When I was a kid, there were two magazine subscriptions that came to my house every month. One was National Geographic World, which my maternal grandparents paid for and was also for my brothers and my sister to read. I think it came addressed to my mom. The other one was Baseball Digest. My paternal grandma paid for that one, and it was my birthday present from her every year from about 1977 until she passed away in 1982. Instead of getting a book or a toy or something like that, I got a new issue in the mail every month. It was a perfect gift at that time in my life.
Every month, the newest issue would arrive in the mailbox, and I would pore over the stories and features about the game I loved. And the best part about it was that it came addressed to me. And that was no small thing, in my mind.
A mailing label was printed out in whatever place Baseball Digest came from, and then attached to the cover so that it could arrive at my house. Somebody, somewhere, knew my name and where I lived. And they made sure that the wisdom of their writers made its way to me every month. It was a thing of wonder to me.
Flash forward a few decades. I recently volunteered to write a report card for the Chicago Cubs’ 2011 season. As a new member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA), I wanted to make a contribution in some way. I finished the Cubs’ report card (which can be found here) and sent it in. And today I received notification that it had been published online.
When I clicked the link to the report card, there was the Baseball Digest logo over something that I had written. The kid I once was wouldn’t have understood the “online” concept very well, but the idea that something he wrote would appear in Baseball Digest one day would have been unbelievable. Exciting, yes, but still unbelievable.
A second piece for Baseball Digest has been written already, and a third piece is somewhere down the road. A kid who once read the publication has now made a contribution to it, as well. Another thing of wonder, indeed.