A little over 6 months ago, I started this blog without any real clear direction or plan. Among the many questions I didn’t have answers to I knew few things were quite certain: I love baseball and I want everyone to understand why I love it so much. I wanted to quench this insatiable enthusiasm for educating people on the game of baseball, so I started this to bring my passion to light and eventually have that lead to a career with an MLB team (Mariners I’m looking at you). It was my way to prove I could be a contributing member of the game of baseball by channeling my raw excitement for the sport into something that would concretely say, “She’s more than just a fan of the game.”
Many baseball fans I know have a goal of visiting multiple stadiums (if not all stadiums) in Major League Baseball, so initially I thought that was the place to start for my blog; A way to relate to a variety of fans. Within a month I visited AT&T Park (Giants), the Coliseum (A’s), Wrigley (Cubs) and Busch Stadium (Cardinals) and wrote about my experiences in those stadiums/cities. Turns out it costs a whole lot of money and time to go stadium hopping so though visiting all stadiums still remains a goal, it will be put on pause for the time being. I realized I should be focusing my efforts on expressing my vision of Mariners baseball. After all, it’s what I’ve known my whole life.
The decision to start focusing my writing and creative process through #TrueToTheBlue Covered Glasses was not made entirely on my own. I sought advice from many people on how to focus the blog on my experiences as a fan and future contributor to the league. At this point it still wasn’t clear what I really wanted to do with a professional baseball; I just knew I wanted to do something. The best advice came from a good friend, co-worker and excellent teacher of the ways of professional social media. I still remember the day I sat on the windowsill of his office as we brainstormed on everything from what the title of my blog should be, how to brand myself as a woman who knows baseball, but most importantly how I could turn my blog into something that would separate me from the thousands of other people doing essentially the same thing. The answer was this: I may have the same idea as others, but I’m going to separate myself by being myself. Essentially what that boiled down to was finding my own voice and creating my own journey and not comparing myself to “the thousands of other people”.
From that point it got a little easier. As I’ve mentioned before, I always loved being able to use writing as a form of expression and having this blog as a creative outlet really helped me get back on a more discernible track to what I want to accomplish in life. However, being able to write about baseball and my favorite team was only the start. Shortly after I became comfortable with the idea of putting my thoughts and opinions out there, I followed some advice that I had been avoiding… I created a Twitter account. I shied away from Twitter because I had a serious reservation about people not wanting to hear what I had to say. Even with the blog getting decent feedback and increasing my confidence, I still had a hard time accepting Twitter.
It turned out getting a Twitter account was one of the best decisions I could have made for my blog. Twitter is truly a 24-hour news cycle and I find myself learning so many new things every day, continuously being exposed to a whole slew of wonderfully creative, extremely intelligent and thoughtful people that I would not have found otherwise. Where else could you turn a conversation about Yoenis Cespedes’ eyebrows into a full blown article on Lookout Landing (h/t to you once again @1nceagain2zelda, you the best). On a more serious note, I’ve gotten a ton of inspiration for ideas and gained a lot of respect for the people who educate via social media. The idea of using social media to not only express personal opinions and thoughts, but create an environment where people want to learn is what brings me to my next point…
Around mid-November, four months into my blog, I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do, what my niche was or how I could really begin to insert myself into relevancy. Passion for the sport could not be my only answer. As if the baseball gods were looking down at me in that time of confusion… I got sent a big juicy fastball down the middle that I could either swing over and strike out, or I could crush into the stingray tanks in Tropicana. This offering was in the form a job posting from the Mariners looking to hire a digital marketing coordinator. Being in the age of millennials I knew this job would be of interest to many, as we are all “experts” when it comes to the internet. Anything goes, and it increasingly gets harder to separate your “unique” skill set from people who can do all the same things that you can.
Despite that last minor detail, seeing the job posting made something click and I finally knew what my best fit was. At the time I had spent the last four months trying to educate and communicate a positive message of Mariners baseball independently and the Mariners were hiring for someone to do just that, but on their team. All of the sudden, I wanted nothing more than to start finding ways to help people find fun ways to interact with and learn the game of baseball via social media, as social media had done for me. I was seeing firsthand how powerful of a tool it was and to think I could have the opportunity to join an already highly recognized social media team? A smile did not leave my face that whole day.
Just a couple of days ago, the Mariners had their pre-Spring Training conference (woo!) and the entire front office was unified in their message to the public. Not unlike what they’ve been doing since Dipoto came into his role, they emphasized knowledge and communication among every level of the organization. They reiterated the ideal that when you play a team you’re playing its entire organization and that is the biggest take away from the philosophies the Mariners are adopting. Everyone has to believe in each other and cooperate to project an image for a team that is not only listened to but respected, and social media is the best way to connect people to that message. Social media is one of the most unifying, accessible parts of a business. I would love nothing more than to be apart of an organization that takes the time to invest in that concept. Do I wholeheartedly believe in an organization that prioritizes education and knowledge to improve all aspects of the game? Absolutely. My only hope is that they believe in me, too. Go Mariners.