Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Last At Bat

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of Big Ten Hardball. Today, 979 posts later, I bring BTH to a close.

This decision has not been an easy one. Nor is it one that I have come to quickly. As some of you can attest, I have wrestled with future of the site for the last several years. While no single reason has brought Big Ten Hardball to an end, one central theme binds all the issues together -- change.

It is clear to me that it’s time for change for both the blog and myself. For the blog, the growing media coverage of Big Ten baseball programs -- from the institutions themselves to the Big Ten Network to an expanding force of national media and local bloggers -- has made it evident that Big Ten Hardball needs to evolve.

What is equally clear, and here’s where the change I need personally jumps in, is that some of the passion I had to pursue this game on a daily basis has faded. After five years of being, in effect, a beat writer for ten teams, I could use a break.

I explored a number of options before deciding to close up shop. I considered everything from writing less frequently to asking some of my blogging allies to join BTH and bring new perspective, energy and carry some of the workload. During those discussions, we pondered merging this blog with another or having me leave this site and write elsewhere. Occasionally, I contemplated starting an entirely new blog.

However, I found it difficult to commit to any of the alternatives. I realized any decision I would make would be a half-hearted one. That wouldn’t be fair to anyone. Instead, the best option, although the hardest one for me, is to close the doors at Big Ten Hardball.

While I am bringing BTH to an end, I’m not shutting the door on the college baseball world. You will still see me around the ballpark. I’m also going to continue to check my email, so you can always contact me there. Who knows? If the right circumstances arise, I might be back writing about college baseball someday. (A few who were forewarned of my decision are already trying to push me back in.)

It’s been a tremendous five years. This experience has been far greater than I could have ever imagined. Much, if not all, of that is because of you -- those who have interacted in some way with Big Ten Hardball and it’s author. I thank you all.


Jon Marthaler said...

I have quite enjoyed reading, and I'll miss BTH very much. It's the one place I could count on as a central repository of the news that I wanted, without the nationwide filler I didn't.

Good luck to you in moving on - and thank you for your work. I hope you know how much readers appreciated it.

(Do let us all know if you ever go elsewhere, too.)

Brian P. Foley said...

I started my site around the same time that this site started up. I have always thought of this as my sister site and Brian has been a great guy whenever I needed some Big Ten help. Now I really don't know where I am going to go for Big Ten News and Notes anymore.

Brian, As you know, the door is always open on my site now.


Brian P. Foley
Editor of The College Baseball Blog

Bill said...

Brian - it is with a sad heart that I hear of the closing of BTH. You were truely one of the biggest proponents of not only baseball in the Big Ten but northern baseball overall. Your views (and rants) will be deeply missed. But I will see you around a ball park this Spring.

NewHoosierFan said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog over the past year and am EXTREMELY saddened that we no longer will be able to enjoy clicking on the BTH link to see what's new. However, being a former Navy guy, I wish you fair winds and following seas in the future. Rest assured that if you choose to return, you will find at least one follower!!

You've done a fabulous service for Big 10 Baseball and helped introduce me to all the great talent that exists in the Midwest.

--Ross Dickerson

nelshopp said...

I echo all the other sentiments expressed. I will miss BTH. You are truly a great resource for Big Ten Baseball.


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Joanna said...

Brian, I just saw this post. So sorry to see you closing up shop. I've always enjoyed reading your perspective on things. Good luck as you move forward. And, do let me know if you start writing elsewhere.

Joanna (Hook 'em!)

neo said...

Thanks for all your insights and passion for Big Ten Baseball. This site was on a regular bookmark from Feb to June. Your site's departure leaves a big hole in the B10 baseball news. In writing a blog for my company, I appreciate the time and energy required to create and maintain a quality product. Thanks again and good luck.

Andrew said...


BTH was one of the first college baseball sites I found. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

Brian said...

My sincere thanks to all for the kind words -- both here and in e-mail fashion.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Brian, thanks for all you have done for Big Ten baseball,you run a great blog and you will be missed a lot around here. Take care of your self and maybe i will see you around Buckeye country sometime.