The first time I wrote for a website was in early 2009. I wrote several pieces for ArtisticThings.com, about varied topics such as the death of Michael Jackson and a funky hotel in Paris. I used the pen name Sirrah because it’s from Shakespeare and it’s also Harris spelled backwards.
I began writing pieces with a baseball theme in early 2011. I didn’t have a blog of my own just yet, so I sent them into Baseballisms, and they graciously agreed to publish them. After two submissions to them, I decided to start my own blog, instead.
After I started my own blog in the Summer of 2011, I also contributed pieces to other blogs. Here is an annual Cubs season preview that I contribute to at C70AtTheBat, a St. Louis Cardinals website: 2013 Season 2014 Season 2015 Season 2016 season 2017 Season
Also in the Summer of 2011, I oversaw production of all materials–both online and print–for the National Civil War Student Challenge, sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the History Channel. For a history geek like me, it was nothing less than a dream come true.
The first piece that I had published on ChicagoSideSports in 2012 was also picked up by TimeOut Chicago.
In the summer of 2012, I discussed some baseball issues on the Lady at The Bat podcast. Even though I talk all the time, it’s rarely recorded for posterity.
Throughout the course of 2013, I wrote several pieces relating to baseball cards for SportsCardFun.com. I collected baseball cards as a kid, but soured on the experience when it became a for-profit endeavor for many people. They’re just little pieces of cardboard, and I always viewed them as such.
Early in 2013, I wrote a piece for HallOfVeryGood arguing that Sammy Sosa should not be in the baseball Hall of Fame. So far I’ve been proven correct on this one.
In February of 2013, a piece I wrote about Pete Rose and Topps baseball cards for ChicagoSideSports went viral. For the rest of my days, I’ll be able to tell people to google “Pete Rose erased” and see what comes up. All because of one thing I pointed out on the back of some baseball cards.
In the summer of 2014, I contributed another piece to Zisk Magazine about the passing of a former student of mine. It does not appear online, but here is a video of myself reading the piece aloud.
In late 2014, I sent a letter to the editor of Northwestern University’s Alumni magazine, thirty years after a letter to the editor of a wrestling magazine was the first thing that was ever published with my name on it (and that one doesn’t exist online).
In January of 2015, I was in the right place at the right time after Ernie Banks passed away, and I gave a quote to a Chicago Sun-Times reporter for a story about the fans’ reaction. I’ll be forever happy that googling “Ernie Banks Rob Harris” turns up a meaningful result.
In early 2016, I contributed several pieces to HistoryBuff.com, on such matters as Abraham Lincoln, the Titanic, and Glenn Burke and the first high five.
I became a published poet for the first time in 2016, which I am very proud of.
I became a contributor to LawBlogWriters in 2016, providing legal pieces and analysis on various subjects of interest.
I also wrote several pieces for the Current Events blog at A Pass Education, where I also did freelance editorial work.
I also did a lot of writing in the pre-digital world. Back in the fall of 1983, I joined the staff of my high school paper, the Griffin Chimes. In my senior year I served as Managing Editor, which I was proud to do.
I wrote dozens of articles over those three years, and I can’t link to any of them online but I have preserved one of them here. This was published in October of 1985, which explains the Marty McFly reference in the final paragraph.
While in college, I served as the Editor for the A&O Film Guide at Northwestern University, from Summer 1989 to Winter 1990. The guide was circulated throughout campus, and hung in many different places. I described the films in short blurbs, and tried to write like I was Roger Ebert. None of them are online, but here’s an overview of the guide itself:
In the summer of 1988, I wrote an article for the Summer Northwestern. The daily paper at Northwestern was (and probably still is) dominated by journalism majors during the school year, but it was summer and they let me give it a try. This was published on July 14:
In the Spring of 1992, I co-authored a front page story on the ramifications of intimacy between professors and their students for The College News. I’d say that the headline was geared to sell papers, but it was a freebie. Whatever it takes to get people’s interest, I suppose.
In 1994, I wrote a rather long scholarly paper titled “The Rail Candidate for President” while a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was printed out with a dot matrix printer, which had microperfs on all four sides of the page. I put the paper into a box after I received it back from my professor, and it sat there for 21 years until I rediscovered it in the summer of 2015. I read through it and decided it was worth a shot at submitting it to an actual scholarly journal. They rejected it on the basis that the scholarship wasn’t current enough. Apparently historical scholarship is not supposed to be a historical relic in its own right. Fair enough. But to preserve the work that I did writing it in 1994, and then retyping it in 2015, it is presented here, in this historical journal of my own making.