Here's something I'm particularly grateful for today: my video Pitching Diamonds: Cy Young's First No-Hitter (http://youtu.be/QNsFJ7cxVR4) has just passed the 5,000 views milestone.
I am so appreciative for everyone who has checked it out over the course of the past two and a half years, and I am grateful for all the views, comments and feedback I've received on all my video efforts.
I first posted the Cy video in the very early hours of April 6, 2012 -- the overnight following Opening Day of the 2012 season for my New York Mets. That day, Mets ace Johan Santana returned from shoulder surgery to pitch a masterful five innings while helping to secure a 1-0 win over the Braves.
Later that season, Johan would pitch the first no-hitter in Mets history. I watched both of those games on TV, with my Mom.
Looking back on them now, and reflecting on all that has happened since — to my team, and in my life — I cannot help but smile when I think of how lucky I am to have had so many great experiences as a baseball fan, and as a writer.
The Cy video marks my first step beyond the Five Minutes in Space series — the first time I've posted a video intended for a broader audience. I had originally launched my YouTube channel in January, 2011 as a way to communicate with like-minded fans of space exploration — the folks who might know me as the author of Echoes Among the Stars or Spaceflight.
When I started researching my baseball project about a year later, it was awesome to have the ability to transform one small slice of the research into an 'instant' short-form documentary that I could immediately share online. It allowed me to reach out to other baseball fans, and to give everyone who might be interested in my writing a chance to see a little bit of my work in progress.
There were 10 years between the publication of my first book (Echoes, in 2000) and my second (Spaceflight, 2010), and that's a really long time to have to try to describe your current project, again and again, in a manner that's succinct and vivid enough to capture someone's interest. Especially when the project is constantly evolving, or as you shift your attention from one project to another.
Having a video sample helps me to honor the question, and to provide a meaningful answer for those who are kind enough, or interested enough, to ask about my work. I am always grateful for both the interest and the support, as writing can often be a fairly solitary pursuit, and it's important to stay plugged into those who care the most about your work.
Which brings me, not coincidentally, back to the game of baseball.
In baseball, as in writing, as in life itself, there is so much joy to be found in being part of something larger than yourself: a team, a city, a sport, a life, a history…
I like to think that my own experiences of that feeling of joy, however personal or humble, have given me some small idea of what it's like for those who are at the heart of the greatest moments in the history of the game.
Just as time passes and those moments are transformed into memories, all the little joys we experience first-hand remain as near as our connections to the times we shared, and to the people who shared them with us along the way.
And as we remember and record and pass along the stories of those moments, we also pass along a little bit of each of us. Clapping, cheering, breathing right along with our favorite team or favorite players, we all take our seats in the stands as the game rolls on, helping to shape some small part of a day, or a season, or a lifetime.
That's baseball, and history, and life. And I'm grateful for the chance to share it with all of you.