Analysts Paper Anniversary
Today marks the first anniversary of the birth of Baseball Analysts. Although the origins of Baseball Beat and Wait 'Til Next Year date back to 2003, the merged entity began on February 22, 2005.
When we started this site, we promised to "examine the past, present and future" of baseball. Our partnership was no coincidence either. As colleagues, we realized our interests and expertise covered a wide array of baseball, ranging from college to the minor leagues to the majors. For example, during the past year, we covered the College World Series and the amateur draft like few other websites. We also covered the MLB postseason, the Rule 5 Draft, and the top 30 free agents.
While Rich is well-known for making a Hall of Fame case for Bert Blyleven, Bryan's focus was his top prospect list in January. Whether arguing on behalf of new or ignored statistics, or taking an in-depth look at baseball's scouting directors, we have tried to cover a little bit of everything in a year.
We promised to have daily articles, up to six times a week. With few exceptions, this goal has been achieved. Although it's difficult for the two of us to keep up with the volume of some other terrific baseball sites out there, our focus has been on emphasizing quality in the single article that we post each day.
Fittingly, our website started with Rich's wonderful "Who Was Your Favorite Player Growing Up?" series. This was the start of Baseball Analysts being home to dozens of voices in different styles. In this particular feature, Rich was able to garner memories from 38 well-known writers on their past as a fan. Rich then followed this series up with one of his most high-profile interviews, Breakfast With Bill James -- a three-part series which was the culmination of his Abstracts From The Abstracts series in 2004 through early 2005.
Baseball Analysts has allowed us to provide some of the most unique features of any site on the Internet. Our "Designated Hitter" series has proven to be among the most popular and has become a must read. We have been fortunate to garner guest articles from 47 different writers in the past year, covering a wide array of topics. Kevin Kernan forged the path for mainstream media to partner up with us, volunteering to write a guest column when the DH was in its infancy. J.C. Bradbury authored one of the most widely quoted sabermetric studies, while Alex Belth made us cry with a personal tribute to a dear friend. Eric Neel shared his touching Growing Up With Vin Scully column, Matt Welch wrote a fun story about fellow band member and journeyman Dave Hansen, and Bob Klapisch delivered some of the year's best prose in From the Press Box to the Pitcher's Mound.
We owe a hearty thanks to each participant of this series who has poured his or her heart and soul into writing, for free, at our site. You are all a part of this site's success, and we tip our caps to you for doing your part in raising the bar of baseball journalism.
Contributors have also had their voices heard in a couple of other features, such as the Two on Two or What Went Wrong series. Last year, the free-flowing Two on Two series allowed us to have 12 different writers help in previewing the upcoming season. In the What Went Wrong series, several more writers assisted us in reviewing the regular season and postseason. Look for Baseball Analysts to continue running these informative and entertaining discussions in 2006, starting with the AL Central preview this Friday. We believe in the strength in numbers and have tried to utilize the expertise of dozens of knowledgeable and generous writers/analysts.
We would also like to extend a thanks to the dozens of individuals all over baseball's blogosphere to write about or simply link work that has been published on this site. In today's Internet world, traffic is built through links and partnering with other writers. We have been lucky enough to have so many of you -- too many to name, in fact -- direct your readers to this site. We appreciate each and every referral.
Most of all, however, we owe a thanks to you, the reader. Your daily visits, comments, and e-mail provide our motivation, while your dissents broaden our horizons. We feel the Baseball Analysts readership is as intelligent as any on the Internet, and we appreciate each response we receive. In the coming year, we sincerely hope to meet and exceed your expectations.
For both of us, the last year has been a dream from which we can't wake up. We would never have imagined to be on Peter Gammons' reading list, linked in the New York Times, or mentioned in a number of other mainstream newspaper articles. There was no way we could have envisioned this success a year ago.
In Year Two, our goal is to simply push forward. Thank you for your loyalty and support.