Tim Kurkjian’s Obsession with Elias Sports Bureau, His ‘Best Friends in the World’

by Chris 'Blue Shorts' Lingebach
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National League All-Star Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals talks with ESPN reporter Tim Kurkjian during batting practice for the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

National League All-Star Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals talks with ESPN reporter Tim Kurkjian during batting practice for the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - If you’ve ever heard Tim Kurkjian rattle off an obscure stat on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, you’ve probably also heard him cite Elias Sports Bureau once or twice.

And maybe, either consciously or subconsciously, you’ve wondered ‘What’s Elias Sports Bureau?’

Kurkjian, whose passion for baseball can only be matched by his love for Elias, pulled back the curtain and gave a breakdown of exactly how it works and the genesis of his relationship with the service, while guesting on The Junkies on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“There was a time maybe fifteen years ago, where no one was looking this stuff up, except for me and Jayson Stark,” Kurkjian told the Junkies. “And now everyone has access to this thing.”

“So the Elias Sports Bureau, the official scorekeepers of all four major sports, they look this stuff up without me even asking every day, and they’re brilliant,” Kurkjian said. “But what I still occasionally can do, is get an idea ‘When is the last time that this happened?’ And then I call them, and I call them virtually every day, and they help me with it.”

He also receives daily reports Elias spits out, as part of ESPN’s subscription, but says it’s those special nuggets – the ones that take a little extra digging to find – that makes the service invaluable to him.

“I can honestly say, all my best friends in the world work at Elias Sports Bureau, because they are the best I’ve ever seen,” Kurkjian said.

He offered this example from Game 3 of the 2007 World Series, in which the Red Sox beat the Rockies 10-5 to go up 3-0 in the series. Along with becoming the first Japanese player to start and win a World Series game, Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka also had two RBIs.

“So this is where I have, at least I am curious enough, to ask the question, because I can’t find this myself, especially at the World Series,” Kurkjian said.

“So I ask them, ‘How many Red Sox pitchers have ever had two RBIs in a World Series game?” he explained. “And the answer was Cy Young, Babe Ruth and Daisuke Matsuzaka. That’s the entire list! The greatest pitcher of all-time, the winningest pitcher of all-time, and the Japanese import. They’re the only Red Sox pitchers that have ever had two RBIs in a World Series Game.”

“Now, it’s the most worthless, meaningless note in the world,” Kurkjian continued. “But how great is that, that those are the three guys on the list? And I can tell you, that’s the kind of stuff that I like. Just for ten seconds somewhere, to maybe get someone to go ‘Wow. that’s stupid’ or ‘That’s interesting.'”

“At least they listened when you hear those three names together,” Kurkjian tacked on, encapsulating that little extra that makes him one of the most revered analysts in baseball.

Segments are below. Enjoy.

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