Beau Ellington Best Images of 2023 Brolin Mawejje Chloe Ricketts Courtney Dauwalter Dan Cnossen Dee Caffari Eric Larsen Erin Matson Glen Plake Jak Crawford Kemit-Amon Lewis Liam Garner Michael Wardian Nick Baumgartner Steven Holtz Thaddeus Young

2023 Athletes

Adeline Gray Ahmed Shareef Andrew Ladd Ashleigh Johnson Bella Mir Brigette Lacquette Cade Hall Camille Conrad Charlie Engle Chris Nikic Christian Taylor Craig Cunningham Cyrus Gray Diana Lee Inosanto Gabby Scott Hannah Bergemann Hilary Baude + Matt Cavanaugh Ilona Maher Jacob Moran Jalen Wilson Jen Welter Jessie Diggins Joe Blanton Jordan Gray Jordyn Wieber Kamali Thompson Kim Seevers Larry Bowa Lucas Chianca Mark Appel McKenzie Siroky Merijn Tinga Michael Bishop Noelle Lambert Pete DeVries Rachel Kuehn Rebecca Rusch Samantha Hislop Samarria Brevard Sanja Tomašević Sara Kohrogi Scott Darling Sonya Wilson Steve Mesler Steven Nyman Tanard Davis Tara Llanes Tia + Rio Watson Top Stories of 2023 Tori Sullivan Tricia Byrnes

About The FIFTY

Where the athlete’s trail of sacrifice reveals itself

Latest Post Liam Garner by Matt Keyser public

Where the athlete’s trail of sacrifice reveals itself

The FIFTY strives to tell the stories of the most interesting athletes in the world. Through an innovative nomination process and an internal, highly selective process, we look to uncover stories of courage, change, achievement, triumph over doubt and the relentless pursuit of athletic perfection. Many of these athletes will be unknown to the general public, but by shining a light on their personal journey, we bring together a collection of stories that inform and inspire through emotional, award-winning visual storytelling and writing.

In its inaugural year (2023), The FIFTY reached an audience of nearly 18 million readers through site visits and social media. We are most proud of our on-site duration numbers, which recently saw readers spending an average of 7 minutes 30 seconds enjoying our elite storytelling. The FIFTY is proving it's more than another website, it's an experience.

Meet the staff

RONNIE LYNN began her journalism career in 2nd grade, when she was named editor of The Patterson Panther, her elementary school newspaper. There, she led a team of (very) cub reporters in hard-hitting coverage of siblings, snacks and other breaking news, and sold enough copies on day one to repay Principal Reed’s $10 loan for production and printing.

That experience fueled her lifelong drive to learn and tell stories that help readers know their world, community, and each other a little better. She went on to be an award-winning newspaper reporter and copywriter in some of the coolest places in the West — from Vail and Palm Springs to Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City — and less cool places, too, i.e., Corporate America.

Now, after living and working in 12 states coast to coast, she’s more convinced than ever that everyone has a story, and she looks forward to telling as many as she can. She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

MATT KEYSER found his love for sports as a young boy: studying the box scores of baseball games in the mornings and spending the afternoons striking out his little brother with a mix of fastballs and knee-buckling curveballs. Though his dreams of pitching in the big leagues never blossomed, Keyser began covering sports for the newspapers he grew up reading.

He’s covered everything from Texas high school football to the Houston Astros’ two World Series titles. When he’s not writing, you can find Keyser cooking Texas-style barbecue or lounging in a body of water with his wife and two daughters.

Matt is a senior writer for Perpetual Sports Network. He lives near Houston, Texas.

MICHAEL WEINREB is an award-winning journalist, author and screenwriter, specializing in sports, culture and history. He's written for The Atlantic, Grantland, ESPN, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Ringer and many more. He’s the author of four books, including Season of Saturdays, an acclaimed personal and cultural history of college football that was called “a beautifully written mix of memoir and reportage” by Sports Illustrated and was named one of the best books of the year by Newsweek and Quartz; Game of Kings, about a championship Brooklyn high school chess team, which won a Quill Award, was a New York Times’ editor’s choice, and was named one of Amazon’s best books of the year; and Bigger Than the Game, about the growth and marketing of sports in the 1980s, which served as an inspiration for ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary about Bo Jackson.

He was the lead writer for two seasons of Wondery’s “Sports Wars” podcast, and is currently working on a podcast about the political history and culture of San Francisco. He’s appeared on a number of national television and radio shows, including ESPN’s “30 for 30” and “College Football 150” series, and NPR’s “This American Life.” He lives in Oakland, California.

A writer and editor, JOHN FINGER was instrumental in the creation of Comcast SportsNet in 2000. In his roles as reporter, columnist, essayist, and commentator for Comcast SportsNet/NBC Sports, John covered both the Phillies and the Philadelphia 76ers during their most successful and notable periods. He was there when the Phillies won the World Series as well as for the entirety of "The Process" with the 76ers. He was also in the building for memorable moments like Allen Iverson's “Practice!” press conference.

John graduated from J.P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He has a B.A. in American Studies from Temple University and is slowly working toward an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Drexel University.

He is managing editor/national desk for Perpetual Sports Network and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

DEBRA MARK is an award-winning radio news anchor on KFI am 640 in Los Angeles. She is also a voiceover talent who can be heard on numerous television shows, movies, commercials, e-learning projects and more.

Debra is providing her voice talents to The Fifty as we embark on real-person audio stories to complement the written version. New for us in 2024, this replaces our previous AI voice technology.

Having an experienced voice talent such as Debra read our stories allows us to pass along the true warmth, color, intonation and emotion in our storytelling.

PAUL HAGEN became aware of baseball when his third-grade teacher said she was rooting for the White Sox in the 1959 World Series. He immediately began pulling for the Dodgers.

That affinity grew two years later when he read his first book, The Pee Wee Reese Story. Through a series of lucky breaks, fortuitous coincidences and incredible serendipity that would have tested the credulity of any statistician with a rudimentary understanding of odds, he was somehow able to parlay those random events into opportunities to cover the Dodgers for the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram, the Rangers for the Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Phillies and national baseball for the Philadelphia Daily News and

He has subsequently pulled off his most impressive trick yet, convincing his family, friends and a handful of strangers that he won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing in 2013.

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