Page 52 - Menlo Magazine: Summer/Fall 2018
P. 52

 Chris Haft ’77
Talks about Journalism and Covering the San Francisco Giants
Chris Haft ’77 is a familiar name to Bay Area sports fans.
He’s covered the San Francisco Giants for since 2007 and wrote about the Giants, the Oakland A’s, and more for the San Jose Mercury News for the three years prior to
that. Last year, Chris’s latest book, If These Walls Could Talk: San Francisco Giants: Stories from the San Francisco Giants Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box, was published. It’s a history of the Giants’ run of success since 2010 and follows his book This Is Our Time!: The 2010 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants, which specifically chronicled the team’s 2010 championship season. We recently caught up with Chris, who was kind enough to tell us more about his career in sports journalism and his time at Menlo.
but the competition for jobs was so fierce that I had to go to Twin Falls to begin my professional career. From there I went to Cincinnati, then Houston, and then back to Cincinnati again before returning to the Bay Area in 2004.
Since you grew up in the Bay Area and have covered sports here for a long time, what are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the region’s sports scene in recent decades?
I’m kind of amazed, in a negative way, with the lack of enthusiasm for college football. The overwhelming success
 How did you get into sports journalism and make it your career?
I’ve always loved sports, I’ve always loved to write, and most of my jobs have been a perfect marriage of the two. Except for serving as a general assignment news reporter one summer at the dearly departed Peninsula Times Tribune and briefly working on the news desk at my first job in Twin Falls, Idaho, I’ve always
been a sports writer. I also have considerable experience on the sports desk—writing headlines, editing copy, and laying out pages— but I try to forget I ever did that stuff because I loathed those duties.
GO FOR IT! Whatever makes you curious or fires you up, check it out! But give it an honest effort... And believe in your ability.”
of the 49ers probably did a lot to stimulate fan enthusiasm for pro football while dampening the ardor for the college game. Too bad; college football has a wonderful atmosphere surrounding it. Also, high school athletes today are FAR better than when I attended Menlo (maybe I should say they are far better than I was).
You’ve written two books about the San Francisco Giants and their recent run of success. What have you learned from that process?
One, you can’t pay close enough attention. Two, you can’t take enough notes. Three, to borrow
a statement attributed to Woody Allen, “90 percent of life is being there.”
How did I get into it as a career? I guess you’d say the old- fashioned way: coming up through the ranks. I started out as a “stringer,” which is newspaper language for a part-part-part- timer, covering high school sports. I continued as a stringer while attending Stanford, where I, of course, worked for the Stanford Daily. I thought I was hot stuff coming out of college,
How did your experience at Menlo affect how you approach your work?
The late Lou Yango really honed my note-taking skills and ability to concentrate. Menlo considers itself a college prep, right? Well, he truly prepared us for classes. Of course, my

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