How a baseball writer reinvented himself after his world fell apart – The Athletic

On February 25, 2021, Mike “Oz” Osegueda was out for dinner with his family in Fresno, Calif., to celebrate his son Jake’s 10th birthday, when he received a call from his father. Osegueda thought he wanted to talk to the birthday boy, who was busy with a huge milkshake, so he let the phone ring. They called back in the car.

Osegueda was in no hurry. It was one of the first nights that had felt normal in the three weeks since he was fired from Yahoo Sports, where he had been a national baseball writer for eight years. Normally, at the end of February, Osegueda was out of town for spring training. Now he was at home in Fresno, enjoying some unexpected family time with his wife, Tanya, and their sons, Jake and Cole, 6.

The phone rang again.

Osegueda responded this time. His father, Paul, didn’t call Jake. He explained that Osegueda’s younger sister, Courtney, was injured in a hit-and-run accident while leaving her job at a long-term care facility in Oakland. The family had few details at the time, but they knew Courtney – a 31-year-old mother with 8-year-old daughter Kayleigh – had been taken to hospital and they needed to get there. Hurrying the boys into the car, Osegueda told his father he would drop by soon to drive them for three hours to Oakland.

The boys asked if Aunt Courtney would be okay. Osegueda said he hoped so.

Arriving at his father’s house a little later, Osegueda saw his father already standing outside and immediately felt his stomach knot. The strongest man he knew was sobbing. Even before getting out of the car, Osegueda could hear her father shouting, over and over, “They took my baby. They took my baby.

Jake turns 11 later this month.

It’s been a year since Courtney died. Osegueda, the eldest of his father’s seven children, has relived that night many times, and especially recently as his birthday approaches.