Thank you, Baltimore Orioles fans, for a record-breaking 2019 here at Birds Watcher.
For nearly a decade, both aspiring journalists and loyal fans of the Baltimore Orioles have spent time at the helm of Birds Watcher, following their favorite team through the good and the bad, providing their thoughts about the direction of the franchise, and bringing you everything from game recaps to transaction analysis and lists of many memorable moments from years past.
Former writers can be found working for The Athletic and the Baltimore Sun, some have moved on to create their own blogs or start their careers elsewhere, and some have moved on to other sites around the FanSided network. Others, like myself, just do this for a hobby because of our love of the game.
Typically, stories that begin with “I was drunk at a bar” don’t end well, but my story does. After a night out at my favorite local brewery, I saw a call for writers for a now-defunct website called Baby Birdland to write about Orioles minor leaguers. I answered the call and five years later, here I am.
I’m not an aspiring journalist, just a 32-year-old Orioles fan with a career that I love in the field of education, but I’ve always loved writing and baseball. After learning more about the game than ever before from the press boxes of minor league stadiums and talking with the player themselves, my passion for both writing and baseball has only grown over the years.
Because of you, our readers, we had a record-breaking year here at Birds Watcher. We had more than triple the number of page views to beat our previous record and more and more of you are becoming loyal readers who keep coming back. This isn’t possible without you!
Talking about sports on the internet is a dark place, where even two fans of the same team and with the same opinion about a topic find some reason to attack each other. But the positive notes from readers, direct messages from players expressing their gratitude for a piece we have written, and engagement from loyal followers all make dealing with the trolls worthwhile.
We have a growing team of contributors here with us and are always looking for more passionate Orioles fans to join us! I can’t end this piece without thanking those on staff at the moment.
Both Chuck Boemmel and I were at Baby Birdland before coming over to Birds Watcher and Chuck continues to bring to the light the stories of Orioles minor leaguers. Over the years, he’s built some fantastic relationships with these players and most importantly, he views these players as human beings going through a grind to achieve their dreams. That “minor league fodder” piece is an elite athlete who is part of an extremely small group of professional baseball players and Chuck makes sure he highlights that.
More from Birds Watcher
Jesse Morrison has been around for quite a while and continues to provide content for readers while completing his education out west at Arizona State and covering multiple ASU sports teams. But his love of the Orioles keeps him coming back to Birdland. He’s brought a lot to the site, including an interview with the man himself, Gary Thorne.
Last, but not least, a shoutout to two of our newest writers, Joe Chambers and Ryan Beckwith. Joe is a basketball guy around the FanSided network, but he’s also an Orioles fan who has provided us with a handful of pieces about past Orioles who helped shape the organization. One of the first rules about being an Orioles fan is respecting those who created The Oriole Way, and Joe does just that. Ryan just joined us before the holidays and I’m expecting some big things from him in 2020. His creativity with words and love of the Orioles is sure to be well-received by Birdland.
This was a lot longer than I anticipated, but I’m truly thankful for all of you reading, even those who disagree with most of what we write.
Want your voice heard? Join the Birds Watcher team!Write for us!
Come join us on our growing social media network over on Twitter @BirdsWatcherFS and, if you’re still on Facebook, give us a Like and come say hello! Here’s to an even bigger 2020 and beyond. Thank you, Birdland.