Goodbye Baseball Writing (for now)

Most of you are aware that a few weeks ago I decided to step away from baseball writing and the On Baseball Writing podcast. I thought I’d take a second to just briefly update everyone on what led to the decision, and what I’m taking away from the past three years.

Getting the opportunity to write about baseball in the way that I did was a dream come true. When I wrote my first post, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to write at a place like Baseball Prospectus. From the beginning, I told myself that I was starting too late, and I didn’t know the game well enough for that ever to be a reality. Surprisingly, that dream came true, and over the past three seasons I got the chance to write at a number of great sites (Red Reporter, Sporing News, Beyond the Box Score, Call to the Pen, Banished, to the Pen, and Kentucky Sports Radio).

I thought this was something that I would simply do for fun, but would never reach a level where I had much of a platform. To my amazement, a number of editors and sites took a chance on me. This season was so fun and fulfilling, and that made the decision to step away even harder.

I reached a point where the workload simply became too much. I had at least three (sometimes four) weekly columns I was writing. That doesn’t even figure in recording several podcasts per week. For someone with four kids and a 9-5 job, the workload was heavy, but I loved it. Maybe I should have paced myself, but I’m an “all in” kind of person. It’s hard for me to do anything with just one foot in the door.

Occasionally, people would ask me, “How do you have time to do all this? When do you sleep?” I would usually joke with them about finding the time, but eventually the grind did catch up to me. I have a wife that I love, four wonderful kids, and a demanding job that’s fulfilling (pastor). It became apparent that for me to provide those people closest to me with what they needed, baseball writing needed to move to the sidelines.

I’m not saying goodbye forever, but for now this is a season of I need to devote to those closest to me. However, I did want to take the chance to simply say thank you to all of you. Thank you to the editors who took a chance on a writer that didn’t have much of a resume. Thank you to the authors who were willing to appear on the On Baseball Writing podcast. You might not have been able to tell at the time, but it meant the world to me that you’d give me a few minutes to chat. I’ve looked up to so many of you for so long, and the fact that you would spend a few minutes with me was a thrill.

So what’s next? There are still three episodes of On Baseball Writing to be released. Following the airing of those episodes, the show will wrap up. I hope the advice of these world class writers was as helpful to some of you as it was to me. Thank you for listening, for the constant encouragement, and for pushing me to have a voice in the baseball writing conversation.

As I mentioned above, I owe a debt of gratitude to so many people. At the risk of leaving someone out, I do want to thank a few of you by name. Thanks to Ken Maeda, Nick Strangis, Andrew Patrick, Darius Austin, Brandon Lee Alex Crisafulli, Matthew Trueblood and the Banished to the Pen crew. You gave me my first outlet to write, and in doing so you made someone’s dreams come true.

Thanks to everyone at Red Reporter. You were such a fun group to cover the game with.

Thanks to Rob Mains, George Bissell, Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella, Patrick Dubuque and the rest of the Baseaball Prospectus staff. You made me feel so welcome, and my time at BP was a treat. Writing for Baseball Prospectus is something I will always treasure, and I’m hopeful I’ll get the chance to do it again sometime in the future.

Thanks to Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller for rekindling my love for baseball by creating an incredible podcast and internet baseball community.

Apologies to all of you who have helped me in innumerable ways but I didn’t mention. The list is simply too long to mention everyone.

I’ve learned so much over the past three years. First, I have a new appreciation for those of you who are able to do this day in and day out as a labor of love. I now know something of the work that you put in, and it truly is inspiring. Second, I’ve found his great community of friends that I hope to still be a part of. Third, I’ve remembered much of what I loved about baseball as a kid. Thank you for creating a space where people can connect over this wonderful, beautiful, silly game.

I look forward to reading all of you the rest of the season and for many years to come. I’m not retiring forever, but I’m definitely saying goodbye for now. These past three years were a joy, and I will remember them fondly for the rest of my life.

I fell in love with this game as a young kid because of my dad. Now, I have four young children of my own, and I’m going to spend my time helping them discover their passions. If they find something that brings them as much joy as baseball did me, then I’ll consider it a small win.

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