Recently, MLB Advanced Media invited me to become a Pro Blogger on MLBlogs.com. That is the official blog website of Major League Baseball. So, after about 230 posts and more than 58,000 viewers, this will be my last post on the old Matt’s Bats and my first as a pro blogger for Major League Baseball on my new Matt’s Bats website. It may take some time for all the changes to take place, like if you signed up for email updates you may need to do it again on the new site. Soon www.MattsBats.com will take you to the MLB site, but until then, you can go to http://mattsbats.mlblogs.com. You can go to the old site at http://mattsbats.blogspot.com
I want to thank MLB Advanced Media so much for giving me this opportunity to be a pro blogger with MLB. It’s like my dream come true. I also want to thank the incredible Nats fans who read my blog and talk with me about baseball on Twitter. And finally I want to thank the people who helped me get this by editing my posts, allowing me to interview them, teaching me how to be a better writer and giving me good stories to write about.
For new readers, here’s what you missed in the past year since I started writing my blog. Matt’s Bats started with a post in July 2012 that covered the news of the day: the Hanley Ramirez trade from the Marlins to the Dodgers. Mainly I write about the Nationals, because they are my favorite team. Writing the blog makes me feel like a sportswriter, so I spend a lot of time writing posts and working with my parents to edit them to make them better. I go to a lot of Nats games, and I usually write about them after I go. Last year, I saw Nationals lefty pitcher Gio Gonzalez throw his first career complete game shutout against the Cardials. I called the post “Gio Completo, Wain-o No Bueno.”
In 2012, the Nats ended up having a MLB leading 98-64 record. They played the Saint Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Game 4 was the thriller for the Nats, with Jayson Werth crushing a walkoff home run into the Cardinals bullpen. But the Nationals fell in game 5 with Drew Storen giving up 4 9th inning runs and a Nats win, even though the Cardinals were down to their last strike two times. I was recovering from the tough loss in January, when my Twitter exploded because a lot of Nats fans found me and started following and re-tweeting me. After I got off the school bus, my mom took a video of me when she was telling me that I went from about 30 Twitter followers to about 100. I was screaming loud enough for Nats Park to hear me!
I got a little bit famous. First, I was interviewed by a Nats blog called Red Porch Report. Then I made a few TV appearances. My first-ever TV appearance was on live TV with Dave Ross on Fox in DC. I have been interviewed by other bloggers like Meggie Zahneis for MLB.com and Matt Nadel on his blog Baseball With Matt. One of my readers make me a custom logo that I sometimes wear on a t-shirt. Even if I’m not wearing my Matt’s Bats t-shirt, sometimes people still recognize me at the games!
Some other highlights of my year with Matt’s Bats also include:
- Matt’s Bats Chats with Heather Zimmerman (still my most popular post ever), Amanda Comak, Dave Jageler and a Washington Nationals Ballgirl. There are more coming soon too!
- Reporting from Nats Fest over the winter
- Watching live BP from the field before a Nats game
- Going from having o to about 700 Twitter followers, including baseball celebrities like Ian Desmond, Denard Span, Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Peter Gammons, F.P. Santangelo, Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler.
- Meeting some of my readers and Twitter followers at parties and other events. The Archvists at TheNationalsArchive.com and the people from Half Street Irregulars have been the most encouraging and friendly to me.
Now, as a pro blogger for MLB, I hope I can continue to report on excellent stories about the Washington Nationals and other stories in baseball. Please let me know if you have ideas for stories or people you know who would like to be interviewed. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @MattsBats. THANKS EVERYBODY and remember to IGNITE YOUR #MATTITUDE.