The title of this post takes me back to middle school when we had a “Recommended Reading” list for the summer. It was the first piece of paper I forgot about when I got home on the last day of school, because it was the last thing I wanted to do. I promise you, this is not like that dreaded list. The few recommendations below are articles I have come across over the last few weeks and for various reasons, I think are worth reading. This edition involves 3 articles from The Player’s Tribune, the website that Derek Jeter started when he retired. It has become a platform for athletes to tell their stories in their own voice.

Trickster by Steven Wright

The day after being selected to his first all-star game, Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright told his story. He writes about his career in the minors, hardships and discovering the knuckleball. Wright makes throwing a knuckleball look relaxed and easy on the mound, but his path has been anything but relaxed and easy. From living on $15K a year in low-rent housing to getting sent to play A ball at 26 years old, Wright fought through adversity to get where he is today. His story is inspiring.

Just about every knuckleballer turned to the pitch out of desperation. To hold on. To save our careers.

13 Concussions by Casey Cochran

Casey Cochran was a QB at UConn from 2012 to 2014. In the first game of the 2014 season against BYU he got hit in the head by a forearm of a 235lb linebacker and briefly lost consciousness. It was the 13th concussion he had endured in his football career at age 20. A week later, Cochran boldly decided to retire from football, the one thing he had always dreamed of doing. His story is terrifying and inspiring, a true glimpse into the life of someone who has experienced severe brain trauma and lived to deal with it. This is a true must read for any sports fan.

Welcome to the Family by David Ortiz

The final article is very different than the first two. It is simply two friends, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, sharing memories. The chat was around fathers day, so that topic weighed heavily on their discussion. Coming to America from the Dominican Republic, the two of them left family behind and had to make it on their own. It’s definitely a fun and light-hearted conversation between two friends.