I can’t believe it’s coming up on five years since I decided to finally go for it.
I had just enrolled at Quinnipiac University to pursue a degree in journalism in what was my second attempt at a college education. But this second try was different. I was nearly four years sober and ready to awaken the dreams I had lost when I was caught inside a miserable revolving door of detox and rehab.
Four years of a drug-free mind made it clear for me: I still wanted to write about sports.
So, I worked my ass off and got into Quinnipiac, but I had read all the books from the esteemed sports writers and broadcasters that we all know and love. Simply getting a degree wasn’t enough. You had to be writing all the time, poring through countless layers of your own crap until you found your own voice and personality. So I wanted to hit the ground running and write whenever and whatever I could.
Fortunately, right around that time, my brother sent me a text with a Twitter link. Pinstripe Alley was looking for writers.
I read Pinstripe Alley fairly regularly back then and was immediately drawn to the idea. I wrote a recap of that night’s game and hoped for the best.
I still remember the game. Starlin Castro broke up Jake Odorizzi’s no-hit bid with a two-run home run in the seventh and the Yanks won 2-1. I actually just went back and read that submission the other day, and to be honest, I cringed at how dramatic my wording was. You would have thought I was writing about Game Seven of the World Series. I guess in a way, I was. I really wanted to write about the Yankees, and luckily, Pinstripe Alley gave me a shot.
I also remember my first-ever post as a contributor. It was in the spring of 2016, looking into the brutal slumps of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, and how they both were approaching the end of the line in their playing careers. Now, I’ve reached the end of the line for my time at Pinstripe Alley.
This will be my last post on this site, a site for which I can’t even begin to describe the appreciation and love I have. I found my writing voice at this site, one I continued to write for through college, and even now through my first sports reporting job out of school. But now, as I get ready to move my byline over to WFAN next week, this felt like the best time to say goodbye.
Of course, I can’t say those farewells without thanking the amazing people I’ve gotten to work with on this site. To my original editing crew of Tanya Bondurant, Andrew Mearns, Jason Cohen and Caitlin Rogers, for helping me cut through the over-dramatic writing that I now makes me wince. Thank you to my current editors Jake Devin and Ryan Pavich, who never failed to gently remind me of a deadline that I may or may not have completely forgot about. Thank you to writers like Greg Kirkland, Matt Ferenchick and Kunj Shah, who all helped me see with their own work how to write with humor and personality. Thank you to writers like Joshua Diemert, who even without knowing it, helped ignite my interest in advanced statistics, which I now nerd out on daily. And a huge thank you to Tyler Norton, who helped formulate some of my favorite projects during my time here, like our “Rebuilt” series on the 2016 Yankees, and for thinking of me when the San Francisco Examiner came looking for a freelance writer to cover the 2018 Wild Card Game at the Stadium. Seriously, because of this site and Tyler’s thoughtfulness, I watched Aaron Judge’s first-inning home run from the press box, helping complete my lifelong dream of covering a Yankee playoff game.
I came to Pinstripe Alley to write, but as the website did with many things, it completely surpassed my initial hopes and expectations. I’ll never forget Tyler messaging me one day asking if I’d be interested in moving my Yankee podcast to Pinstripe Alley, which became a weekly treasure for my brother and me. Sometimes I took that for granted, but wow, I got to talk baseball with my own brother every week, and share it with all of you. We started in my brother’s dining room in the summer of 2018 and threw it up on SoundCloud, where it was downloaded roughly 25 times. By the time we reached the spring of 2020, we were nearing 10 grand. We got to talk to David Cone about his new book and his perfect game. We talked to Dwight Gooden about his no-hitter. We talked to Jim Leyritz about his home run in the 1996 World Series, right around the time I fell in love with baseball. It was truly a magical experience.
One thing I know for sure: I may no longer write for this website, but I damn well will still be reading it. I truly believe this is the best Yankees content out there, and I couldn’t have thought of a better place to get my start.
I have no doubt that my time at this site helped me land this spot at WFAN. As a matter of fact, I know it did. For that, I owe everyone involved infinite gratitude, including all you readers and listeners who took the time to read or hear what I had to say. It means the world to me. I wish I could have seen the Yankees win a World Series during my time here, but I’ll always cherish the memories of the 2017 playoffs, and just how exhilarating our Slack channel was during that month. I can’t wait to continue to talk baseball with everyone here, and I can’t wait for what’s next for me. But I’ll never forget what was first, and that was this website. So thank you all.