This is my 6,059th post at Redleg Nation. It’s also the most difficult one that I’ve had to write.

I turned the lights on at Redleg Nation with this post back on February 28, 2005. It’s been a wild journey with all of you and some incredible writers for nearly a decade and a half. This week, I am permanently handing the reins over to Doug Gray. He’ll be along shortly to give you this thoughts, but I want you to know this: I am incredibly excited about what having Doug at the helm means for the future of the Nation. I truly believe the site will be better than ever.

Of course, I can’t help but be a little emotional, and nostalgic. Below is an updated version of a history of the Nation that I wrote some time back, because I think it’s important to remember how this community became such a special place. Primarily, it’s because of you: the most thoughtful, respectful, and knowledgeable readers/commenters of any site out there. Thanks to each and every one of you for making RN a part of your day. I trust you’ll continue to follow this (sometimes infuriating) baseball club along with us.

I’m so incredibly grateful for all the incredible writers that have graced the digital pages of the Nation with their insights. I certainly can’t list them all, but permit me to thank them publicly here. To our current writing staff: you are incredible. The Nation is better than ever, thanks to each of you.

A special thank you goes out to Bill Lack, Chris Garber, and Tom Diesman. Bill and Chris were original contributors, and were instrumental in the creation of RN; Tom joined shortly after we launched. All have remained with us through thick and thin, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. Thanks, guys. (You may also know that I wrote a book with Chris.) Thanks, as well, to Steve Mancuso and Jason Linden, who have picked up the slack for me far too often.

Anyway: I’m not really going anywhere. I’ll still be writing for Redleg Nation. I’m still going to be recording the podcast every single week, along with my partners-in-crime, Bill and Jason. I hope I’ll have more time to join you guys in the comments going forward, too. You’re the true heart of the Nation.

In that first post, back in 2005, I wrote this optimistic note: “Hopefully, together we can follow the Reds right back to the World Series — where they belong.”

That hasn’t quite happened yet, but maybe the Reds’ best days are still ahead. I know for a fact that Redleg Nation‘s best days lie in the future. Doug has great plans for this little corner of the interwebs, but there’s one thing that I can guarantee will not change: the Nation will continue to be the best destination for crack analysis and intelligent conversation of the Cincinnati Reds. The future is bright, my friends.

Welcome, Doug. The keys to the place are yours. Let me know what I can do to help.


Nearly fourteen 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 nearly fourteen 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, Greg Dafler, 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.

Fourteen years. 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 at the top is the original design of RN.

So, as we embark on the 15th season of covering the day-to-day ins and outs of Cincinnati Reds baseball, under new leadership, I want to thank each of you. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the best group of readers and commenters (nearly 600,000 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, fourteen years. Not bad for a dumb little Cincinnati Reds blog.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 41 Comments

  1. Viewer mail question. Can we film the changing of the guard? Maybe reenact the end of the Godfather

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  2. Wow. Just wow.

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  3. What about Doug’s day job?

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  4. I just thought I’d stop in the comments here to again thank Chad for trusting me to keep this ship moving forward.

    There is a podcast coming soon with a little more details about things – but I just wanted to let it be known that things will not be changing much here at Redleg Nation other than maybe some cosmetic changes, a little bit more of me writing here at Redleg Nation, and hopefully doing everything that I can to keep this site as the best place to follow the Cincinnati Reds on the internet.

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  5. Chad, you should be proud of what you’ve created here. This is hands down the best fan site I’ve ever read. There’s tons of great content and there’s intelligent and respectful discussions. I’m glad you’ll still be around with articles and answering listener (sorry) mail.

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  6. Wow, what a weekend! Thanks so much for this gem of a website. Best commentators anywhere.

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  7. Chad, thx for all your hard work – glad to hear you aren’t going anywhere. Doug – wow! You are diligent and honest. Can’t wait to read the good stuff in late 2018 and beyond.

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  8. Chad and Doug – you’ve accomplished something of real value and can be proud of the Redleg Nation blog, and what you mean to Redleg Nation. My day is, honestly, a little better almost every single day because of the community you’ve created, the quality, the civility, and the passion that are, if not unique, then certainly rare online these days. Redleg Nation matters to me so a huge and heartfelt thank you to Chad and all the contributors and commenters looking back many years. And Redleg Nation matters to me so Doug I am counting on you and confident in you that this blog will continue to be this long distance Reds fan’s online home for all things Reds. We’ve been in very good hands so far. I’m confident that’s still true looking forward. – Chris DeBlois in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  9. Have you told Lisalverto Bonilla about this yet?

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  10. Thank you for your vision, your humor, and for being one of the best Reds fans from Virginia

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  11. Does Lisalverto know about this?

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  12. Thanks for everything Chad. I don’t post much, but check out everything Redlegnation puts out. I’ve really enjoyed the awesome content and discussions.

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  13. Thank you Chad for all of the work over the years. I have spent many an enjoyable moment here.

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  14. Thanks to Chad for all the good times I’ve had at this site, and thanks to Doug for keeping it rolling.

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  15. Thanks a ton for everything, Chad! Writing for RLN for a little more than a season was something I’ll always look back on fondly! Thanks to Doug for keeping the rudder true.

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  16. Hmmmmm…….

    Billy Hamilton is non-tendered by the Reds.

    A few days later, Chad announces he’s stepping down from RLN.

    Coincidence? I think not!

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  17. If only they had traded Billy for Lisalverto Bonilla.

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  18. Great job here, Chad–thanks for your good work. I already follow Doug on RML and trust this will be a seamless transitions. Congrats on creating a sustaining a terrific blog.

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  19. Chad: I can only echo the sentiments already expressed. Thank you so much. RLN is an actual community–such a valuable thing in a fractured world and time.

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  20. Thank you, Chad. I’m glad you’ll still be around. This is by far the BEST fan site of all time.

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  21. A major part of my relationship with my father was entwined with discussing baseball and specifically the Reds. When he passed over a decade ago, I went searching for some place to try and fill at least some of the void. I eventually ended up here; and my searching soon ended.

    Thanks to Chad for creating and maintaining such a place and keeping it free of the noise that mars so many other sites.

    I am confident that Doug will continue to keep it such a place as he leads us into the future and shares his vision with us.

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    • “…keeping it free of the noise that mars so many other sites.”

      I think that quote says it all. This site produces quality analysis on a daily basis. That’s a strength all on its own. What really sets it apart though is that the site has very little trolling, and has done a great job of limiting personal attacks and bullying. The commenters are also some of the most knowledgeable and passionate Reds fans around. There are all sorts of views expressed here and although the discussion can get heated, it very rarely ventures into unpleasantness. It’s because it has never been tolerated here.

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  22. Congrats Chad for creating such a great place and community. Looking forward to future Reds/Wahoos championships

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  23. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. They really do mean a lot to me.

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  24. Chad & Doug. Verbal accolades o’plenty. This is the source for Reds info and discussion. It takes a lot of work…a lot…and you both deserve high praise. Now Doug, don’t mess it up. :o)

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  25. Chad, keep your articles and comments coming. I enjoy your knowledge and sense of humor.

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  26. Chad, thank you so much for creating such a wonderful Reds fan site. It is the first place I go to each day looking for any Reds news. Glad you aren’t leaving for good.
    Thanks to many of the writers who have transformed my baseball vision to include the new analytics and sabermetrics. Jeter, Mancuso, the 2 Nicks, the 2 Matt’s, and Jim W. among others for such wonderful and thought provoking articles.
    Chad, you created a fantastic Reds site for Reds fans. Be proud. You’ve touched a lot of lives.
    Good luck to Doug in keeping it going with tbe care it deserves.
    Thank you again and good luck to you.

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  27. Chad,

    The word “stewardship” isn’t used enough these days….not like it used to be.

    “Did you leave X (business/stock portfolio/blog for obsessive fans/whatever) in a better state than when you inherited/started it?”

    By any measure, the answer in regards to you and Redleg Nation is absolutely yes.

    Since I bought and enjoyed “The Big 50”, I am looking forward to your follow-up,
    “How I Can Root and Tweet About Both Virginia and Georgetown Basketball.”

    The get-together at The Holy Grail for the next Reds home playoff game is going to be one heck of a RLN Party. Your duties as emcee for the event have just been requested.

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  28. You should be very proud of what you built, and we should be very greatful. Thank you!

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  29. I come here FIRST for Cincinnati Reds information, because you’ve made it such a great resource. Thanks, Chad – I’m sure we’ll keep the party goin’!

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  30. Congratulations to all of the crew (and -especially- Chad) for all of the good work over such a long time. RLN is in large part responsible for rekindling my love of the game.

    15 years? 15 YEARS? Chad – that has to put you in the top tenth of a percent of blogger survival – up there with the likes of Glenn Reynolds and the (late) Jerry Pournelle. How did you do it? (or was it just a question of waiting for the parole board to work through its caseload —— grinning, exiting stage left, pursued by Gapper and Mr. Redlegs)

    Seriously – what a phenomenal body of work. The content, the civility and, above all, the camaraderie.

    Doug – best of luck as you take the helm. Keep the tradition moving forward.

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  31. Thanks for your hard work and insight!

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  32. When I think of RLN, I think of Chad Dotson, Steve Mancusco, Jason Lindon, Bill Lack and Chris Garber first and foremost. They provided the majority of the content from what I recall of my first couple seasons here. Along with some other writers on staff, past and present, RLN is the best site for Reds’ information anywhere.

    Doug runs a quality site of his own at redsminorleagues.com. He provides enough quality content there that I am happy to support his work financially via Patreon. I’m looking forward to what he does with RLN and to the continued Reds information and discussion here.

    To you Chad, please don’t be a stranger. Just because Twitter annoyed me and I’m almost never on it doesn’t mean you can’t ever drop me a line… Or have me as a guest on the podcast.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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