La Habra native and long time ESPN the magazine reporter and writer has her first book despite not starting out that way.
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Sometimes teachers can have an influence on a person long after they leave the classroom. Such is the case for sports reporter and new author, Molly Knight.
While attending Sonora High School, Knight had visions of becoming a doctor. She natually excelled in her IB science courses. However, seeds were planted in of all places, her English classes, that would have a great influence in her life.
“I always had teachers at Sonora who would push me toward writing and complemented my writing,” Knight explained. “But I resisted because I’d think, ‘I’m a math or science person’ . I was always surprised to get As in my English classes. I just didn’t think of myself as a writer.”
After she graduated from Sonora in 1999, Knight went to Stanford where she studied biology, with her goal still pointed toward medical school, but the seeds that were planted by Marjie Blevins and Marilyn Middleton, her high school English teachers grew.
“They were instrumental in where I am today,” Knight explained. “I had a lot of teenage angst and they made me feel like I could get into a good college and do something great. They really are amazing.”
By her senior year at Stanford, Knight explained that she couldn’t take another organic chemistry class and decided that she liked writing and she wanted to become a writer.
Some of her friends were moving to New York and Knight felt at the time that she needed to start over.
So she packed up and moved to New York to start her life as a writer.
She had no experience or training at all, but that didn’t stop her. She worked as a bartender and wrote at coffee shops.
She started reviewing CDs for an indie rock magazine. Then interned at a business magazine. She applied for an internship at FHM magazine and they hired her. After a year, one of her editors moved to ESPN magazine and she followed.
She freelanced for ESPN and covered a variety of topics and features.
In 2011, they sent Knight to Los Angeles to cover the divorce and legal preceding of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
“It was crazy because the story kept going,” Knight explained. “It was one of the first things that was really mine at ESPN.”
She found herself writing for ESPN online, doing some television work and writing for the magazine.
She enjoyed the work, and got to know some of the players and decided to move back to California.
It was at that time that players and Dodger personnel suggested to Knight that she write a book about the team.
“I blew it off at first, but then I thought, maybe I should,” she explained.
“The Best Team Money Can Buy” chronicles the story of the Dodgers as they transitioned from the profit driven McCourt debacle and drama of his ownership to the new ownership that has a commitment to winning.
“I’m pretty straightforward,” Knight admitted. “It’s mainly about the players, their lives and the personalities.”
Knight added that she is fascinated with extraordinary people and that is what fueled her interest in writing about the Dodgers.
She stopped working for ESPN and spent a year working solely on the book, delving deep into the team and all the surroundings.
She is excited and looking forward to the book’s release in time for the MLB All Star Game on July 14.
She is open to her future, and is just kind of taking it day by day to see where things go.
“People ask me if I’ll write another book,” she explained. “I don’t know. It has to be an extraordinary story.”
For now, Knight will continue to enjoy Southern California and what life is like as a published author.
Molly Knight book signing July 31
16336 E. Whittier Blvd.
11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.