I showed up to work on Monday for the first time not in charge of some kind of content on the front-facing presence for the company or institution’s website with a new job. Two days later, I am saying goodbye to PowerlineBaseball.com, too.
PowerlineBaseball.com wasn’t a job. It wasn’t even a hobby. It was part of my life. For six of the 13 years, I played in the league for my hometown team the Armena Royals and updated the site. The other seven, I updated the website from Omaha, Nebraska. When I began the site, at the behest of Bardo A’s Ray Lehman and Mike LeClaire, social media didn’t exist. The internet barely did. We updated standings via a group email maybe once a week. I remember after the 2002 final, showing up on opening day in 2003 asking who won the final. In a fun night at the Last Chance Saloon, Ray told the locals “This guy updated the Powerline site from Nebraska!” I was proud.
The hay day of PowerlineBaseball.com was when the blogging took off. We had a Blogspot site at http://powerlinebaseball.blogspot.com/. The posts aren’t there anymore but the comments were off the charts. So much so we had to stop them.
That site did what it needed to do. Everyone for each team had an author. Some took it very seriously and did great in-depth game stories. It was full of content. Some were better than others. We still relied on emails or texts for scores.
But then mobile phones came. The site was difficult to update. I went looking for a wordpress site to migrate to. That has done us well for the last several years. But it’s time to move on. Social Media rules, especially Twitter for updates. Content on the site has been done incredibly by Kris Kushnerick who will overtake the reigns and we will move to http://ballcharts.com/team/?team=powerlineleague. He’s done a great job moving the history over and now we will work on the domain name this winter.
I enjoyed every minute of the website and the league. It kept me connected, but it’s time to move on. Just like my career. My wife said, “It’s the end of an era.” It sure is. But it doesn’t mean I won’t be wearing Royals gear still and trying to get up for a game or tournament some day soon.
I dug up a few of my favourite yarns over the years. Enjoy. And, cheers boys!
- A dark day in Tofield: This one was funny because I wrote this and then some of the league wanted to run it in the Tofield Mercury. When it ran, it ran with someone else’s byline that set off the council and townspeople in a tizzy!
- If Men’s Baseball was based on MLB standings: Winter was full of ridiculous columns like this. Another we did internet voting on BEST TEAM EVER. Winter was LONG in Edmonton.
- Royals won’t be a pushover in 2009: I wanted to change the expectations of the team as much of the league. We went from 1-15 to a more respectable 5-10 that season. I may have been a few years ahead of schedule on the whole LOOK OUT FOR ARMENA.
- Goodbye PBL, thanks for the memories: My goodbye column unexpectedly leaving Edmonton after six fun years back in the league that I became a man and enjoyed summers in the farm fields. I was now a dad. And I miss being in the league every day since.
- Why baseball, this is why: When my grandmother passed I thought of the PBL. I missed it. I missed the league. Life and death come and go. We become dads in the PBL. We also say goodbye to teammates. Two of the toughest write-ups were these, recognizing Curt Stensrud (It’s hard to say goodbye) and Pat Kawalilak (PBL loses long-time player, friend and mentor). I cried writing all three. Later, I got a text or email on the occasion thanking me for the writing. For me it helps me cope by writing. I hoped it helped you all by reading.