Twelve years ago, with almost no one paying attention, a baseball blog was born.
I named that blog “Redleg Nation,” and if you had told me twelve years ago that we’d still be around, talking about the Reds every single day, I never would have believed you. Yet here we are…and we’re still having fun.
The Nation was born out of an old Reds email listserv managed by one of our original writers/editors, Bill Lack (who joins me on the podcast as often as I can talk him into it). I joined that listserv — and if you kids don’t know what a listserv is, ask and we’ll explain it in the comments — when I was in college, and I was amazed at the level of passion for the Reds that was displayed by the members. I was a kid who loved the Reds, but I had never met very many people who were as passionate about the club as teenage Chad was.
But it wasn’t just passion: it was knowledge. I still remember a time when I argued vociferously on the listserv in favor of the concept that there was no better way to judge a pitcher than by the number of wins he was able to accumulate. It’s embarrassing, but it’s true. I spent a week arguing in favor of pitcher wins as a way to evaluate pitchers, and the members of the list patiently (mostly) explained to me the fallacies in that line of reasoning. It was my first introduction to “analytics;” soon, I had started reading Bill James and Rob Neyer, and my eyes were opened.
A few years later, blogs were all the rage. I thought it might be interesting to have a place where I could write about the Reds for public consumption, and the listserv had shown me that I really enjoyed the ability to talk about the Reds with fans from all over the globe. So I convinced some guys from the listserv — Bill Lack and Chris Garber (my co-author on the upcoming “The Big 50” book) — to join me, and very soon thereafter, guys like Tom Diesman (who’s still with us!), Steve Price, Chris Wilson, and Matt Malott came aboard.
(For more discussion about the history of Redleg Nation, you can listen to the 150th episode of our podcast, where Bill and I talked extensively about the origination of the site.)
We’ve had so many great contributors over the years that I’m not even going to attempt to mention them all. But I’m incredibly thankful to each and every one of them. Redleg Nation would not have been what we’ve become without the thoughtful contributions of all the amazing writers we’ve had here…including the current group.
Over the last twelve years, we’ve published 12,991 posts here at the Nation, including this one. Yep, you read that correctly: more than 1,000 posts per year (I’ve personally written 5620 of those, which is completely insane). That’s a lot of Cincinnati Reds discussion and analysis. We’re one of the very few independent baseball blogs that are still successful and hanging in there, and I’m kinda proud of that.
Here’s the very first post we ever published here at the Nation. The image above is the original design of RN (click on the picture to enlarge it).
So, as we embark on the 13th season of covering the day-to-day ins and outs of Cincinnati Reds baseball, I want to thank each of you. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the best group of readers and commenters (over half a million comments since 2005!) of any similar site on the internet. This is the greatest community of fans I’ve ever seen, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Wow, twelve years. Not bad for a dumb little Cincinnati Reds blog.