One year ago, I woke up and went about my daily routine. Read tweets, roll eyes at Darren Rovell suggesting Percy Harvin wear #12 in Seattle, shower, walk downstairs to start work, turn on the World Baseball Classic. Alex Liddi was playing for Italy, and I watched him swing at two straight balls immediately after Edinson Volquez just threw 12 balls in a row. Compose several snarky tweets. Think I'm super clever. There wasn't anything new on Lookout Landing to read, but I still clicked it habitually through the day.
Then at 4:30, a simple tweet popped into my feed, as it usually did with Jeff. No hype that anything was coming out, just a straight title and link, left alone for people to click. Lookout Landed. It's safe to say many of us knew before we even clicked. It was a strange mixture of emotions. I'd been reading Lookout Landing every day since my baseball awakening, that moment when we all move from casual fans to being all consumed by the game, eating up every drop of information, snark, and emotion we can gather. Suddenly, I realized, my daily routine was never doing to be the same. Would there be a replacement? Surely, he wouldn't be as good.
I wanted to chime in on the comments, but struggled with the right words to say. How can you tell somebody you've never met how much they've influenced your life? How can you properly convey how much joy a person's work has brought? I hadn't posted at LL with any regularity in years. I was nothing but a lurker, but reading the comments of everyone else reminded me that I wasn't alone in my emotion. As the comments from those who rarely posted poured in, I added mine an hour later, well after the initial storm had passed. I didn't know what else but to say thank you.
A year later, I still struggle to define my emotion, even as managing editor of this site. After a few whirlwind months writing with a rapidly increasing role, Lookout Landing ended up in my hands in May. I inherited Jeff's readers, his Twitter followers, his creation. Brilliant tweets from Jeff's past now show up as if I'd tweeted them. It didn't feel right then. A year later, it still doesn't. I'm the person behind Lookout Landing, but I am not Lookout Landing. Not now. Colin, Matt, Nathan, Ashley, Logan, Patrick, Jesse, Eric, and several others along the way are. You are. We are, together. Searching for success from this franchise that we can experience together.
This site would not exist today if it weren't for the people that put their faith in the replacements that have turned this website into the evolving, mutli-voice platform that it is today. I was intimidated the first time I published my words here, and was even more intimidated when I took the helm, managing many different writers with different styles while still finding my own. You didn't know me when I introduced myself. Some of were skeptical, and surely some of you still are. I wasn't the most qualified. But I had ideas for how I wanted to take this site in a new direction while honoring its past. I never wanted to imitate what Jeff created, because that era of Lookout Landing should be placed in a glass box and live on forever in the archives. Nothing's worse than a cheap knock-off.
I'm not intimidated anymore. I haven't been in a long time. I have you to thank for that. For as devastated as many of us were a year ago, I hope you see as bright of a future for this website as I do. I appreciate all of the support you have provided to me and all the wonderful talent I've been fortunate to have join me on this continuing endeavor.
To Jeff, Matthew, and to all of those who now make this site what it is every single day. To you. Thank you.