Getting to know you, getting to know all about you – Part 2

As you may know, this blog is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers organization.  During certain months of the year, the group assigns special projects to write about.  This month’s UCB project is get to know a fellow UCB blogger.  I was assigned to ask questions to Daniel Shoptaw, who is the head of the Cardinals Conclave blog conglomerate and the fearless leader of the United Cardinals Bloggers.  His photo is at the left.  Here are my questions and his responses:

When did you first become interested in Cardinals baseball?  Who introduced you to baseball? 

I have memories of some baseball interest beforehand, but I really started getting into baseball–both Cardinal and otherwise–in 1987 when I was 11 working on 12.  That was the year I started collecting baseball cards, but I was already a fan of Ozzie Smith, I remember.  My father was a Cardinals fan and the minor league team in Little Rock was a Cardinal affiliation so there was a lot of things pointing in that direction.

Did you ever play Little League baseball or softball? If so, what position did you play?

Given that I came to the sport later than some folks, I never did play Little League.  Given my natural abilities, that’s probably for the best.  I have played church league softball over the years and typically play catcher because I look like Matt Adams trying to field a fly ball.

When did you start blogging and why? 

I did some personal blogging before the Cardinal site and that was probably 2004-2005 when I did it.  My first post on C70 At The Bat, though, was July 14, 2007 at my first address.  I was at WordPress for a few months, then moved to Blogs By Fans (and www.cardinal70.com, which doesn’t exist now) before moving to The Cardinal Conclave in June of 2013.

What is your favorite baseball blog post that you’ve ever written?  Please provide the link for everyone to read.

My favorite post ever?  I’ve written roughly 3000 posts over my 10 years of blogging, so narrowing it down is pretty difficult.  My Lance Lynn “Lynning” post might be the one that I did the most statistical work on, but that’s not saying a lot.  Over the last year, I wrote things about Kolten Wong’s situation and Yadier Molina’s contract that were well received.  However, maybe the most fun post, because of what it related to, was my fairy-tale look at the 2011 season.

We all know that blogging doesn’t pay the bills (unless you’re a professional writer), so what do you do for a living?

What I get paid to do is be a certified public accountant, specializing in financial statement audits but obviously do a lot of tax returns in the early part of the year, which is one of the many reasons I’ve never been to spring training.

You do a lot of podcasts as well as blog posts.  Do you enjoy podcasting?  Do you think that podcasting is the future of blogging?    

Well, I probably wouldn’t have three different shows (four, if you count my irregular turns on UCB Radio) if I didn’t enjoy podcasting.  🙂  Podcasting, at least the way I do it, is a great way to delve into what’s going on with the club and do so interactively with the ability to elaborate more than you can on Twitter, for instance.  You’ll note that very few podcasts are monologs.  I’m the solo host of Conversations With C70, but the main thrust of that show is to interview bloggers both Cardinal and otherwise.  Meet Me At Musial has had some great co-hosts, from Dan Buffa to John Nagel to Allen Medlock, and Gateway to Baseball Heaven has been going strong since 2011 because of the contributions of Bill Ivie and Tara Wellman. One of the great things about being a fan is talking to other fans, and this lets you do that while letting others in on the conversation.

I interact with Daniel online on Twitter, Facebook, and play against him on Words With Friends, but I learned more about him with these questions than I knew before (well, I did already know he was a bean counter). If you would like to see any other of the UCB May project posts, you can go here.

For those who would like to read/listen to Daniel’s work, I present the following links:

Cards Conclave

Meet Me at Musial

Gateway to Baseball Heaven

By the way, I had a blast at Pitch Talks: St. Louis last Thursday. I wish more of you would have been able to come.  It was great listening to all the stories from the writers.  If Pitch Talks comes back to St. Louis next year, you should make your best effort to get there.  Kim Omelson was my contest winner.

Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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Pitch Talks: St. Louis – a panel of speakers you won’t want to miss – and a contest

As promised in my last blog post, here are the details on Pitch Talks: St. Louis, which will occur next week.  As for the giveaway I also promised, it’s at the bottom of the post.  Read on:

Pitch Talks, part of the Homestand Sports network, connects fans to the game they love for interactive and meaningful face-to-face conversations with baseball’s top analysts, writers, and executives. Founder and CEO Kevin Kennedy says, “This is always a special night for fans to get up close and personal with not only the journalists and teams they follow but also with other fans. This is a place to grab a beer and talk baseball as if running into these guys at a bar.”

Pitch Talks is coming to the Delmar Hall in St Louis, Missouri at 7:00 PM on May 18, 2017. Pitch Talks is a speaker series that brings top baseball media to bars and clubs across North America.  The St. Louis panel will contain special guests from all aspects of sports media. These events pierce the veil of sports talk on TV and radio and create an up-close, personal, uncensored environment for fans to discuss baseball.

Pitch Talks: St. Louis, a live speaker series connecting fans to intelligent and intimate conversations on baseball, is bringing North America’s top baseball media personalities to the Delmar Hall, located at 6133 Delmar Boulevard in St Louis, Missouri. The show will feature panels with these sports media and baseball insiders:

  • Benjamin Hochman –  St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Derrick Goold –  St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Craig Edwards – Fangraphs, Viva el Birdos
  • Drew Silva – NBC Sports, Rotoworld
  • Jen Langosch –  Louis Cardinals beat blogger
  • Rick Hummel –  Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Jose de Jesus Ortiz – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Chris Hrabe – 1120 AM KMOX
  • Brad Thompson – ESPN WXOS 101.1 FM

And now for the giveaway:  I have 2 tickets to Pitch Talks: St. Louis to give away to a St. Louis area lucky reader!  To qualify to win, please send an email to dmschultz1611@gmail.com and put “Pitch Talks: St. Louis” in the subject line. Please provide your name and the name of your guest in your email message.  The deadline to enter is 4 PM on Sunday, May 14, 2017.  I will put all the names in a Cardinals hat (of course!) and draw the winner’s name. I will email you if you are the lucky winner. Full disclosure:  you will have to provide your own transportation and money for drinks, etc. I only have the tickets.  But you will get to meet me though if you choose to.  In case you don’t win but you want to purchase tickets, click here.

That’s all for now! As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

How can baseball promote itself to women without sounding sexist?

The Cardinals are having a promotional giveaway next Wednesday night of a 1967 World Series replica ring.  Someone who posts on the Cardinals’ Twitter account created a major faux pas by posting a tweet this morning promoting this promotional item:

Anyone with half a brain read that tweet and realized instantly that this was sexist.  The tweet makes it sound like the women only love jewelry and men only love baseball.  There was a firestorm on Twitter about this tweet and it was deleted before I could see it (hey, I have to work for a living. I can’t always be on my iPhone).  Thankfully, my friend Tara Wellman replied with it for me to see.  Thanks, Tara! You’re the bomb!

So seriously, do women not like to go to baseball games?  If you just look at the name of this blog, you’ll know that’s not true.  The trick is for major league baseball to promote the game to appeal to women without looking or acting sexist.  That’s a tall order to fill, but hopefully, there are enough smart people at the major league level and in the team front offices that can get this done.  Here are my suggestions:

Start at the childhood level.  Parents and grandparents who love the game need to take their girls to games and talk to them about the game and how it’s played. If they know how to keep score, they should show the girls how to keep score. The Cardinals’ scorecards have a gatefold with instructions on how to keep score. MLB needs to appeal to the girls on Little League teams. These girls need to be supported and encouraged to love baseball.  As to the how, that’s up to someone at the upper levels of baseball. The Cardinals do a good job with this with the Cardinals Care ballfields.  Children are the future, not only of playing baseball but enjoying baseball as fans as well.

Does every promotional item for women have to be pink? The pink Adidas spikes that MLB was giving away on Twitter today is the epitome of this (see the photo below).  How many women wear spikes anyway unless they’re playing sports? If a woman was wearing spikes, they wouldn’t be pink, they’d match the colors whatever uniform she was wearing or maybe just be black or white spikes.  Surely, MLB and/or the teams can do better. The exception to this would be breast cancer promotional items since pink is the color that represents breast cancer.

MLB needs to advertise in women’s magazines/on women-oriented websites and on women’s TV networks.  MLB needs to hire a top-notch advertising firm that can come up with a slogan and an advertising campaign to make baseball appeal to women without sounding sexist.  Not all women are married to guys who love baseball; not all women are married.  If women don’t know how great baseball is, how are they going to enjoy it? MLB has to advertise in places where women are reading and are watching TV, so they should probably advertise on women’s TV networks as well, such as Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, and/or OWN Network.

MLB Network needs to pick up the TV show “Pitch.”  I can understand why this TV show about the first woman pitcher in baseball was developed and shown on the FOX network since they broadcast the World Series.  FOX didn’t do right by the show, however; it wasn’t advertised well (that I could see) and it was never shown again after the World Series.  FOX also waited until last week to cancel the show.  If they weren’t going to show it again, they should have canceled it sooner. I think MLB Network should pick up and reshow the first season of “Pitch” in its entirety and then order a second season to be filmed while the first season is being shown.  This would show women that MLB is serious about appealing to women and perhaps help women dream about playing major league baseball someday.  MLB Network is the only logical network for a show like “Pitch” and any other shows/movies that feature women and baseball. If MLB Network picks up “Pitch,” it needs to advertise it on women’s TV networks and women’s magazines.

So why do women love baseball and how can PR firms use that information so that more women can learn to love baseball?  Maybe taking a look at why I love baseball could be helpful. I was introduced to baseball by my mother in 1974.  If my parents hadn’t listened to ballgames on KMOX and watched whatever games were on TV back then, I might not have ever become a baseball fan. I enjoy baseball because it not only is a game of skill and brawn, it’s a game of strategy and brains as well.    Baseball is a pretty civilized sport.  Baseball is not a violent sport like football or hockey.  The only violence at a baseball game is the occasional bench-clearing brawl. Although women do not currently play baseball, they did in the past (see the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) and may possibly in the future play baseball again, on a permanent basis.  Baseball is possibly the only male-dominated sport that women could possibly play someday.

My friend Jessica Quiroli (@heelsonthefield) has also written a blog post about how baseball could market to women, and you can read that here.  St. Louis area readers, stay tuned for my next blog post with a giveaway for 2 tickets to the upcoming Pitch Talks: St. Louis.  I will be there and you don’t want to miss it, not just because you’ll get to meet me,  but you’ll get to hear from baseball writers you know and hopefully love. Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane