It was my senior year of high school, and like many teenagers, I thought I had it all figured out. My father had scheduled a meeting with some of my teachers in hopes of getting some updates on my progress that year. It ended up being a rather harmless chat, but after most everyone had left, my biology teacher lingered.
He sat on the table and looked and me.
“I don’t think you want to be a doctor,” he said. “I think you’re doing it because you know that’s what would make your father happy.”
I was flabbergasted, pretty angry, and quickly (and curtly) denied his accusation. Rather than taking it as a concerned teacher picking up on something that was probably pretty obvious to him, it felt like someone not only attacking my decision making, but attacking my father as well. Now, nearly 20 years later, I realize he was right. My father was never forcing me to do anything, but being the giant figure he was to me as a child, his guidance was gospel and I felt I had to follow in his footsteps.
Recently, I haven’t been able to get that moment out of my head. My teacher sitting there, telling me a truth I had yet to accept—even realize—and I can’t help shake the feeling that that was a turning point in my life. Back then I chose the wrong path—sure, the truth eventually revealed itself to me, but I stuck with something I never really wanted to do.
And here I am, finally doing what I want to do. I’m running a Cubs site under the Baseball Prospectus banner. Eighteen months ago the mere thought of that wasn’t even a possibility. These locals didn’t exist and working for BP seemed like a far off reality, but now this is where I sit. I’m leading a group of talented, emerging writers and living my dream.
And yet, a turning point. They present themselves more often than we realize, and often when we least expect. It wasn’t too long ago that I was on vacation in Florida in late March, putting together my staff for this site, and now, here I am writing this to let you all know that this piece is my goodbye to BP Wrigleyville. It’s certainly been a shorter run than I expected, but I can’t express more clearly just how happy I am with what we’ve created with this site and all the other locals. I’ve been lucky enough to put together a staff that delivers quality work on a regular basis, and there’s no doubt in my mind that what we did this past season was some of the best Cubs-related work out there.
I’m surrounded by so much talent both here at the locals and on the main site, and I’m lucky to even be mentioned in the same breath as them and the many great writers who came before me here at BP. The names are so numerous that it’s not possible for me to mention all that I have to thank—there are those who helped me before I even was at BP, those who eventually were a part of bringing me aboard, those who shaped me as a writer, editor, and manager while I’ve been here, and those who delivered great work under my guidance. They know who they are and I’m forever in their debt. I’ll miss working with all of them, my Daisy Cutter column on the main site, and challenging myself with national stories.
But now another challenge waits. I won’t share too much right away, but just know that you’ll be getting the same level of Cubs coverage that I’ve delivered over the years, just more of it and more thoroughly covered. And just because BP Wrigleyville is losing me, doesn’t mean it won’t be a destination for you any longer; with me leaving, hopefully it just means you’ll be adding one more site to your favorites.
Of course I’ve now gone too far without thanking the most important people: all of you. There are some of you who have been reading me for years, since I was a freelancer at ESPN and others who may have just recently discovered my work. Whoever you may be and however long you’ve been with me, I hope you continue to enjoy my work as much as I’ve enjoyed delivering it. I’m excited to see where things go with my new venture, but more than the excitement, there’s pride. I can look back on what I’ve done here at BP Wrigleyville and know I’ve helped start something special, and I look forward to seeing where it will go, even if I will no longer be the guide.
It’s nearly two decades later, and I certainly don’t have things all figured out, but things are starting to become a little clearer.