The Heirloom's Dead End

Chicago 2009 5
Where the twain meets. Photo by Randy Stern

"What's happening with The Heirloom?"

It's been a question that has popped up by non-readers of this site for a while. This is probably a chance to explain all of this contextually.

Since the early 2000s, one of my writing topics had been about sports. Baseball has been the primary sport of choice for most of my life, so I felt compelled to put my love for the game into words. Of those who read my work, they hoped it would be available on a larger stage for the world to see.

In 2008, Major League Baseball Advanced Media opened up their MLBlogs sites for no charge, as opposed to a per month rate. Not only did I migrate my earlier work onto the new site, I began writing volumes of new and relative material. The Heirloom was born. It became the bane of my existence while figuring out what to do with the rest of my written work.

This year alone saw a turn towards a different focus. Regular readers of V&R have witnessed this turn as I put more emphasis on the automotive work above my baseball writing. The growing readership along with the inroads made in this industry superseded what I was hoping to do with The Heirloom.

Something had to give. The Heirloom ended right after the greatest regular season finale in baseball history. It's still up, but it will not be updated anymore.

For those who are fans of my baseball writing, I can state that I was pitched a potential project to have a compilation of that work put into an eBook format. I am not at liberty to divulge any details of this project at this time. Once details are finalized, I will put out a message on my social media outlets on the project and so forth.

V&R remains a solid place for my automotive work to grow. I will also expand V&R's presence on another site as part of a local magazine's online experience. Plus, my experience working in social media is becoming more of a consultancy for businesses and individuals to help strategize and organize their online presence to connect with other interested parties.

But, there is a fact that may not come as a surprise to those of us in and around the automotive industry. We auto folks are sports fans, too!

Go on Twitter and check out the followers I have. Every Saturday, it becomes a battle between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Sundays are about the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. With MLB's Postseason under way, the Detroit-based contingent is rallying behind their Tigers.

Obviously, plenty of my colleagues are into motorsport. For the industry, motorsport remains the test bed for the future of their products. A new technology gets sent to the track before it would be installed on your new vehicle. A win on the track is a win for the entire company – or, at leats the brand tacked onto the winner. At least, that's how it works. NASCAR still believes in the "win on Sunday, drive on Monday" philosophy, despite the current Sprint Cup racers look nothing like their production counterparts.

One of my friends and supporters of my work tweeted that you hoped I would integrate baseball with this work. Maybe. The interesting point about the game is the insanity Major League ballparks have in store for motorists. To see the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, I'd rather leave the car at home and take public transport to the game. The same goes for the Minnesota Wild, Timberwolves and Lynx, Milwaukee Bucks and Admirals, Chicago Bears…and so forth.

In the case of seeing minor league sports, a car would be put into play. Minor league venues are great not only for the price of admission – it is also because of the price of everything else. Last year, I recall just paying a few dollars to park close to Principal Park in Des Moines to the see the Iowa Cubs. That's came to about the same as a round trip on the Chicago Transit Authority to get to and from Wrigley Field from The Loop.

When a review vehicle comes up next spring, I might be compelled to take it on a baseball trip somewhere. Not too far, perhaps. Maybe it will be taken to a minor league game (or an independent league game – such as the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks or the Windy City Thunderbolts).

As for The Heirloom, I feel a sense of relief. I do miss the camaraderie of my fellow baseball bloggers, but I am getting that amongst my fellow automotive journalists, enthusiasts and colleagues in the industry. I walked away from MLBlogs with some allies for the long haul, however. I can be proud of that fact.

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