Oh, how things can change in a year…
Late on the night of Monday, December 1, 2008, I finished writing something that would drastically change the way I spent the next year (and more!). The copy of the 1981 Sporting News Baseball Yearbook that I had recently bought off of eBay arrived that day and, after browsing through it, I was inspired to write “Baseball in the Year 2000: Predictions from 1981“. Allow me to quote myself:
This evening, the 1981 Sporting News Baseball Yearbook that I found on eBay was delivered to my house. I was excited to look through it, to see what they had to say about baseball at that time… could they foresee Fernando-mania? Was the Dodgers-Yankees Series predicted? Did people realize just how phenomenal Rickey’s rookie year was, and what it would lead to? Was Mike Schmidt’s status as the greatest third-basemen ever recognized this early (Schmidt and George Brett do share a cover on the magazine)?
Looking through the magazine, I came across an article with a great premise: predicting what will happen to baseball in the year 2000, still 20 years away from the time this was written. Introducing the article, author Joseph Surso wrote, with tongue at least a little in cheek:
“One thing you can bet on: the green that will continue to transform the game the most is mint-green, not grass-green. And, considering the stampede for green at all levels of the game in 1981, you almost can envision three leagues, at least six divisions and maybe nine, tiers of playoffs, a World Series with Japan and Latin America, 7-foot pitchers, $3,000,000-a-year stars, 10 or so men to a side, metal bats, rabbit balls, monster promotional give-aways every night, network control of schedules and maybe even of players’ contracts, and $25 tickets if all the above don’t work.”
I was pretty pleased with how the post turned out, and, since I had never actually written anything that I expected people to read, I decided to share it with a few people I knew (how else would they find it in the sea of Blogspot). One of those people I shared it with was the illustrious Craig Calcaterra of Shysterball, who was kind enough to ignore my breach of netiquette and write something nice about it over at his blog. And from there it took off.
Soon I was seeing links to the post from Baseball Think Factory, River Ave. Blues, Bugs and Cranks, Scott Simkus, and a bunch of other smaller blogs. And then Rob Neyer linked to the post from his digs at ESPN, and I was hooked. I had spent an hour or so writing about a fun little article that I came across that evening and, all of sudden, thousands of people were reading my work. It was a pretty exciting 24 hours, and I haven’t stopped since.
(Click “Read More” to continue reading)
The one-year blogiversary comes at an odd time for me – with Thanksgiving last week and with me being stuck at a conference here in Nashville all week, it feels like I haven’t updated in forever. I wish I could do more about that, but it’s been hard to find the time. Hopefully that’ll change in the next couple of days, but I’m not sure. I’ll do my best.
In the meantime, though, as a celebration of all the fun that I’ve had blogging over the past year and of all the friendships that I’ve made, I’d like to say thanks to some of the people that have helped or encouraged me along the way.
- First, to Craig (formerly of Shysterball and now full-time at Circling the Bases) – you were the first person ever to link to me so, in a way, you’re responsible for all of this. So thanks (or, sorry, depending on your view). Now if we can all follow in your foot-steps to the world of full-time blogging…
- Rob Neyer – he’s still the biggest baseball blog celebrity there is, and that link on my very first piece ever, and the continuing links and praise since, have really kept me going. After all, if someone like Rob can like what I’m writing (not to mention his readers), then I must be doing something right, right? Thanks, Rob.
- Repoz from BBTF – I think Darren was the first person to link to my writing after the whole “Baseball in the Year 2000” thing blew over. It made me realize that some people actually liked me enough to keep checking back. That was almost as important of a moment as the links from Craig or Rob.
- Jason Rosenberg from It’s About the Money, Stupid – for introducing me to the guys at Bloguin and for helping give me a new venue to write. I probably would’ve gone merrily along on Blogspot if not for Jason, and now I can’t imagine writing anything over there again. Joining Bloguin was a great decision, and I have Jason to thank for that (oh, and I suppose Derek, Ben, and the others should get a shout-out here too… thanks guys!)
- Patrick Sullivan from Baseball Analysts – It was a surprise to get an invite to write a guest post over at BA, but I had a blast writing all about walk-off hits. Thanks for trusting me to contribute to such a high quality site.
- Tommy Bennett and the guys at Beyond the Boxscore – BtB is easily one of my favorite stats blogs out there, and the support I get from Tommy and the guys is great. I don’t really believe that I have the statistical chops of guys like them, so I’m always happy to hear that they found something that I wrote interesting.
- The guys at Brew Crew Ball and Miller Park Drunk – I’m not technically a Brewers blog, but my love for the local nine certainly shows up in my day-to-day writing. It’s nice to be noticed by the legitimate Brewers blogosphere on occasion.
- And to all you others who, for some reason, like my work enough to keep linking to it: Rob Iracane from Walkoff Walk (the guest post on Prince Fielder was fun!); Carl Bialik and the WSJ‘s Daily Fix (thanks for the endorsement from the mainstream media!); Dave Pinto from Baseball Musings; Tom Tango from The Book Blog…
… and everyone else. I never expected to be writing this blog on a semi-regular basis (if I had, I probably would’ve picked a different name!), but it’s been a tremendous amount of fun, and I see absolutely no reason to stop now. And it’s all because of all you guys – everyone reading right now, or whose read in the past, and everyone who likes my work enough to share it with others. If I didn’t know so many people read and enjoyed the blog, I probably would’ve stopped last Christmas, and I would’ve missed out on a great year. Here’s to another great one (or five), and thanks again everyone.
Now, if only I could get out of Nashville and back to a regular schedule…