2013 was a great year for me. My website, Matt’s Bats, went from a small blog that I wrote for myself, family and friends, to a MLB Pro Blog that’s been viewed by tens of thousands of people. This year has been stressful because I have hard long division homework and I still try to keep up with baseball news and write at the same time.
Since I moved to MLBlogs, I have been in the Top 50 Pro blogs every month. People from 42 countries have visited my website this year, from places like:
My blog turned 1 year old on July 25, 2013, the same day that the Nats were fortunate enough to walk-off on a home run by Bryce Harper in a 9-7 victory against the Pirates.
I want to thank everyone who helped me have such a great year by reading my website and tweeting to me, re-tweeting me, or #FF’ing me on Twitter. I liked meeting so many readers at games and events. This year I got to meet or interview a bunch of people I admire like F.P. Santangelo, Dave Jageler, Charlie Slowes, Ian Desmond, Drew Storen, Justin Verlander, Tim Kurkjian, Wilson Ramos, Taylor Jordan, Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Ryan Mattheus, Bob Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Ross Detwiler, and others.
But this post focuses on my favorite Matt’s Bats moments and my top posts I wrote this year.
TOP TEN MATTSBATS.COM STORIES:
I loved writing this post because I got to research the 2013 draftees and I discovered that some of them have famous family members in MLB. For example, I never knew that Red Sox draftee Jordan Sheffield’s dad was former Mets 1B Gary Sheffield, and that the elder Sheffield’s uncle was Dwight “Doc” Gooden who helped the Mets win the ’86 WS vs. the Red Sox. This was a cool post to research and write.
This year I announced that MLB Advanced Media invited me to become a Pro Blogger on the MLB.com/MLBlogs platform. I hope to do more cool stuff with them someday and one day I can write for them as a columnist.
This post was the post that told about my experience at Opening Day at Nationals Park. It was so awesome seeing Bryce hit two bombs to start the New Year.
I took a tour of Nats Park on an off day in May, and I saw all the sights. I went into the locker room, the clubhouse, the field, and the Presidents’ seats. I loved writing this one because I got to see all the things you usually don’t get to see when you go to a baseball game.
I loved writing this post in memory of my grandpa who passed away in March 2008 from cancer. Readers of this post helped me raise over $11,000 for charity. It also tells about a Stan Musial baseball card I got from my dad’s friend, because my grandpa reminded him of Stan Musial. I got rewarded with a special surprise at the charity event on the National Mall.
I was invited by the Bethesda Big Train to cover their holiday auction. I thought it was cool because I got to hang out with Drew Storen, and interview him and Tim Kurkjian. I also covered the Big Train Celebrity Softball Classic this year, which was the first time I was given a media pass to cover an event. I interviewed a bunch of football players and other athletes and journalists at the event.
Adm. Michael Jabaey invited me to attend the Bob Feller Navy Act Of Valor Award ceremony, that honored people who served our country. This year’s winners were Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, All-Star/MVP/Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, and Navy Chief Petty Officer Garth Sinclair. I got to interview Verlander and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. It was awesome seeing these people who acted with such bravery and valor get rewarded.
Dave Ross, the Fox 5 DC sports reporter who just left DC for Chicago, invited me to do a few TV appearances this year. I did a couple of post-game shows with him after the Nationals played Saturday home games. But the first one I did was a live interview at about 9:00 in the morning during Nationals Spring Training. The TV experience was my most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life! LIVE TV!!!!!!!!!!!! It was absolutely awesome that freezing cold February morning that I remember always.
The first “Matt’s Bats Chat” I did was an interview with Ryan Zimmerman’s wife, Heather, about what it is like to be married to a professional baseball player. Even though it was my first Matt’s Bats Chat interview, it is still my most popular post ever. It has thousands of views and new people reader it a few times a day. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet, because she gave some really interesting answers. I also did Matt’s Bats Chat interviews this year with Dave Jageler, Drew Storen, Amanda Comak, Zach Hample, and others. I already have one with ESPN Baseball Tonight host Tim Kurkjian ready to publish in January 2014.
I AND MY FAVORITE POST OF 2013 IS……..
I loved the 2013 NatsFest! It was awesome because I got to do a lot of activities and see cool things and I met so many players. I also got to meet many of my Twitter followers in real life at the unofficial after-party. I am really looking forward to 2014 NatsFest. I’ll see you there!
Thank you so much for supporting me and I hope you have a safe and peaceful new year. May the Nationals be the World Series champions next year!