I love baseball generally and the Red Sox in particular. I was born into it. My mother was a die hard Boston fan, as was her father. And that was surprising, because they were both born and raised in New York. Growing up, my mom told me, she used to babysit the kids of some Brooklyn Dodgers ballplayers. But when the Dodgers headed west and my mom headed north to Rhode Island for college, their allegiance switched to the Red Sox. And that’s where I came in.
I have vivid memories of hearing the games on the radio through a dozen summers. In fact, I wasn’t really listening, but I remember hearing the games on the car radio as we ran weekend chores, or on the TV. Unfortunately for my grandfather, I really didn’t care too much about baseball, or any sports, as a child. I suspect he wished I had.
But sometime after I moved north to Boston to go to college myself, I was suddenly hooked. I don’t remember when or why it happened, but suddenly I couldn’t get enough of it. I enjoyed going to the games, watching them on TV, listening to them on the radio. I enjoyed learning about the history of the Red Sox and other ball clubs, and I relished in the stats. Fortunately, I was able to share a lot of that passion with my mom before she died in 2000. No doubt, like so many other New Englanders then, 2004 was a bittersweet season. Elation mixed with regret that entire generations, including my grandfather’s and my mother’s had been born and had died without getting to see the Red Sox as World Series champions.
You probably could never have convinced me a few years ago that watching baseball with Twitter by my side would be better than without it. I was wrong. Twitter is filled with passionate fans like myself. People who follow the game just as closely. And while the vast majority are not people you’ll have a meaningful conversation with, my experience has been really positive with just a few folks.
At first I started watching the games while tweeting my thoughts at @rdelrossi about how the game was going. Over time, that morphed into a blend of thoughts and stats. So many stats, with new ones created every day of the long season. Soon I was tweeting copiously as the games unfolded, scouring one source and another for stats that were relevant to the moment at hand . And not shortly after that, some of my other Twitter followers started dropping off because there was just too much baseball in my Twitter feed. And honestly, I could understand it. Until then the majority of my Twitter activity had nothing to do with sports. In fact, far from it. And the people who followed me were excused for not being interested in some esoteric Red Sox-oriented statistic.
So starting in 2013 I opened up a new Twitter account called @RSNStats, with news and statistics for the passionate denizens of Red Sox Nation. Later in the year I added the companion RSNStats.com web site for longer-form writing. Both were great moves. I encouraged anyone who followed me for baseball to move on over to @RSNStats and many did. New followers joined in too, and now we have a regular dialog about the game just for people who care about the game. It’s definitely a lot of data and it’s not for everyone. When a Twitter friend didn’t follow I asked why, since I knew she was a loyal Red Sox fan. No offense, she said. Just too many stats. So, if you’re a baseball fan, and particularly a Red Sox fan, have a look at @RSNStats to see if it’s for you.