December 30, 2011
Obituaries were one of my regular assignments as a young freelance reporter. They were never fun, and I suspect I failed to do my subjects the justice they deserved. I remember feeling ill-equipped to encapsulate in words a story lived in emotion. Our website may not have been, you know, a person, but I'll admit that Nationals Pride and its successor, Nationals Daily News, were an important part of my life for more than six years — a part whose obituary I am saddened to write today.
Debuting on Opening Day of the Nationals' inaugural season, it'd be safe to say the site peaked during the 2010 season when the Nationals became the first team in MLB to grant press credentials to "online-only" media. I couldn't have been prouder that ours was one of the few sites deemed worthy of credentialing.
We were updating the blog several times a day and the front page news daily. We had original photos and splashy headlines. We had our own 'gamecast' system and you could keep tabs on every game in baseball in real-time. You could find all of the latest news and blogs — even the weather — for every team in baseball. Our goal was to entertain and inform, and if we happened to show that digital-only journalism had a place in baseball, so be it.
As the site grew, so did the lives of the people who powered it. We were a team of creative and committed individuals — all of us lifelong baseball fans. Inevitably and appropriately, priorities evolved and the fun we were having with the site became no match for growing families and burgeoning careers.
My own commitment to the site sputtered through the end of the 2010 campaign, and more or less ended when I started a job in the Senate last December. After a few months of characteristically over-ambitious wishful thinking, I accepted reality and made my departure official in June.
Each of us who was part of the site had a similar story, and over the last year and a half, most of us withdrew from the site in pursuit of other commitments. Though Nationals Daily News has now stopped publishing, I am delighted that Mark's fascinating columns on the history of D.C. baseball will continue on his own new blog.
There are great stories on the evolution of the Nationals franchise still to be told. While I regret that Nationals Daily News won't be contributing to that coverage, I look forward to reading all about it on District Sports Page, Federal Baseball, We Love DC, and Nationals.com. I hope you'll do the same. With all due respect to the Washington Post, it doesn't take newsprint to produce quality journalism. Not any more.
I won't regurgiate my personal "epilogue" NDN post from June, but I did want to make sure the site's end was made official somewhere. It was great fun, and I will be eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible. Thank you.