Baseball BeatJanuary 24, 2005
No Hatfields and McCoys Here
By Rich Lederer

Matt Welch is the proprietor of a popular current-events weblog known by his name. He is a Contributing Editor and media columnist for Reason magazine and a U.S. Correspondent for The National Post, Canada's second-largest newspaper. Matt writes about politics, sports, music and pop culture.

Matt and I grew up on the same street in the Lakewood Village section of Long Beach. We lived within ten houses of each other, separated only by a road that intersected our block. Although Matt is 13 years my junior, the Welch and Lederer families were connected through baseball. Matt's Dad was my younger brother Gary's first Little League coach. As an eight-year-old, Gary struck out almost every batter he faced. He was awesome. His batterymate was none other than Matt's older brother Larry. Four years later, Gary and Larry played on the same Little League All-Star team coached by Matt's Dad.

Welch, 36, is married and lives in Los Angeles. His two sisters and two brothers also live in Southern California. He has four nieces. His Dad still lives in the same house. My Mom still lives in her house. Although Matt and I haven't seen each other in ages, our passion for baseball has brought us together once again.

Matt linked the first Abstracts From The Abstracts review last July without making the connection. I sent an email to Matt, thanking him and asking if he was the Matt Welch from down the street. He wrote back and said "yes" and we proceeded to exchange questions and answers that brought us up to date on everyone from our parents on down.

I received an email from Matt a few weeks ago, asking if I would be interested in serving as the first subject in a new feature ("Infrequently Asked Questions!") that he was considering launching in the near future. I told him that I was game. He sent me a bunch of questions, I returned them, and, bingo, Matt posted the following interview on his weblog Monday morning.

We talk about our shared background, Bert Blyleven, Bill James,, and much more. Go check it out.


I had no idea that Gary was really that good a baseball player. Thanks for letting me know.


Teresa: Gary was so good at that age, he would have been a legitimate candidate for the Faces in the Crowd feature in Sports Illustrated had one of us notified the magazine.

Can someone direct me to Rich's e-mail address or Rich, can you e-mail me? Thanks!

BTW, fantstic job on the Bill James "Abstracts on the Abstracts!" I am right now printing out the whole series for posterity. A truly monumental work!

Thanks, Mitchel. I enjoy your work, too. I sent you an email in case you check back here.