See my story just posted at MLB.com introducing MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance.
You can start voting right now at MLB.com/awards. Take a good look at the 120 nominees — four per club. Each team will have a winner. You probably will recognize many of them, and I know many bloggers here will be familiar with Baker Boys & Baseball, one of the Angels nominees.
MLB and the 30 clubs worked tirelessly to identify the sport’s top supporters, and four nominees per club have been presented for your vote.
Winners whose clubs reach the League Championship Series or Fall Classic will receive tickets to root for their home team on a late-October night. For fans whose teams are not among the last four standing in the postseason, free tickets await for an April 2017 game of their choice.
It’s a great subject to blog about, and I hope you will feel free to leave comments right here with a link back to your blog post. Now help choose those 30 winners, because it’s all about you.
It’s been another great year of baseball blogging here. Please be sure to blog your own 2015 year-end post and leave the URL here so we can show them all off. Then prepare for the 2015 MLB.com/blogs Top 100 Latest Leaders badges that we will be handing out soon. Is yours going to be on the list?
Happy Holidays from us at Major League Baseball Advanced Media.
I grew up a Twins fan because my uncle, Johnny Goryl, played and coached for the Twins in the 1960s and managed them in 1980-81. While working 2014 All-Star Week for MLB.com, I was able to go back to my roots and live out a dream in Minnesota. My cousin Tammy, one of Uncle Johnny’s three kids (also Susan and J.D.), told me during the week to look for an exhibit of all the Minnesota Twins managers at Target Field. So in the sixth inning of the All-Star Game, my last chance to find it after filing an in-game story, I asked Mitch Hestad, the Twins’ Manager of Baseball Communications, if he knew where this exhibit was. Per his direction, I went out the press box and up one level to the Private Suites Corridor, where I saw the most beautiful art gallery of my life. Hank Aaron was walking past a large painting of my Uncle Johnny, signing autographs, just as I found it. It was an entire hallway, the best part of Target Field, the ultimate tribute to skippers, and I will present them here to send a link to Uncle Johnny. Thank you, Twins.
I chose to leave the skewed imagery because they reflect how a sportswriter working in the sixth inning had to quickly photograph each painting with his iPhone before quickly returning to Derek Jeter’s last All-Star Game. I left a matting effect that shows their actual wall positioning as viewed during a walk through the corridor, and that’s me with Uncle Johnny in the last one. Their plaques list name and years managed in Minnesota, and apologies that those are not legible, so I added captions. In spite of the “FIRE” light over Cookie and the rapid turnover in those early years, note that the Twins have had just two managers since 1986. There have been these 12 managers since the Washington Senators moved from Minnesota to become the Twins in 1961.
We are here with our 553rd career post (two shy of Manny) to welcome Winter and Christmas and what is regarded in popular culture as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Opening Day probably can stake a legitimate claim for that title, but hey, we are caught up in the holiday spirit right now and we just wanted to wish the best of times with family and friends to you here in the Major League Baseball blogging community.
Want to see the flakes fall on your blog? Just go to “Settings” in your WordPress.com dashboard, and at the bottom select “Snow.” It will drop the white stuff on your blog until Jan. 4, and the best part is, you won’t have to do any shoveling like I already have done twice so far in the New York City suburbs, breaking one shovel in the process. No one ever says, “How can you not be romantic about shoveling snow?” Plus, my English Bulldog King Bingley gets a kick out of trying to chew the shovel blade each time I plunge it at the sidewalk, so it goes twice as slow. He thinks I’m playing.
I hope you found nice gifts for everyone. I have been dishing out MLB.com Shop tips since before Black Friday as the annual MLB.com Gift Guru, and once 9 p.m. ET arrives on Monday (deadline for overnight shipping), the best advice I can give you is an MLB.com Online Gift Certificate, 2014 MLB.TV Premium or our ridiculously popular At Bat app.
Safe traveling if you are among the 70-million-plus Americans expected to hit the road. We don’t have groundskeepers like Murray Cook to follow you around so watch out for yourself. I had to race to beat the Thanksgiving-week weather system that pushed north from the Gulf of Mexico, so I found myself driving the full state of Pennsylvania starting at 8 p.m. that Monday and diving into a motel at 5 in the morning. We made it into Ohio before most of that ice moved in. It was nice to drive through Cincinnati and see Great American Ball Park in offseason slumber along the highway. Our bulldog hated the trip and spent back-to-back nights at an all-night pet hospital due to upper-respiratory infection. We tend to be way too much like Chevy Chase “Vacation” movies in real life so the next couple of weeks it is time for chill mode at home in New York and somehow stick to a 12-week training program for the ASICS LA Marathon on March 9. What about you?
We’d love to see any holiday-themed posts you have, so please feel free to leave a comment here with the full URL so everyone can find their way to your blog. Once they get there, you should have the “Follow This Blog” widget prominently displayed high on your side panel, so we can all subscribe and then be notified whenever you post. That’s my top tip to everyone.
As a general housekeeping note, please be on the lookout for our annual MLB.com Blogs Top 100 rankings roughly around Jan. 6, give or take a couple of days. As usual, it will be accompanied with a handy-dandy badge like the one you see in the side panel of this blog, so anyone who makes the list can proudly show off their accomplishment. We will rank in a variety of categories as always. I will pull our Omniture page-view data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, and once we’re back to work we’ll start compiling the lists. Be sure you enter your email to follow this blog on the right so you will see that post immediately!
Enjoy these posts below while you warm by the yuletide log…and Happy Holidays again! – Mark
On a hot day in August, I am waiting for October. And as I just wrote on MLB.com, I am waiting for a lot more than that as a Baseball fan. I am waiting for a Cubs parade, my loaded Hall of Fame ballot this December, another Dodger Dog and more. I hope you will read my own list, share that story and then blog about what YOU are waiting for as a fan. A title for your team? Of course. An autograph from your favorite player or legend? Sure. But you are waiting for more than that. It’s what makes you a fan, what makes you blog, what you love about the game.
Please include your Permalink in comments here so we can find your own list!
Embedding MLB.com videos onto your MLB.com Blog is back to normal, and thanks for your patience.
Want to blog about Homer Bailey’s latest no-hitter? Watch the video on MLB.com and click “Embed” there and copy the embed code. Using the Text tab of your dashboard’s New Post field, paste the code as I’m doing here:
Tip: To make the video fill the entire blog column width, as you see here, change the width in the code from 400 to 550, and change the height from 224 to 318.
And while we’re on the subject, see my story on MLB.com to find out how to get a free Domino’s pizza thanks to Homer.
One of the coolest things about being a baseball fan is knowing your All-Star Game is light years better than any other sport’s…and that it matters. The National League has capitalized on three straight All-Star victories.
I spent Tuesday at Citi Field, partly for the big Clayton Kershaw-Jon Niese matchup and also to do some advance work on the All-Star Week stuff that is coming there for this summer. Here is my ballot launch story on MLB.com and here is the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by freecreditscore.com.
Just wanted to share some Instagrams I posted in the meantime, and making sure you are all set to blog like crazy now that the All-Star ballot is out. Make sure you leave comments here with your full URL and tell us to come and see how you use up those earliest votes, and we’ll promote some of them.
I wrote a letter to Punxsutawney Phil as an ode to the more than 1,000 groundskeepers who are preparing Spring Training and Major League Ballparks for us — and that’s not even counting all the Minor League parks! Do you know what their typical day is like? Did you know that groundskeeper was the first profession ever according to the Bible? Do you know how many members are on a typical grounds crew for Spring Training and the 30 Major League parks? Phil has been notified, that’s for sure. Bill Murray is even on our side, not his. Hope you enjoy #GroundsCrewDay now that we have taken over each February 2, and please spread the word by commenting on the story and reblogging this post! Also stop by and say hi to MLB head groundskeeping guru Murray Cook, who is about to celebrate the eighth birthday of one of our original 4 MLB.com Blogs created in April 2005. I owe Murray a huge thanks for all the info that went into our Grounds Crew Day story. – Mark
Just looking out the window and waiting for Spring Training. You?
Everyone is buzzing about the Brothers Upton in Atlanta, an acquisition reported by Mark Bowman. What did you think of the Atlanta-Arizona trade? The Cutoff Man, MiLB.com PROSPECTive, Dugout Ponderings, The Unbiased MLB Fan, Brave Fan in Illinois and The Baseball Haven give you their takes.
Fresh posts are in at Dodgers History, The Brewer Nation, The Rays Rant, MLB Urban Youth Academy, Balls and Strikes, SF Giants Photos, My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife, Minoring in Baseball, Hillsboro Hops, Ben’s Biz Blog and The AustralianBaseballDigest.
Blogger Terry Nelson says on Balls and Strikes that he is “not a winter person.” I agree with you, Terry. For full disclosure, this blogger is wearing warm Cardinals pajamas under his work clothes as this will probably be the coldest night of the year in New York City and I am headed over to Joe Torre’s Safe at Home event tonight at Chelsea Piers, to fire questions at guys like Brian Cashman, Gerry Cooney (!), Hideki Matsui, Tony La Russa, Goose Gossage, Jorge Posada, Tom Coughlin and more. I believe this is the last in a long string of offseason dinners I cover for MLB.com during that wait between World Series clincher and pitchers and catchers reporting.
The most recent dinner story I wrote was the most-shared MLB.com story on Facebook: Yogi Berra’s tribute night at the Baseball Assistance Team’s 24th annual Go to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraiser Dinner. We have since posted the clip of Yogi’s 65-word love letter to his lifelong sport, so I encourage you to embed it on your own blog and share it widely.
Hopefully you already know that you can show MLB.com videos. It’s a great addition to your blog. Just click the gray Embed button on just about any of our videos. (Game footage video has a time delay for embed availability during the season.) Please leave comments here whenever you include MLB.com video embeds within your posts, as I would like to highlight that capability within our community here.
We just introduced mlbpipeline.com — the go-to place for all prospect tracking and Draft analysis year-round, whether you’re looking for your organization’s pipeline talent or prospecting for your Fantasy roster. MLB.com senior writer Jonathan Mayo is our longtime prospect and Draft expert at MLB.com, and in addition to anchoring that, he is posting regularly at B3 – Big, Bald and Beautiful.
Game times for this season were announced today. Where Everyone’s a Giant posted about it, good topic for you to blog about. My MLB.com colleague Jesse Sanchez recently posted a great entry about late author Richard Ben Cramer and how he influenced him. Remember to post your Top 100 banner if you made our 2012 list like Wrigley Regular.
Welcome back to one of our earliest MLB.com Blogs fan posters, Joe Boesch. His latest post on Dugout Diary is a Pete Rose autographed card, check it out. Jamie Ramsey is blogging the Reds Caravan. The MLB.com Fantasy 411 crew is getting spring fever. We found short and sweet words from just-started Let’s Play Ball! Gotta like how Broke Mets is rockin’ the pitchers and catchers countdown clock in its side panel. Leave comments here to let you know you’ve posted something new and don’t forget to include your full URL. We’ll be surfacing MLB.com Blogs in a new way this season, just one thing we have to look forward to looking out the window…
Matthew Leach sits right here next to me at the MLB.com HQ in NYC and he also was the first of our MLB.com reporters to start an MLB.com Blog, Obviously You’re Not a Golfer, back in 2005. He has done a lot of things first for us, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that he just became the first person to actually start listing all the possible Division Series matchups. There are at least 53 by his count, which is a pretty graphic way of showing just how out-of-control intense these final days are going to be, right through another final Wednesday, any possible play-in tiebreakers, and the first-ever Wild Card playoff games in both leagues. Take a look at his list and see if you’re team’s on it, check out Matthew’s columns, and while you’re at it, read my story about Best Night Ever, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and say a Happy Birthday to a sequence of 2011 games that made most of us scream.
Who’s ready for an unbelievable finish to this regular season, and who’s posting about it?
Stay tuned for the MLB.com Latest Leaders for September after the weekend…and thanks to everyone for the great response to our callout to be part of our brand-new series, “Meet the Bloggers.” Many of you already have left comments here requesting to be featured with a Q&A, and right now the main priority is seeing who we can interview on camera out at the ballpark — while the ballparks are still open! Let me know in the comments if you are planning to be at any of the MLB ballparks between now and the end of the regular season. We probably can do some during the Postseason but it will be more hectic then. See previous post for more.