2005 Special Award of Recognition
Jon Baker’s knowledge of swimming began 30 years ago, as an age group and high school swimmer for the Seekonk Dolphin swim team. After graduating from Seekonk high school Jon went to the University of Missouri, graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor of Journalism Degree. His first step in reporting was with the San Jose Mercury News in California, where his duties included coverage of Major College, Community College, High School and local area sports. During his career, he has interviewed and written about outstanding Olympic swimmers and coaches.
Jon’s positive disposition, his reflecting way of connecting and the character traits is what makes his writing special. His phone calls and interviews never go unanswered. In addition, his stories about competitive swimming are not just ordinary they are extraordinary, with words. For the Blackstone Valley area (which includes Cumberland, Lincoln, Central Falls, East Providence, Seekonk, and Attleboro) swim teams, he has given something greater than a Championship trophy or a gold medal. Jon Baker has given these teams’ equal standing and respect amongst the multitude of “popular’ athletics that grace the pages of our community newspaper.
What may seem like mere articles to many, have inspired and legitimized the hard work of so many swimmers. Each article he writes will make sure to mention the smallest of achievements. Noting that despite the individual and sometimes dominating success of one, swimming feats and accomplishments are achieved as a team.
Jon Baker has given his heart and soul to the swimming community. He is a walking encyclopedia of times and records. His love for the sport is written into every article and is seen in every interview he conducts. Jon loves swimming, swimmers and coaches. He has spread his joy to thousands of readers for numerous years. To quote Bill Thompson, (Head Coach / Silicon Valley Aquatics Association), “how can you tell Jon Baker from the other reporters at a press conference? They all have red eyes, but Jon is the one with the green-tint hair, clean nails and the smell of chlorine breath for cologne”.
Jon on behalf of the Swimming Community, Thank you!