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Meet Maija Varda from Twinkie Town

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Maija has her mother to thank for her Twins fandom.

Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

We have dozens of women covering pro and college sports for our team brands here at SB Nation. Meet one of those talented writers, Maija Varda, who writes for our Minnesota Twins blog, Twinkie Town.

Why are you so passionate about baseball and the Twins?

I fell in love with baseball because of my mom. She grew up in northern Minnesota and has been a Twins fan since the day the team moved here in 1961. I was born and raised in Minneapolis, and my mom instilled the same fandom in me. We’ve gone to hundreds of Twins games together. It didn’t hurt that the Twins won two World Series in my formative years, either. The Twins and the Lynx are the only teams that have ever done anything for us Minnesotans.

What has been your favorite experience covering the Twins for Twinkie Town?

Definitely by far when someone reaches out to me to tell me they really liked something I wrote. Every once in awhile someone even goes out of their way to send me an entire e-mail thanking me for my work and keeping the site fun. It always touches me.

What are some of the unique challenges you’ve faced?

People don’t take me seriously. My website, Twinkie Town, has a very humorous vibe, which it has had since before I took over. I feel like that combined with me being one of the only women bloggers currently in the Minnesota baseball blogosphere makes people think I don’t consciously plan or know what I am talking about. I very much do, and our brand is very intentional. I luckily don’t get too much explicit misogyny to my face, but I can say I get invited to speak on podcasts and radio shows frequently, but they are never any of the local ones.

How did you start writing for Twinkie Town?

I started off as a commenter at Twinkie Town. Back in the day, the way to promote your own personal blog was to read and comment on other people’s blogs and become part of the community. That’s what I did, but SB Nation’s extremely good commenting system sucked me in. I eventually started writing more and more for the site, and then woke up one day and was running it. Super-weird how that happens.

What women in the industry do you look up to?

My own writer on my staff, Tawny Jarvi, just blows me away all the time. I wish I was a fraction as funny and creative as she is. I absolutely love her, and she is amazing. Liz Roscher, who mostly covers the Phillies but also baseball and other sports, is also a hero of mine. Ashley MacLennan — who I actually got to meet in person at a Rays game at Target Field — is such an inspiration. Emma Span who writes (edits?) for The Athletic now, and, of course, Jessica Mendoza. There are so many great women in MLB media coverage!