The goal has always been the same - to live in a baseball town. The kind of town where there's information about the Rule V draftee in the paper. Or where people talk about the New Britain speedster at the local bar. Or where people debate if Torii should be batting fifth within the first five minutes of meeting someone. That's the definition of a baseball town, and that's where I want to live.
Since the beginning of TwinsGeek, there's been another group in town that shared that passion, but worked through a different medium. Many of you have read my glowing words about GameDay, the independent program that is sold outside Twins games. About a month ago, they asked me to join them as editor, writer and internet guy, and I agreed.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about joining forces with the GameDay guys. Gameday sells 30,000 programs per year and reaches casual Twins fans that this site and other blogs don't. The monthy issues will be packed like a Christmas stocking. For instance, this month's issue includes:
- 34 About 34, an article about Kirby by Will Young
- Twins Pitchers Have It Under Control by the Twins Killings.
- A review of the life and death of Lyman Bostock by Jim Thielman, author of Cool of the Evening
- Trivia from Baseball in Minnesota: The Definitive History by Stew Thornley
- The Stadium Game - a gameboard that illustrates the path the stadium bill must take - by Shane Nackerud
- No. 1 in Your Program, an analysis of why Castillo should be batting leadoff by Kyle Eliason
- A preview of the 2006 Draft by Roger Dehring (who posts at Seth Speaks and TwinkieTown).
- A fantastic cover photo of Kirby from the the Baseball Hall of Fame collection.
There was enough great stuff that I couldn't find room for my own stories in the issue, so you'll have to settle for my work in the Dugout Splinters (which will change with every home series).
TwinsGeek.com also reaches people that GameDay can't, so there are all kinds of plans for the web site, including somehow allowing people who can't make it to Twins games to download GameDay issues. We want this site to provide the baseball fans of Minnesota a reason to continue to explore that passion and share it with others. You can now reach this site either as TwinsGeek.com or MNGameDay.com, and I hope to be sharing lots of new features with you in the upcoming months. (BTW, if there's any functionality you would like to see on the site, please let me know in the comments below).
I know we're licking our wounds a bit after a disappointing start of the season. But as I wrote in the editorial below (which will also be in April's issue), this really is a great time to be a baseball fan in Minnesota. I hope you'll join me both here and at the ballgames to celebrate an emerging baseball town.
Maybe it’s the intoxicating southerly breeze of spring talking, but it sure seems like this a great time to be a baseball fan in Minnesota. The local nine just completed their fourth straight winning season. A hometown boy leads them. The farm system keeps churning out talent. (And yes, I’m frantically knocking on wood right now.) When this decade began, would you have dreamed that the Twins would be having this kind of success?
The revelry isn’t contained to the hometown team. It’s never been easier to connect with baseball fans in this football-dominated town. The internet is ripe with daily entries from Twins web bloggers from the statistical to the fanciful. Members of the local chapter for the Society for American Baseball Research are unearthing all kinds of great stuff about the history of baseball in Minnesota. The new outdoor ballpark is under construc – uh, hold it. Strike that for now. I guess we still have something to look forward to.
Oh, let’s not forget this neat little independent program that has been your constant companion as you attend games in our Teflon paradise. The one that won’t give you glossy pages with glossier stories. The philosophy of GameDay is the same in its fifth season as it was in its first:
1. Baseball is a beautiful game.
2. The more you learn and share about it, the more beautiful it is.
3. Baseball writing should reflect that.
Our content will also be the same it’s always been – objective, insightful and fun. But in the interest of sharing more, we’re no longer content visiting with you when you can come to games, or limiting our reach to the 30,000 fans that bought programs last year.
That’s why you can also stop by www.MNGameDay.com for your daily fix of all things baseball. Tomorrow’s entry might contain a roadmap to the web’s best Twins entries, or a preview of a Daily Splinter, or just a smarty-pants analysis of the latest Twins transaction. Every day will be a surprise, kinda like Ron Gardenhire’s lineup cards last year.
It’s been a tough off-season, starting with failed expectations and ending with a senseless death. The latter reminded us how much joy can be felt in watching someone do something they love. Well, there are a lot of people who love writing about baseball, and it’s your turn to feel their joy. You can start here, today, in this issue. And you can continue your journey tomorrow, whether or not you can make it to the ballpark