— Pete Thamel(@PeteThamelNYT) June 2, 2012
On Friday he covered the Mets’ first no-hitter in their 51-season history.
Here’s how that happened:
The 22-year-old journalist asked — or “bugged” — Jay Schreiber, a sports editor, for an assignment early in the week. “I said, ‘What do you need? What do you have for me?’ He said, ‘I happen to have the Mets open on Friday.’ I said ‘I’m on it.’”
During Friday’s game, he says, “I was was just focused on how I wanted to write the story. I didn’t think of the magnitude [of the game]. …I was just happy I wrote a story I was proud of.”
Rohan says that when he was at the Michigan Daily, former Detroit Free Press sports columnist Michael Rosenberg would occasionally stop by the newsroom and give advice.
“He always told us, when writing on deadline, to make sure you had enough words on the page. Because then you could rewrite or rearrange and craft the story how you wanted, but first you needed enough words on the page. …That’s what I was doing” while writing about Johan Santana’s no-hitter.
Rohan worked at the Daily for four years, covering University of Michigan women’s basketball his freshman year, the hockey team his sophomore year, then the football team his last two years. He interned at the Philadelphia Inquirer last summer. In December, he got word that he’d been hired as a New York Times summer intern. He almost immediately went to work, though. “The first thing I wrote was about David Wilson at the Sugar Bowl.”
“I wrote a dozen or so stories from January to when I started last week.” (He also volunteered to cover the Mets game the Friday before the no-hitter.)
In one of his last SportsMonday columns in the Daily, Rohan wrote that he was 18 when his father died and that “his Parkinson’s disease drove me to find something worth loving to do for the rest of my life. I found The Michigan Daily.” He continued in his open letter to his mother:
Mom, I’m sorry I’m not the engineer you wanted me to be, but the Daily never felt like work.
I know you’re holding out hope, hinting not-so-subtly how grad school is an option “down the road, Timmy.”
But writing sports, I get the same warm, fuzzy sensation Taylor Lewan described after winning the Sugar Bowl: “It’s the feeling you get when you see a box of kittens.”
My box-of-kittens passion is to tell stories, to meet people worth telling others about, to stop, to look around, and to make sure I don’t miss a single moment.
He added: “Mom, thanks for funding my roadtrips and my unpaid internships — thanks, really, for funding this passion that you still aren’t a fan of. Thanks for believing in me.”