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Open Letter of Tribute to Baseball-Fever and Webmaster Sean Holtz

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  • Open Letter of Tribute to Baseball-Fever and Webmaster Sean Holtz

    I haven't been as active on baseball-fever as in days of old. But this morning, as I was waking up slow, it dawned on me what a great site we are and some of the reasons why. So, here is my tribute to Baseball-Fever, and our wonderful Superman of a Founding Father, our beloved Webmaster Sean Holtz.

    This morning, it seems to me that we are very much like the New York Times. The reference model of all online baseball discussion sites. And that is not an accident. There are very clear, certain, discernable reasons why we became so good.

    1. Webmaster Sean Holtz set about to make us the best online baseball discussion site. He already had baseball-almanac, but it wasn't a discussion site. He crafted us to be the discussion division of baseball-almanac. He gifted us with all the online tools we would need, and recruited the best and brightest to administer it. The Fever mods have done it right. Like a good government, you barely know they're there, unless you disrupt or attack someone or sink to bad language or are too routinely rude. Play by the rules and you'll never know they're even there.

    2. Webmaster Sean has provided all the online tools there are. He provides options for size, fonts, bold, color, italics, underline, icon emotions, hyper-links, photos, and many more which I never even investigated. These tools have given everyone all they need to present professional-looking presentations of all sorts. I, myself, have availed myself of many of them, including photos.

    For almost a year, we lost our photos full sizes. But Webmaster Sean never gave up on regaining that essential feature. He worked for months to solve that tough problem until he did solve it! Now we once again have our photos full-sized and they are the glory of our site!! Sean did that. That is why I see him as our Superman, our protector. He slaves behind the scenes on a daily basis to put out the fires and solve all the technical problems.

    Like President Dana White of the UFC, he wakes up every day and sees how many problems he can take on and solve.

    When I look at Baseball-Fever and Sean, I see the New York Times. I really do. You smile but please allow me to explain, and see if you agree or not.

    I see Baseball-Fever very much like the New York Times around 1896, before Arthur Simon Ochs bought it and took it over. He found a newspaper not different in any way and set out to make it important. He knew and understood what it took to make a newspaper great. What it should cover, how much coverage to give a particular story, how a newspaper should look, cost, and feel. He knew how to attract the right people to run a newspaper and make it look right, read right, what was news, what wasn't, how to present news. Everything from how physically big the paper should be, what stock of paper, what fonts to use, how to make the appearance look clean, how the columns should be spaced, how to not sensationalize a story, how to not let a headline scream when it shouldn't.

    Three of the most important people that make the New York Times the newspaper of importance it became were publisher, Arthur Ochs, managing editor Carr Van Anda, and sports editor, Bernard Thomson.

    Sean Holtz reminds me of Arthur Simon Ochs. Ochs bought the New York Times in 1896 and turned it into the flagship of newspaper journalism excellence. He knew how to do this and had the skills to do it.

    I see myself as one of Sean's able lieutenants, just as Carr Van Anda was one of Och's able lieutenants. Ochs guided the New York Times from 1896 until his death April 8, 1935. Carr Van Anda was arguably the greatest managing editor ever to work in newspapers. He guided the New York Times as its managing editor from 1904 to 1932. He too, understood what it took to raise a newspaper above its competitors.

    Above all, he knew what a newspaper should cover. What stories should be covered. I tried to guide our History of the Game Forum much like a managing editor guides a newspaper. I tried to introduce the important subjects that a baseball site should discuss. The Federal League, The Player's League, Executives, the sports writers, sports announcers, the essential player vs. player comparisons, the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, historical player photos, 19th century player photos, Negro L. player photos, the Cobb Consensus, Babe Ruth photos, Cobb photos, team photos of the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates, Tigers, A's, Reserve Clause, Joe Jackson's Innocense, Committed Opinions, The Sporting News, Baseball Digest, Sporting Life, Baseball Integration, Bill James' effect, Attendance/Popularity, Yankee Stadium, Baseball Magazine, Historical Salaries, Extreme Positions, Realignment/Contraction/Expansion, Baseball's Most Important Publications, Best/Worst Thing That Could Happen, Why Were the Yankees Baseball's Most Important Team?, etc.

    These were discussions that any baseball site that hopes to consider itself important should discuss at least a little, and hopefully a lot.

    Bernard Thomson guided the sports section of the Times from 1916 to 1937. Like Van Anda for the entire paper, so Thomson understood what a newspaer's sports section should do and look like. He increased the number of sports writers from 6 to 46 by the time he died. He knew how to keep the sports page looking clean, uncluttered, and how much coverage to assign each sport and story. When he died in 1937, the New York Times was the envy of all newspapers and its sports section was the envy of all newspapers.

    So, I, too, tried to make Baseball-Fever the envy of all online baseball discussion sites. Or I should say, our History Forum. I was never the Moderator of History of the Sport, but our Moderator, Leecemark, has graciously allowed me to run the History Forum as I thought it should be run. He allowed me to create a thread, called Vintage, Classic Threads, which serves as the heartbeat of History Forum. No longer a need to dig so hard to find some of the more interesting threads of days gone by.

    Both Sean and leecemark allowed me to create a few specialized vehicles for us. Which I am forever grateful for. Sean allowed me to create Historical Photos for some of our more outstanding photo threads. And he allowed me to Mod it.

    Lastly, but just as important, or maybe even more important are our members. Again, the envy of online baseball discussion sites. We boasted the most robust, informed fans online. The most knowledgeable pool of online fans to be found. Here are just a few of the members that I so enjoyed sparring with over the years. Sadly, many are no longer with us.

    AG2004, Appling, AutographCollector, Babefan, Blackout, bmarlowe, Brad Harris, brett, Brian McKenna, cbenson5, ChrisLDuncan, CTaka, DiMag4Life, Domenic, E.Banks#14, EdTarbusz, El Halo, Fuzzy Bear, George H Ruth, GiambiJuice, Honus Wagner Rules, Iowanic, Iron Jaw, ItsOnlyGil, Ize19, J W, Jake Patterson, jalbright, JRB, KCGHOST, LouGehrig, Macker, OleMissCub, Paul Wendt, PVNICK, runningshoes, SHOELESSJOE3, Sirmudgeon, tearforamariner, The Commissioner, the Kid, Westlake, 2Chance, 538280, 9RoyHobbsRF, AstrosFan, Baseball Guru, Bench 5, BigRon, bmarlowe, BoSox Rule, BSmile, Calif_Eagle, Captain Cold Nose, catcher24, dgarza, digglahhh, dominik, DoubleX, Edgartohof, Erik Bedard, four tool, Freakshow, GaryL, Imapotato, janduscframe, keystone, KHenry14, leecemark, Los Bravos, mac195, Mattingly, Minstrel, mwiggins, Myankee4life, MyDogSparty, RuthMayBond, RyanExpress30, SABR Matt, Sockeye, Steffo, stejay, Sultan_1895-1948, The Dude, The Kid, TonyStarks, Tyrus4189Cobb, west coast orange and black, westfield, willshad, Windy City Fan, wrgptfan, yanks0714.

    As I said, the most knowledgeable pool of online baseball fans I ever came across.

    Anyone wish to contribute anything to this little tribute?
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-13-2012, 06:18 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post

    Anyone wish to contribute anything to this little tribute?
    My favorite thing is the lack of drunk frat-boys being all "Dude, yankeez sux" all the time. I mean we have a few total homers a few trolls and a few who seek conflict at every turn, but the vast bulk of poster exhibit total class.

    Either way, we miss you around here, Bill. Wish you would find the time to visit more often.
    Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 09-12-2012, 07:28 AM.
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