I was born and brought up as a New York sports fan following in my Dad's footsteps. My dad played football in high school, and it has been his second passion ever since (hunting is his favorite). He's been a New York Jets fan his entire life, and he passed that plague down to me. I remember laying in bed crying when I was younger; miserable because the Jets choked up the lead in a key playoff game and were eliminated. My parents told me over and over that I could switch teams if I wanted to, but I've never had the heart to do so. Part of this was because I at least had a legendary baseball team to follow (so thankful my Dad wasn't a Jet/Met fan). I started watching baseball towards the end of the 2004 playoffs, and somehow stuck with the Yankees even through losing to Boston in Game 7 of the ALCS. In 2005 I went baseball crazy; reading every article I could and begging my parents to take me to Yankee Stadium. I used to cut out each player's profile picture and make little cards with their statistics on them and drafted different teams to emulate in my front yard. I can only imagine my neighbors watching me run around and announce the games to myself and thinking I needed to be put in some kind of institution. Nevertheless, a baseball fan was born in me.
In elementary school, I made everyone a baseball and football card collector. One of my friends didn't even like sports and still brought in cards to trade every lunch. Every year one of them would fade off and leave the hobby, and eventually I was almost alone in my own world. I still have a few friends from school that would appreciate some Yankees cards, but that was really it. I Google searched "baseball cards" in July of 2008, and wound up starting a YouTube account where I would open packs of cards for all the world to see. My parents found out about it and saw I was trying to negotiate trades online with strangers and told me I needed to delete the account. I was heartbroken, but didn't give up. Shortly after, I opened up a blog on Weebly, and made my first post that October. I didn't have much of a following until I brought all of my material over to Blogger in December. Blogger was a blessing for me, because the feeling of "writing to a blank wall" began to dissipate as my viewership grew ever so slightly. My writing was far from excellent back during those times, but I gave my best effort to write like my then favorite bloggers: Mario Alejandro of Wax Heaven, Dave of Fielder's Choice Blog, and Beardy of Beardy's Blog, and later the Mojo Beard.
Over the past seven years writing for this blog, I've come across many fantastic people. I started talking to my now best friend William from North Carolina in July of 2009. He's about twice my age, lives down South, and is a fan of my rival Orioles, yet we've used this hobby to become extremely close. He writes a great blog himself over at foul bunt; please check it out if you haven't already. We have met twice in person, which would have never happened if any of the events earlier never occurred or occurred differently; which I find amazing. He and his son Christopher and brother Adam joined my Dad and I for a trip up to Cooperstown in the summer of 2013, and it was probably the best hobby experience I've ever had.
Growing up in this Internet age has taught me so much more than can be expressed in this Blogger template. I went through an extremely awkward adolescence, and was often shy wherever I went. Through this blog, I learned to be confident in myself and in my abilities, and formed a voice for myself. I used my creativity to create custom cards for a while, and learned speaking skills by standing in line at various card shows talking to other sports fans. I am now a Sports Communication major in college, and I know for a fact that I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you reading this blog today. I may come and go for spurts on this site through finals, vacations, and other events, but as long as this hobby stays the way I know and love it, I don't plan on leaving any time soon.
Collecting sports cards and memorabilia is more than just a hobby to me. It's my way of channeling my love for the game, displaying those I've admired through watching YES Network night after night, those whose batting stances I've mocked standing in my basement growing up, and those larger than life heroes I've gotten the opportunity to shake hands with. I've lived a very special 18 years, and I have to give all the credit there is to my family, friends, and all of you. But there is an endless amount of opportunites lying in my future, in the sports world, and in the future of this site. I'm looking forward to the ride.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also, be sure to follow Twitter account, @drewmihans, to keep posted on any sports news and blog updates!
Thank you all, and as always, See Ya!
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