This post is a little late this year, but hey, it’s still January, so that’s what counts, right? I do this every year, and these posts are more for myself than they are for my readers. I just like having a record of the fun things I did the previous year. Things I don’t want to forget. Last year’s had cool pictures. I’m feeling lazy this year, so no pictures. Feel free to skip. Something that probably won’t be surprising to anyone is that most of these are baseball related. Oh, and as always, the items are in chronological order, not order of importance.
10 Things I Want to Remember About 2013
10. Royals Twitter/Baseball Twitter
Before 2013, I had a fairly quiet Twitter life. I’d had a Twitter since 2008. I followed around 50 people, and had about 60 followers. And they were all pretty much people I knew in real life. I didn’t understand the point of Twitter at all. It seemed like a less useful Facebook. And then, in the spring of 2013, all of that changed. I started hashtagging my #Royals tweets, and I started getting new followers almost daily, all strangers. Within a month, I had lost almost all 60 of my original followers but was up over the 100-follower mark. All of them were Royals fans. As the season went on, I continued to gain followers and follow new people, and now I’ve got a legitimate community of baseball fans – not just Royals fans – on Twitter that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and some of them have actually become real-life friends, which is the greatest. They are sarcastic and witty and kind and mean and hilarious and merciless and I love all of it.
9. Being “Published” on Royals Review
I put published in quotation marks because it’s just an internet blog. It’s not like I got paid or anything for what I wrote. And they didn’t even solicit my post. But in April I wrote a post about Jeff Francoeur on the ‘fanposts’ section of Royals Review, and it got pulled to the front page and was featured there for several days. That was the first time I’d ever had any recognition of my writing where feedback came from total strangers, rather than people I already know. It was a lot of fun, and it led to more connections on Twitter. Not to mention, it was totally flattering because, before that time, Royals Review was my favorite Royals blog and the only one I read exclusively. (I read quite a few of them now.)
8. Attending 41 Royals Games (42 MLB Games)
I made a really ambitious New Year’s resolution last year having to do with how many Royals games I wanted to attend. I didn’t set a specific number, but I said I wanted to go to at least one game per home series. I actually ended up exceeding my goal. I went to more than the minimum, and by season’s end, I had been to 41 Royals home games, which – as you likely know – is slightly more than half their home games. That’s a lot of baseball. It was hard, at times, especially near the end of the season, when going to games started conflicting with my running schedule. And it was hard to find people who wanted to go to all those games with me, and some of them I attended alone. I won’t do it again this year, but I have no regrets. 2013 was a good season.
7. Visiting AT&T Park
Less than a week after I attended my 41st Royals game, I capped off the season by taking a trip to San Francisco and going to AT&T Park for my 42nd MLB game of the year, to watch the Giants beat the visiting Dodgers. Thanks to the generosity of a Twitter stranger, I had free tickets that were right behind the plate, and I had the BEST time at that game. I was so close to Buster Posey that my camera didn’t need a zoom. I had a crab sandwich that was to die for, and I took in a game at one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country. Perfect way to end the season.
6. Running a Full Marathon
I’m a runner, as longtime readers of this blog (or avid Twitter followers) know. But I’m a half-marathon runner. And there’s nothing wrong with that, although I felt the need in 2013 to sign up for the full marathon. I don’t know why I did it, except that I just wanted to know if I could, I guess. The training season was tough, as I mentioned, what with trying to fit in long runs around my game-attending schedule. I had some huge fails of training runs. I tried 17 miles one day when it was 102 degrees, and I only made it 5 miles before I had to call a friend to come pick me up before I fainted. I had my doubts up until the day I ran 20 in training. That was the same day the Royals played their last home game of the season, when Justin Maxwell hit the walkoff grand slam on a 3-2 count with 2 outs. I missed all of that because I was trying not to die, but it was a triumphant day for all of us. And I went on to run the full 26.2 miles in the marathon, and I even did it in less time than the max limit, which was my only goal. That was a good day. A victorious day. And a day I plan never to duplicate. Back to the 13.1 for me here in 2014!
5. Forming a Monthly Trivia Team
Bar trivia is a popular thing but not something I’ve ever participated in. When I took my trip to San Francisco, I attended a trivia night at a small dive bar. It wasn’t the most fun I’d ever had, but I got the feeling it could be fun if I had a group of friends around me. I’m not good at trivia, but I know people who are. So I put out feelers on Twitter to drum up interest, I got replies, and we formed a team. I now have a team that goes to trivia night at a local KC dive bar once a month, and we have a blast. We haven’t won yet, but we’ve come close. My role is writing down the answers. That way I get to participate at least in some way. My team has gone to four or five trivia nights now, and we have a blast every time.
4. Visiting Wrigley Field
In October, I got an unexpected offer of a free flight to Chicago for a weekend hangout with my best friend. Of course I said yes. We spent the weekend wandering the city, and we toured Wrigley Field, which was amazing. The tour guide we had was excellent at his job, but the park itself was also awesome. Just a beautiful place. Made my heart ache for baseball, even though the season had just ended and the World Series hadn’t even started yet. I’ve got to see a game at Wrigley before I die now.
3. Starting a Podcast
Shortly after baseball season ended, the guys who record one of the only podcasts I listen to, the Kansas City Baseball Vault, decided they wanted to expand the KCBBV brand and add more shows hosted by other people. For some reason, they targeted me as one of the co-hosts they wanted. They paired me up with a guy named Ben, whom I followed on Twitter but didn’t otherwise know. I had no idea how it was going to go, and I had no idea why I had agreed to do it, except for the same reason I decided to run the marathon: I just wanted to see if I could. Luckily, Ben is awesome, and things went well on our first-ever conversation, which was recorded for all to hear and became the first episode of what would later be named WalkOff Talk. And now we’ve done 11 episodes and have a Twitter account. So it’s, like, starting to get legit or something.
2. Paying off My Car
In November I made the final payment on Liesl, my VW Jetta. I don’t have anything else to say about that except that she’s a good car and I’m glad she’s finally mine.
1. Viewing My First Meteor Shower
Technically I think this actually happened in the first couple days of 2014, but I’m including it here because it still felt like 2013 to me. I’m not going to devote many words here, though, because I just wrote about it a few days ago, and you can catch up with that post on your own.