This is my final blog post of 2012. It’s hard to even begin to explain how strange it is that I, Tony Voda, have begun to actually enjoy writing. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes when you finally have subjects, memories, and opinions which mean something to you. back in school I HATED writing; I dreaded a one page report, let alone anything over 5 pages. To me, anything in the double digits (page-wise) meant that you were writing a book. Now I know, books are not 10 pages long, but those are written by authors, true professionals in their craft. I was less than amateur, as amateur would imply a longing to do said profession, but not yet a professional. As a student that was told WHAT to write and WHEN to write it by, the key element, PASSION, was missing. Without passion, my love of telling tales would lay dormant (outside of silly jokes and fables told aloud among friends).
ENTER SOCIAL MEDIA…
Sure, I was on MySpace, but wasn’t everyone? I wrote stupid and silly one-liners, and I believe my account is now deleted, so any traces of my first brush with social media are long lost. Then Facebook came along, to which I acted like a prima donna star athlete holding out for more money only to realize I was forcing myself into retirement (yes, I T.O./Ochocinco-ed myself). Having never adopted my Facebook-persona, I skipped right ahead to Twitter. Sure, Twitter was so 2011 of me, but 2012 was my first full year of use, and when coupled with this blog, I finally feel “connected”.
(Shameless plug: VISIT ME AT @TonyV433 ON TWITTER!)
…AND NOW WE BLOG!
As I mentioned above, I coupled my Twitter feed with my newly minted blog. I had read Zack Hample’s blog in the 2011 offseason and realized that I finally had a small collection of baseballs, why not document THEIR stories?! Well, that’s not entirely true, I guess I forgot to tell you that I was originally trying to write a book, for my eyes only (more than likely), about my autograph and ball collecting, and then spiraling out of control into all of the Twins stories and memories that I had formed over my impressionable years. I soon realized that my book, though great for holding on to my stories, would really only remind ME of what I had done, and if I already remember, then what’s the point? Sure, it helps preserve most of the entire memory, pieces which fall apart over time, but my ego was trying to tell me something otherwise, “YOU SECRETLY WANT TO HAVE PEOPLE READ YOUR BOOK, RIGHT?”
Yes, brain/ego, you are correct, I do want people to hear my stories. We all have an ego, so why not feed it sometimes, especially when all mine wanted to do was share my stories, opinions, memories, and *GASP* sometimes my FEELINGS! (I have never been good at sharing those personal pieces of myself, something my ego/brain was probably telling me to release.) So I put it all together; I want to write a book, but cannot afford publishing it or the humiliation of no one buying it. The book idea was scrapped. I want to be connected, and have visited great blogs, so why not turn to social media (blogging in particular)? Ahhhh! This was surely too hard, too much of a burden on my time and energy. Plus, what if I lose the passion or find out I don’t like to write any longer?
Well, with the book idea scrapped, and the blog idea being the next best thing, I took the plunge…
PLOUFFE’S NEW HAIRDO WAS BORN!
OK, OK, for those handful of hits that went to a previous blog of mine called “Plouffe Is Delmoning”, yes, that was my original blog, but I only posted one thing over there. That first post was even copied over to this blog before the original blog was totally deleted (this is the reason why the picture is missing in that post). Now that we have that formality out of the way, we have now traveled, virtually, of course, through May of 2012. Here’s where it gets interesting.
Remember how I said that I was scared of how overwhelming blogging sounded? Well, I had all of my ballhawking stories to tell from 2009 through the first part of 2012 to share, and it was already June! Around the middle of June I finally sat down and started documenting the past events, the events that led to me collecting my first 37 baseballs. I built up a steady number of posts in the first couple days and convinced myself that if I was able to share a post a day, I would then be caught up before my trip to Kansas City.
Do any of you reading this remember my string of 23 days posting? It happened from 6/21-7/13. If you are one of the handful of people who was around for this period, HIGH FIVE!!
Back to the story
Now that we are caught up in this story, here are the fascinating statistics behind this blog in 2012. (I would almost make a joke about stats being boring, but I cannot, as I actually do enjoy stats, and I would also dare to say that most “baseball geeks” that read MLBlogs also enjoy stats/numbers.)
2012: By the Stats
- Total Number of Posts: 61 (excluding this post)
- First post: 5/28/2012
- Last post: 12/31/2012
- Total Word Count: 56,985 (excluding this post)
- Most words in one post: 3,797 (Big Day For Bigfoot at Kauffman Stadium – Balls 43-47 (7/20/2012))
- Least words in one post: 78 (Plouffe Blast and a Twins Win!)
- Average # of words/post: 934
- Total # of Pictures: 180
- Most pictures in one post: 16 (Target Field Season Ticket Holder Promotion – Hang Out At Target Field!)
- Least pictures in one post: 0 (shared by multiple)
- Average # of pictures/post: 3 (2013 goal: more pictures AND videos!)
- Total # of Baseballs Blogged: 80 (please keep in mind I blogged about 2009-2011 in 2012!)
- Total # of posts for BALLHAWK blog posts: 31 (posts in which I only talk about baseballs hawked)
- Total word count for BALLHAWK blog posts: 38,384
- Total # of pictures for BALLHAWK blog posts: 100
- Average # of baseballs per BALLHAWK post: 3.22 (this is my career average per game in which I ballhawk)
- Most balls in one game: 7 (done 3 times)
- Fewest balls in one game: 1 (done multiple times, and excluding the years of getting skunked up until 2009)
- Average word count per ball hawked: 480
- Most words/ball in one post: 1,407 (My First Ball (4/15/2009))
- Fewest words/ball in one post: 143 (…And This Was A Noon Game – Balls 40-42 (7/19/2012))
- Average # of pictures per ball in a BALLHAWK post: 1.25
- Highest # of pictures per ball: 3.00 (Big Day For Bigfoot at Kauffman Stadium – Balls 43-47 (7/20/2012))
- Fewest # of pictures per ball: 0.14 (My Camera-Bag Overfloweth – Balls 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, AND 37 (6/25/2012))
- Average # of days delay between game and post: 231
- Highest # of days delay between game and post: 1,163 (My First Ball (4/15/2009))
- Fewest # of days delay between game and post: 0 (…And This Was A Noon Game – Balls 40-42 (7/19/2012))
“UH OH!! Why should I keep reading?! You take 231 days between event and post!!”
Good question, hypothetical reader. The answer is put best in this simple headline:
THE TALE OF TWO SEASONS
The idea is pretty straight forward, I had a period in which I was catching up (posts made 5/28/2012 through 7/11/2012), and the other period where I was live (7/12/2012 posts and onward). It’s amazing how much the stats change when you put these two periods up against each other; even the baseball totals change for the better! I guess you could say that I became a “real ballhawk” the same time as I became a “real blogger”… Dang, I just realized how much hate those two communities get. ‘Tis a shame, I’ve met some really great ballhawks/bloggers along the way, too.
I guess that’s it; you’ll just have to take my word that the statistics are incredible. I’m not letting you off the hook that easily.
Statistics (Two Seasons Remix) <;- You better have gotten the music joke/reference right there! (Figures below are represented as "Part 1"/"Part 2")
- Total Number of Posts: 26/35
- Total Word Count: 22,758/34,227
- Most words in one post: 2,958/3,797
- Least words in one post: 212/78
- Average # of words/post: 875/978
- Total # of Pictures: 25/155
- Most pictures in one post: 2/16
- Least pictures in one post: 0/0
- Average # of pictures/post: 0.96/4.43
- Total # of Baseballs Blogged: 37/43
- Total # of posts for BALLHAWK blog posts: 21/10
- Total word count for BALLHAWK blog posts: 21,079/17,305
- Total # of pictures for BALLHAWK blog posts: 22/78
- Average # of baseballs per BALLHAWK post: 1.76/4.3
- Most balls in one game: 7/7
- Fewest balls in one game: 1/1
- Average word count per ball hawked: 1,004/1,731
- Most words/ball in one post: 1,407/759
- Fewest words/ball in one post: 257/143
- Average # of pictures per ball in a BALLHAWK post: 0.80/1.75
- Highest # of pictures per ball: 2.00/3.00
- Fewest # of pictures per ball: 0.14/1.00
- Average # of days delay between game and post: 341/1.5
- Highest # of days delay between game and post: 1,163/4
- Fewest # of days delay between game and post: 16/0
Believe me now?! Yep, got my average delay down to less than 48 hours. if you take out my Kansas City trip post, that delay is actually less than a day. As I was on the road with only my mobile device AND on vacation with my wife, I decided to delay the post until I got back.
I am kind of kicking myself now, as I wish I would have thought about tallying my # of thank yous. But listening to myself say that as I type this, I realize that kind of sounds big-headed of me, that’s the bad ego try to escape.
As is customary on my blog, here are my thank yous:
Thank you to those bloggers who I have either met in person, talked to online, or inspired me in other ways. I think you all know who you are, as evidence of either the mentions in this blog, or on my twitter feed.
Thank you to the Twins fans, and the Twins organization as a whole. I know that times have been tough the last few seasons, but it’s still great to call the Twins “my team”.
One last thanks to Trevor Plouffe. To see the improvements made in 2012, I am really excited to see what 2013 will bring.
Thank you to my wife and the rest of my family. Being with/around a ballhawk is not easy, but thanks for letting me do my thing. Everyone has their hobby(s), this is one of mine. I hope that future generations will also share in this story…
Lastly, thank you to the quadruple digits that came to this page! My ego is properly in check; I cannot even comprehend how that many people even checked out this site… but then I also realize just how few that really is compared to other blogs. So do not fret, dear reader, my ego inflates and deflates all at once; I hope it’s at just the right amount of pressure.
(OK, I lied, here is the last thank you. Thank you to everyone touched by or helping with those afflicted by Mental Illnesses. In a previous post, I mentioned that I will be donating to a charity in 2013 based on my ballhawking adventures. I know so many people that are fighting their illness, and so many more that have helped others around them, in order to make sure that they aren’t alone. Many of the thank yous I listed above have either helped me directly, or ever so slightly, and for this I am truly grateful.)