Purdue Student Gets Some ESPN Love During Korean Baseball Broadcast


Two of the things that Jeremy Frank loved while growing up in Buffalo Grove, Ill., were baseball and numbers. He's a self-admitted stats freak, and he's found his niche at a very young age.

Frank, who will be a sophomore at Purdue, has been tweeting out odd baseball statistics for years, and the 19-year-old has become well known on Twitter, where he has more than 57,000 followers. He's been able to build two books out of all his historic tweets thus far, and even published his first book BEFORE he graduated from Stevenson High School in suburban Chicago.

Broadcaster Jason Benetti — who does baseball and college basketball on ESPN but is also the voice of the Chicago White Sox — has become Twitter pals with Frank, and he invited him to talk about his books during a Korean baseball game Saturday morning that Benetti was broadcasting along with Jessica Mendoza. (Frank actually has MORE Twitter followers than Benetti.)

"That was awesome, to be on there,'' Frank said by phone Saturday morning. "Jason Benetti and I have, I guess, been Twitter friends for a few years now and when he was in West Lafayette for the Purdue-Virginia game, we got to meet and he talked to our Sports Analytics Club at school while you could still do those kind of things.

"So a few days ago he asked me if I wanted to come on they broadcast to talk about the books, and I was thrilled.''

Frank wrote the books with Jim Passon, who posts similar baseball tweets. Their books "Hidden Ball Tricks" are in two volumes thus far, the first on the dead ball era and the early days of baseball (1876-1919) and the second from 1919 to 1969.

"We decided to break them up into different eras because they would have gotten too long otherwise,'' Frank said. "I'm not really a great writer, so the books are more nuggets than narrative, but that's the way we like it and we had a good editor, so it's really easy to read. There's a lot of great information in  there.''

Purdue student Jeremy Frank appeared on ESPN Saturday morning.

Frank — a self-professed Cubs fans — and Passon self-published the books and both are available on Amazon. The first book is $11.99, and the second one is $14.99. The first book came out in May 2019, just before he graduated, and the second one came out in May this year. He's already sold more than 1,000 books.

"It's been nice additional income since I can't really go out and work somewhere because of COVID-19. I've been back home in Buffalo Grove since we had to leave Purdue last March and I need to make sure I don't ever get sick, or get my parents sick.''

Frank, a data sciences major at Purdue, is hoping to be able to get back on campus next month.

"I really do want to get back, and if (Purdue president) Mitch Daniels says we're good to go, then I'm going,'' Frank said. "I know the risk isn't that high with kids my age, but I worry about my professors and the older people on campus. But we're smart and we can do things the right way. I miss being there.''

Links to the books

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