This is my 6,059th post at Redleg Nation. It’s also the most difficult one that I’ve had to write.
I turned the lights on at Redleg Nation with this post back on February 28, 2005. It’s been a wild journey with all of you and some incredible writers for nearly a decade and a half. This week, I am permanently handing the reins over to Doug Gray. He’ll be along shortly to give you this thoughts, but I want you to know this: I am incredibly excited about what having Doug at the helm means for the future of the Nation. I truly believe the site will be better than ever.
Of course, I can’t help but be a little emotional, and nostalgic. Below is an updated version of a history of the Nation that I wrote some time back, because I think it’s important to remember how this community became such a special place. Primarily, it’s because of you: the most thoughtful, respectful, and knowledgeable readers/commenters of any site out there. Thanks to each and every one of you for making RN a part of your day. I trust you’ll continue to follow this (sometimes infuriating) baseball club along with us.
I’m so incredibly grateful for all the incredible writers that have graced the digital pages of the Nation with their insights. I certainly can’t list them all, but permit me to thank them publicly here. To our current writing staff: you are incredible. The Nation is better than ever, thanks to each of you.
A special thank you goes out to Bill Lack, Chris Garber, and Tom Diesman. Bill and Chris were original contributors, and were instrumental in the creation of RN; Tom joined shortly after we launched. All have remained with us through thick and thin, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. Thanks, guys. (You may also know that I wrote a book with Chris.) Thanks, as well, to Steve Mancuso and Jason Linden, who have picked up the slack for me far too often.
Anyway: I’m not really going anywhere. I’ll still be writing for Redleg Nation. I’m still going to be recording the podcast every single week, along with my partners-in-crime, Bill and Jason. I hope I’ll have more time to join you guys in the comments going forward, too. You’re the true heart of the Nation.
In that first post, back in 2005, I wrote this optimistic note: “Hopefully, together we can follow the Reds right back to the World Series Ã¢â‚¬â€ where they belong.”
That hasn’t quite happened yet, but maybe the Reds’ best days are still ahead. I know for a fact that Redleg Nation‘s best days lie in the future. Doug has great plans for this little corner of the interwebs, but there’s one thing that I can guarantee will not change: the Nation will continue to be the best destination for crack analysis and intelligent conversation of the Cincinnati Reds. The future is bright, my friends.
Welcome, Doug. The keys to the place are yours. Let me know what I can do to help.
Nearly fourteen years ago, with almost no one paying attention, a baseball blog was born.
I named that blog “Redleg Nation,” and if you had told me nearly fourteen years ago that we’d still be around, talking about the Reds every single day, I never would have believed you. Yet here we are…and we’re still having fun.
The Nation was born out of an old Reds email listserv managed by one of our original writers/editors, Bill Lack (who joins me on the podcast as often as I can talk him into it). I joined that listserv — and if you kids don’t know what a listserv is, ask and we’ll explain it in the comments — when I was in college, and I was amazed at the level of passion for the Reds that was displayed by the members. I was a kid who loved the Reds, but I had never met very many people who were as passionate about the club as teenage Chad was.
But it wasn’t just passion: it was knowledge. I still remember a time when I argued vociferously on the listserv in favor of the concept that there was no better way to judge a pitcher than by the number of wins he was able to accumulate. It’s embarrassing, but it’s true. I spent a week arguing in favor of pitcher wins as a way to evaluate pitchers, and the members of the list patiently (mostly) explained to me the fallacies in that line of reasoning. It was my first introduction to “analytics;” soon, I had started reading Bill James and Rob Neyer, and my eyes were opened.
A few years later, blogs were all the rage. I thought it might be interesting to have a place where I could write about the Reds for public consumption, and the listserv had shown me that I really enjoyed the ability to talk about the Reds with fans from all over the globe. So I convinced some guys from the listserv — Bill Lack and Chris Garber (my co-author on the upcoming “The Big 50” book) — to join me, and very soon thereafter, guys like Tom Diesman (who’s still with us!), Steve Price, Chris Wilson, Greg Dafler, and Matt Malott came aboard.
(For more discussion about the history of Redleg Nation, you can listen to the 150th episode of our podcast, where Bill and I talked extensively about the origination of the site.)
We’ve had so many great contributors over the years that I’m not even going to attempt to mention them all. But I’m incredibly thankful to each and every one of them. Redleg Nation would not have been what we’ve become without the thoughtful contributions of all the amazing writers we’ve had here…including the current group.
Fourteen years. That’s a lot of Cincinnati Reds discussion and analysis. We’re one of the very few independent baseball blogs that are still successful and hanging in there, and I’m kinda proud of that.
Here’s the very first post we ever published here at the Nation. The image at the top is the original design of RN.
So, as we embark on the 15th season of covering the day-to-day ins and outs of Cincinnati Reds baseball, under new leadership, I want to thank each of you. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the best group of readers and commenters (nearly 600,000 comments since 2005!) of any similar site on the internet. This is the greatest community of fans I’ve ever seen, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Wow, fourteen years. Not bad for a dumb little Cincinnati Reds blog.