As we welcome the New Year, for 2018, we here at FastpitchWest.com celebrate our 20th anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been that long. The internet was a different place back then — no Facebook (2004), no Twitter (2006).
At the start, Fastpitch West was little more than a bulletin board of postings. But it grew quickly, thanks to all of you. I confess that in 1998, I wasn’t really planning to start a fastpitch website. I had a website for my law firm and was posting of results from local games here in Southern California. Players and fans seemed to like that and starting sending information on their games and upcoming events. I liked it because instead of chasing down information on games, they were showing up in my email inbox. More and more, until I realized that there was a thirst for information and coverage of the game, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I had been an avid reader of Ray Anderson’s “Fastpitch Bulletin” and Bob Tomlinson’s “Fastpitch Chronicle”, and missed the regular coverage of fastpitch when they stopped publishing their hard copy publications.
My friend Larry Fisher of the ISC and I used to trade letters, and later emails about the game. His letters often ended with the question “What’s going on out west ?” This website became the answer to his question, and his question, the genesis of this website’s name.
The scores, information and more kept coming in, and we kept sharing them with you. When time permitted, “the Editor” wrote some original content, and shared his thoughts with you. Friendships grew from those emails, with luminaries like Al Doran (“Al’s Fastball”) and Bob Otto (“Otto’s Pitch”), and others who were kind enough to share their content with our readers.
The “West” grew, to coverage further and further east, north, south, and beyond, to include hotbeds of the game like New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. And Fastpitch West grew, along with it. As editor, I had the honor to meet and make friends with players and fans around the world, who visited and shared with the readers of FastpitchWest.com. Maddy “arrived” in 2002, and “MaddysPhotos” quickly became one of the most popular features of Fastpitch West. Her photos helped us open the window to the game wider. The advent of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter now permit everyone share information and photos, and as a result, coverage of the game we all love has grown exponentially.
Sittting in the Editor’s chair for Fastpitchwest.com for the past 19 years, now heading into 20, has been a great privilege. My thanks to all of you for your readership and support. The friendships that Fastpitch West has afforded me will last a lifetime.