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:
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!