By Lola Augustine Brown

Keegan Matheson (BA’12) never imagined he could build a career from his love of baseball and creative writing. Now, as the official Blue Jays reporter for MLB.com, he’s living his dreams and heading into crunch time as the team is poised for the playoffs.

In his role as Toronto Blue Jays reporter for MLB.com, Keegan Matheson (BA’12) has had an eventful summer. “When the Blue Jays are doing well, everyone tends to care more so my life gets busier,” he says. With the team currently in playoff position, Matheson knows that his work-life could go into extra innings, but he’s fine with that. “It’s incredible that I get to do this for a living. I grew up loving baseball and writing, but never imagined that a career in sports journalism was a possibility.”

Building players’ trust at home and on the road

Matheson covers every Blue Jays home game, and around two-thirds of the team’s away games. Whatever the location, Matheson’s core work is interviewing players, talking to coaches, being out in the field, and writing stories or making TV and radio appearances. He has been on the road with the team for almost six years (three in his current role, and previously when running his own paid subscription site, Baseball Toronto) and believes that has helped him to build solid relationships with the team.

breakfast television

Keegan Matheson on Breakfast Television with Sid Siexiero.

“At home games, there might be 30 reporters, but on the road, there might only be two or three of us, so the team learns that you’re committed, and you build trust,” he says. “That matters because it’s easy to ask a player why they are having success, but it is harder to ask them why they are failing. There needs to be an element of trust not only to ask the questions but also so they know you are not trying to write a hit piece or take a cheap shot at them.”

Shaped by his Dalhousie years

Matheson confesses he was never exactly an A student at Dal and quips that the Grawood bar was his most frequented classroom. However, he says he wouldn’t be who is today without his time at the university.

“Dalhousie gave me two things: One, professors who were extremely important to me when I was starting my creative writing double major. They opened my mind to the idea that a writing life could be pursued with passion, and I left Dalhousie feeling encouraged, and that I had some degree of talent,” he says, “Secondly, Dalhousie gave me my people.”

A shy kid from New Glasgow, N.S., he moved into Sheriff Hall and was randomly matched with a roommate from California who remains his best friend. His first weeks at Dal were like his own personal training camp where he bonded with his ‘team’ – people who to this day still his closest friends. “We still have the same group chat going that we started on Facebook 13 years ago,” he says. “I’m not who I am without them.”

For the love of the game

Surprisingly, although Matheson has always loved baseball, he remains a neutral fan and prefers a good game above a Blue Jays win. “I care that the game moves quickly and if there’s a good story. My friends will say, ‘I’m sorry the Jays lost today’ and I’ll say I didn’t even remember they lost, so that’s okay,” he laughs.

As a kid, Matheson went to a lot of Red Sox games. His dad went to seminary school in Boston and had family there. “I had a lot of memorable childhood trips with my dad to Fenway Park, this beautiful historic ballpark, so it is always extra special when I go there,” Matheson says, “To be there for my job all these years later is so great, and I always send pictures to my dad. The seats I’m in are a little nicer now though, and there are better snacks.”