I started Matt’s Bats in July 2012. I was an eight year old super-fan of the Washington Nationals. My mom offered to let me stay up later on Nationals game days if I would write her a paragraph about what happened in the game. To incentivize me to give my best effort, we started a website and social media account to publish my posts and called it Matt’s Bats. As my love for both journalism and baseball continued to grow, I got a larger audience and more credibility as a reporter and pundit. Major League Baseball anointed me their youngest Pro Blogger and gave me space for a column on their website, as did MASN Sports. I was invited to do live TV appearances on Fox 5, Washington DC’s local Fox affiliate. I’ve interviewed dozens of baseball players, Hall of Famers, and other celebrities (including the baseball journalists and broadcasters who I admired and tried to emulate). I was invited to cover games at numerous ballparks across the country (17 of them, to be exact), and have enjoyed learning about baseball from the perspective of a fan in the stands, a credentialed reporter in the press box and clubhouse, and an insider in the cinder block bowels of the stadiums. I was a guest and reporter at some pretty cool events, including the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards in Los Angeles. Perhaps the greatest honors were invitations to join the press pool covering several amazing events at The White House, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony and several World Series and NBA Finals team visits. Maybe it was raising tens of thousands of dollars for charity and raising awareness for causes like lung cancer and Type 1 Diabetes. All this while I was in elementary and middle school! Nevertheless, it is absolutely incredible to look back on the incredible opportunities I have experienced at such a young age. I have been privileged to share these experiences with the thousands of readers who I have written for an interacted with over the past six and a half years.
You may have noticed that the frequency of my posts have declined now that I am in high school. (No, I can’t believe it either!) I have homework and extracurricular activities competing for my time. I have also developed new passions, including a deep interest in politics, law and civic engagement. I will always be a baseball fan, in addition to pursuing my other ambitions.
This is NOT an announcement of the end of Matt’s Bats. It is the announcement of a new chapter. I hope the site grows as I take on the new role of Executive Editor. I want to use the platform I developed to give a voice to other kids who are interested in sports journalism. Therefore, I am very excited to debut the all-new MattsBats.com Kid Correspondent Program.
I will be offering space on MattsBats.com and my social media platforms to a new generation of kid sports writers. I want to teach other children what I have learned, including how to write engaging posts, how to prepare for and interview subjects, how to responsibly use social media, and how to give an interview. These are things I learned on my own and now want to share with other kids. I need my readers’ help to find me talented and ambitious new writers.
Whether someone you know wants to improve their writing skills, loves sports, or wants a platform to have their voice heard, I want to help. If you know any kid who fits under any of the criteria above, I’d love to mentor and eventually feature their work on MattsBats.com. Obviously, kids of different ages and experiences will have different abilities, but everyone has the ability to improve through hard work and perseverance. It doesn’t matter what sport or team they want to write about, what’s important is their enthusiasm and desire to report, write, learn and improve.
While I hope to focus on mentoring and editing, you can be sure that when something big happens in the baseball world, I will still be writing and reporting. But I want to give other kids a chance to share their voices on the platform I created. Please get in contact with me if you are interested!