Fast forward several years later, through the Internet revolution and the explosion of ESPN and espn.com. I remember the first time I found the ‘Redbird Nation’ blog that was run by Brian Gunn. I was so excited and confused. This was a great resource from an intelligent writer, without the mainstream point of view, and it didn’t cost anything to read him. His blog had a profound effect on me, and expanded my Cardinal knowledge and viewpoint. When Larry Borowsky started Viva El Birdos, he added a new level of critical analysis with daily updates and fascinating viewpoints. He made me think about new types of statistics and player evaluation that opened my eyes to a whole new world. These are the “Godfathers” of the Cardinal Blogosphere and combined with long time bloggers Dan Moore, Eric Manning and Dustin Mattison, make it what it is today.
Today, we have a large number of free websites and blogs that give us up to the minute information and analysis about our local 9. Derek Goold of the Post Dispatch and Matthew Leach of MLB.com have even started “Twittering“, giving us up to the second information from SPRING TRAINING games! Countless other sites are available at your fingertips for layers of information, statistics and the history of the game. You can barely keep up with it all. It’s a whole new world and we are richer for it.
So when I opened my mailbox yesterday and found the new Maple Street Press Cardinal Annual, you would think that I wouldn’t be as excited as I am. I have all of this information at my fingertips, so why would I care about something wrote weeks ago? On the contrary, I tore open the package and opened up the book as soon as I found it. The smell of the printing press hit me with it’s unmistakable aroma as I flipped through the book. As much as I am addicted to the web and the information that it gives me, it can’t replace holding a book in my hands, as I open it to page 1. It took me back to the days when I would be excited to open the mailbox and find a new sports magazine waiting for me or when I discovered the excellent ”Ball Four” book at my local library.
Dustin Mattison is the founder of the Whiteyball website and writes for Scout.com at the Birdhouse (Minor League Correspondent). He is one of the talented group of writers that Larry Borowsky has gathered to provide the new Maple Street Press Cardinal Annual. Borowsky is the editor of the book, and authors several stories; which features Will Leitch (founding editor of Deadspin, current New York Magazine writer), Jeff Sackman (Minor League Splits.com), Dan Moore (Get Up Baby, Viva El Birdos), Josh Kalk (From Small Ball to the Long Ball), Chuck Brownson (Viva El Birdos), Vince Gennaro (Hardball Times, Yahoo Sports), Aaron Schafer (Viva El Birdos, Riverfront Times), Erik Manning (Future Redbirds, Play a Hard 9), Alex Eisenberg (Baseball Intellect), and Dayne Perry (Foxports.com).
If you are like me, and enjoy a great read about the Cardinals, order the book today. You will be glad you did.