October and November were a transition period for the 30 major league organizations as they moved from the regular season through the playoffs and into the offseason. It was a time of transition for the MLB staff of FanSided as well. We entered November with a new MLB Director in place and a concerted effort to take our growth to a new level. Our efforts worked and our 31 baseball sites collectively set new records in visits and pageviews. Along the way we welcomed 10 new writers to our staff and each of them played a part in helping us reach our new heights during the past month.
Therefore, it seems natural and right to kick off our Pen Pals series by announcing those writers that joined us during the month of Thanksgiving. Five of the 10 writers took some time out to share a little about themselves and hand-pick an article from their FanSided writing portfolio.
Matthew Orso: Lasorda’s Lair Lead Writer
Matthew joined our staff on November 2nd and has published 41 articles since then. His personal favorite is Dem LA Bums: The 1963 Dodgers.
What follows is what he chose to share about himself:
I am the lead blogger for Lasorda’s Lair, providing Dodger content in unique ways relating to baseball history. I also provide the latest news for Dodgers fan to stay updated with. Besides writing for FanSided, I am the host of the online radio show “Sportstalk2345” which airs on www.blogtalkradio.com. On the show I give analysis as a passionate sports fan stating my opinion no matter what the cost. Former guests on my show have been owner of the Can-Am league Miles Wolff and head of NJ baseball magazine Joe Nardini.
My writing also appears with the NJ baseball magazine. I provide historical content and passionate content on the game’s greatest moments. Finally I also will be contributing with the book “Covered Wooden Grandstands,” which should be released in 2012.
I became a Dodgers fan based on my love for baseball history and the Dodgers, in my opinion, have the greatest historical team along those lines. A weird fact about me is that I cover the Dodgers and live in New Jersey.
John Bell: Blog Red Machine Contributing Writer
John joined our staff on November 5th and has published 3 articles during his time with the site. His favorite thus far is the Top 5 Reds Moments of 2010.
Here is a little about John in his own words:
I was born and raised in Ohio and my Dad was a Reds and Cubs fan since he was born in Chicago but raised in Ohio, so I took the Reds and my brother took the Cubs. I feel as though I won that one. Otherwise, I’m living in Northwest Ohio with my wife and two kids. I went to Ohio Northern University, received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in Accounting while playing baseball for the Polar Bears under coach Herb Strayer. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for ONU, I am a member of the last team to actually reach the post season (hopefully that changes this year). I then worked in various financial management roles over the past 10 years or so and am in the process of completing an MBA degree before sitting for the CPA exam for the first time.
I enjoy watching the Reds daily, golfing as regularly as possible (which usually ends up being close to 3-4 times per year) and just hanging out with my family. My kids are 6 and 3 right now, so I’m starting to get them both involved in baseball as much as possible, but finding the right balance between encouraging and pushing is sometimes difficult. I have to thank my wife for helping me see the line when it is sometimes a few steps behind me…
Lou Olson: Reviewing the Brew Contributing Writer
Lou joined our staff on November 7th and has published 7 articles since that day. His personal favorite is John Axford’s Mustache Facts which was published on November 14th. If you check the home page of the site you will see that Axford’s mustache has made a repeat appearance.
Lou was kind enough to share a little about himself by providing the following:
Lou Olsen was born and raised in Kenosha, WI. His first Brewers game was with his father and grandfather at Old Milwaukee County Stadium. Nolan Ryan started for the Rangers that day. That game turned a young kid who liked the Brewers into a life-long die hard fan. Lou currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife, dog, and rabbit. He works for Allstate Insurance by day, and by night he is a rabid Wisconsin sports fan. Lou has a minor in creative writing from Minnesota State University and a major in Theater Performance. When he is not writing or doing insurance-y things, he likes to dabble in improv and theatre in the Seattle area. His prized possession is an autographed Hank Aaron baseball. Why? One Christmas his dad asked if he wanted a Hank Aaron or a Mickey Mantle signed ball. He chose Aaron because Mickey never played for the Brewers. In 2008 when the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since his birth, Lou celebrated by taking each game day off of work to watch each one in its entirety.
Logan Burdine: Rox Pile Lead Writer
Logan joined our staff on November 7th and has published 26 articles thus far. His article of choice is The Hall of Fame Double Standard which he published on November 17th.
Here is a little about Logan in his own words:
I grew up in Arlington, Texas. From 1996-98, I was a visitor’s bat boy for the Texas Rangers. I love baseball and have many fond memories from that period. I graduated from TCU with a BBA in Finance and was a walk-on defensive back for the Horned Frogs. My career consisted of scout team meetings and futile attempts at making special teams tackles, but I did earn a varsity letter in 2001. I am extremely proud of TCU’s recent football success. I’d like to say I had a hand in the process, but I was just an observer. Upon graduating from TCU, I attended Texas Tech University School of Law where I met my wife, Amber. We graduated in May of 2007, packed up our condo and moved to Colorado.
After working for several years as an accountant and real estate agent, I decided to pursue a career in writing. I contribute weekly NFL articles to www.draftzoo.com and was hired as the lead writer for the Rox Pile in November.
Upon moving to Denver, my wife and I were fortunate enough to find an apartment within walking distance of Coors Field. The lights of Denver’s beautiful ballpark called to us like the Sirens called to the sailors of the Odyssey. We probably attended thirty games that summer. At the time, the Rox were not taken seriously by most, but that team’s talent was evident. As we all know, they ultimately won twenty straight that September, made the World Series and became the toast of Denver.
That post-season I was able to score tickets to the now famous Rockies-Padres tie-breaker game, NLDS Game 3, and NLCS Game 4. The tie-breaker was the best baseball game I have ever seen in person and the other two games were series clinchers. As a diehard MLB fan that had never attended a playoff game, each of those celebrations was a moving experience. Like most Rockies fans, I was unable to obtain World Series tickets, but I did make a LoDo appearance as a gorilla wearing a Rockies jersey. My connection with the team has grown ever since and I’m thrilled to write about the Rox.
Bob Horton: Tomahawk Take Lead Writer
Bob joined our staff on November 17th and has published 20 articles since then. He chose Why No Love For Freeman? (Plus Some Eerie Stats) as his link of choice.
Bob was kind enough to share the following about himself:
Bob was born in Atlanta and raised in the suburbs. Bob’s dad was a Braves fan dating all the way back to Eddie Matthews in Milwaukee. He was indoctrinated in the nuances of the game and in cheering for the Braves — no matter what — from a very young age. He cheered for Phil Niekro and then Dale Murphy. He lived through the bad times (and the bad times, they were many) and was caught up in the glee of the 1990′s, as first the Terrific Trio (Glavine/Maddux/Smoltz) and then Chipper Jones became his favorite player(s).
Of course, “real life” happened along the way. Bob’s love of cars led him first into driving race cars, then working as an executive at Chrysler. He picked up a BBA at Georgia State, then his career took him to Michigan where he got his MBA. He got married to the lovely and talented Kathy. Bob has a wonderful daughter named Lisa and now has traded having a child at home to having four (yep, count ‘em, four!) four-legged Labrador Retriever kids! He started his own brand marketing and trademark licensing agency in 1999 and now represents some of the best known brands in America.
Bob also managed to spend a lot of his spare time along the way chatting and writing about the Braves with a group of fellow Braves fans, primarily in the old Usenet venue of the internet, then in our social media that gradually took its place. When the opportunity arose to become the lead writer at Tomahawk Take, Bob jumped at it. His vision is to make Tomahawk Take a go-to place for intelligent Braves fans to catch up on topics of interest and to engage in lively discourse on all things Braves related.
Other New Staff:
Ernie Padaon: Chicken Friars Lead Writer (November 5th)
Lalena Chacon-Carter: Swingin’ A’s Contributing Writer (November 7th)
Scott Stewart: Teddy Never Wins Contributing Writer (November 18th)
Patrick Nohe: Tomahawk Take Contributing Writer (November 24th)
Frank Meyer: Teddy Never Wins Contributing Writer (November 30th)
Topics: Blog Red Machine, Bob Horton, Chicken Friars, Ernie Padaon, Frank Meyer, John Bell, Lalena Chacon-Carter, Lasorda's Lair, Logan Burdine, Lou Olson, Matthew Orso, Patrick Nohe, Reviewing The Brew, Rox Pile, Scott Stewart, Swingin' A's, Teddy Never Wins, Tomahawk Take