I woke up this morning to an email from the series editor informing me that “Bugs Bunny, Greatest Banned Player Ever” had been selected to go into the 2007 book (covering 2006 writing) and would I please get them contact information, all that good stuff.
It stunned me for a while. For one, I’ve read the anthologies, and while I don’t write like most sportswriters, I’ve been doing baseball stuff for almost ten years, and I’ve written some pretty good stuff but never thought any of it would have a chance. I figured Bugs, though wildly popular for an internet moment (I got linked on woot.com! w00t!) wouldn’t be able to get noticed, much less be selected, in the vast pool of applicants.
I still think that. Print outlets, people who make money at this, ESPN and Slate writers, they often have editorial backing their submissions, and to my knowledge, no blogger has ever been included in an annual and, though I’m even less sure about this, I believe that it not only makes U.S.S. Mariner the first blog to get something in one of the BASWs, it makes us the only what I’d call “non-mainstream” outlet.
It seems like this should have much wider implications, though obviously I’m a little biased – it’s a first, but I feel like it recognizes something that people who read baseball blogs have known for a while – you can get just as good baseball analysis from David Pinto or the other top-shelf sites as you can from national outlet, or writing that’s as insightful, or funny, or well-researched, and as bonus you can get whatever you want that you’re not getting now.
I’m so happy that something I worked that hard on, and that people responded to, made it through the gauntlet, and I hope in some way this helps baseball blogging in general.