Sports writing took me farther than I had any right to imagine it would during my college years. I covered a Final Four and Super Bowl Media Day in Indianapolis. I visited West Point and the Plains of Auburn and Durham Athletic Park, the sleepy, ghost of a stadium where “Bull Durham” was filmed. I wrote for, Baseball America, The Plain Dealer and, of course, The Ball State Daily News, that wondrous place that gave me every opportunity to experiment and fail for four years.

All along the way, I have done my best to learn and grow from every opportunity. I hope to be able to keep doing so, no matter where I go from here. Keep learning and growing, but always with that smile Quaid wore in the film, the one filled with wonder and amazement.