12/26/21 : Change or the Same
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
“The more things change they stay the same” 🤔. I’ve been writing about Phillies baseball in blog obscurity since the 2008 season when I began on July 10th of that year as the Phillies site writer for the now defunct website “Home Plate”. There was a separate site for each of the 30 teams, I had the Phillies page, we did a nightly recap of each game along with other team thoughts. The articles became embedded in my first baseball book “2008 Phillies - A Poetic Season” which was/is an unique historical depiction of the championship year - each game and every transaction written in rhyme from start to finish 😳. Those rhymes were in addition to the normal game narratives I was doing on the home plate site. I found writing to be relaxing - a segway from my day job as part of the leadership team of an international system and process rollout. No matter what country I was in that summer I always found a way and time to write about each game.
As the corporate workload got more intense with a takeover, the reinvention of our platform, adapting to new structures and personnel ( including leadership ) and then an intensified multiple concurrent country rollout the baseball blog writing went by the wayside till 2015 when I was able to retire early from the corporate whirlwind. I started a Facebook page entitled “The Phillies - A Fan’s View”. It began as a daily thoughts page on my beloved team and morphed into a focus on the minor league system. My wife Barb and I eventually moved to the Clearwater area year round after a couple of years of “Snow birding”.
The Facebook page has changed names and structure over the past seven years - a reader suggested shortening the name to “Phillies - A Fan’s View” so that more folks would find it in searches. Others have done knock offs of the name for their own sites - flattering I suppose. My youngest son Nolan created a distinctive website for me a little over a year ago ( philliesbaseballfan.com ) which is where I have since posted the majority of what I write. We are still relatively obscure - not a bad thing from my perspective 🤓 - the statistics reflect that over 70,000 views have occurred this past year from just under 21,000 “unique visitors”. Facebook still leads the way as a traffic source as we’ve never dislodged the link. The website has been visited by folks from 57 countries which is incredible to me. Phillies fans and family all over the world !
In the seven years we’ve been “full time bloggers” the team has seen quite a bit of personnel changes - both on and off the field. Four managers, three GM’s, three Player Development Directors and a newly created role “President of Baseball Operations” during the time. There is only one player ( Aaron Nola ) that played for the Phillies during 2015 that remains on the current roster.
We’ve made plenty of new friends and acquaintances as well the past seven years - good changes to our lives. Getting to know folks a bit are the most valuable jewels of life. It’s the reason we began our annual minor league digest books - to insure each season’s memories are chronicled in one document for the players and their families. I remember after the first one was published a conversation I had with Andy MacPhail where he said he’d be curious to see where it was in ten years or so - well we are six years in on the books - I still give most of them away as gifts - some things never change 🤓 - although for financial reasons I have scaled that back this year 🥴.
One constant that also likely never changes - our love for baseball and our hometown team. It’s certainly a trying relationship - the ups and downs of each game, season and the anticipation of the new year. Covid restrictions and the recent lockout have become obstacles out of the norm which are even more trying but at least for this fan I don’t foresee my passion being altered - deterred but not wavered.
So as we approach the coming of a new year - my wife and I’s eighth as “retirees” the changes that we’ve collectively encountered along with our fellow Phillies fans have certainly been aplenty. Yet our love and desire to go to the ball yard each and every day to see the fellas play remains a constant as has the anticipation of seeing and being part of the ultimate success like we found in 2008 - that poetic season. ( see what I did there 😂 ).
When I retired from Pfizer my team gave me a Louisville slugger baseball bat with the inscription “ It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up”. - even though I have my moments of professing to give up as a writer it’s the desire to promote others and tell some of their stories that keeps tugging me along as a blogger.
Ultimately I guess it’s somewhat true - “The more things change they stay the same.”
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️ and to all an upcoming Happy New Year !