When I first started writing about baseball, I had no idea where the journey would take me. I was a bright eyed thirteen-year-old who hadn’t even started high school yet. I was enthralled with the game and I wanted to add to my fandom to make it more exciting. I watched games, scored games, and discussed games with my family and friends, but none of them satisfied me enough to fill the hole in my baseball heart.
So I began to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. I put silly little polls on my website, at the time named Bases Loaded With Gidi, and then would spam the comment sections on MLB dot com articles with links to my site, begging people to vote in the polls and give me feedback on my articles. Slowly but surely, for reasons I still do not comprehend, people began to come to my website regularly and read the work I published. The writing was terrible. The grammar was nonexistent. The articles were choppy. Yet for some reason, people continuously kept on coming back, so I continued to write.
Continuing to write was the best decision I ever made. The opportunities and experiences that I have been able to partake in because of my writing have been distinct and unique and have made my life so much more enjoyable. I was a kid, and I was being given chances to meet my idols.
I remember in grade 12, when the website was called Blue Jays Plus, I was sitting in the middle of a class when I received an email from the Blue Jays inviting anybody working for the website to the State of the Franchise event. I was overcome with pure joy and let out a huge scream that resulted in me getting kicked out of the class for misbehavior. I cared not. The people I was writing about were aware of my writing, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Since then, my writing finally grew to the point where I can actually look back at some of my pieces and not be embarrassed that they were published. I owe this to three people specifically.
The first is the writing professor I had my freshman year of college, and this year, my senior year, Liesl Schwabe. Her feedback was and continues to be tremendously helpful, and she is always open to meeting and discussing my work, allowing me to build off of my previous mistakes. When I am bored sometimes, I’ll pull up an article I wrote in August 2014 and then one from January 2015, and laugh at how much of an impact Prof. Schwabe had on me. Although my writing was, and still is, not close to what I consider to be at the level necessary for a professional, she single handedly took my childish writing and turned it into something passably adult-like. For that, I’m forever grateful.
Secondly is Matt Gwin, one of the Editors-in-Chief here at BP Toronto, and one of the guys I originally amalgamated with at the forming of Blue Jays Plus 2.0. He has been editing my work for a while, and despite being just a year older than me, he has taught me so much not only about writing, but being a good person in general.
Lastly, there is Josh Howsam, the other Editor-in-Chief here at BP Toronto, and the guy who has personally edited the vast majority of my articles over the past two years that we have been with Baseball Prospectus. Josh’s editing style is so helpful because he worked with me to not only develop my writing, but to coax the idea I was trying to get across out of me. He was able to read my drafts and pick up on what didn’t make it onto the page, and talk with me until I was able to formulate the message I wanted. So many of my best pieces wouldn’t have been able to make the impact they have had without Josh, and I think it’s important to recognize how much he has to do with that.
I also want to thank the wonderful staff of writers here at BP Toronto. Not one article has been published on this website that I can look at and say I am not proud of, and that is because we have an awesome staff with incredible integrity and devotion to their craft. It sometimes is very easy to come up with a topic for a piece and write 1000 words on it, but it is a lot harder to make sure that day in and day out, pieces are being published that deserve to be published. This website is unique in that it covers everything a baseball fan could possible want in their writing. From statistical analyses to emotionally gripping stories, this staff is capable of writing everything, and for that, they deserve to be applauded.
Those aforementioned individuals impacted my writing more than anybody else, but I wouldn’t have written if it weren’t for you, the readers. I was only paid to do this for a brief period of time, but I gave up my pay voluntarily because I realized that I didn’t like doing this as a job. I liked writing because of the community and the discussion that led from my posts. For that, I thank you. Your comments, tweets, and messages are what has made this such an enjoyable experience over the past 7.5 years, and it is what makes me want to come back to writing in the future.
However, I was recently accepted to dental school, and although I won’t be starting until the Fall of 2018, I felt now was the right time to step away from BP Toronto. I have taken so much from my time as a writer, and have had so many amazing experiences from it, culminating with my piece last week featuring an interview with Mark Shapiro. I hope there will still be a vibrant and diverse community of Blue Jays fans interested in analytical writing when the time is right for me to pick up the pen again.
Go Jays Go.
Lead photo Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports-USA TODAY Sports