Sadly taking a break

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Hi all, it’s with very heavy heart that I temporarily put Home Plate Don’t Move on indefinite hiatus. In many ways I feel very disheartened doing this, but the last six months have been very, very difficult on a personal level. I’ve had some family challenges and bad news about friends.

Also, a couple weeks ago I learned that my landlord sold the house in which I live, and the new owner is being a schmeckel and booting everyone out. We were given a deadline of Nov. 18, so I’ve been scrambling to line up new accommodations.

But perhaps the most pertinent factor is the most painful. Over the past five years, I’ve written upwards of 100 articles about baseball history and the Negro Leagues, and produced more than 350 blog posts over the last two-plus or so years.

As a result, I’ve become majorly burned and and exhausted, a fact that became brutally evident at the Malloy conference in July, when I had a very difficult time health-wise. I simply collapsed, and I still feel horrible about it.

As a result of all these factors, I need a major break from scouring databases, going through archives, and tracking down people to interview. I need to put my health first right now. I feel very badly and guilty, but I also know I need to do it.

For the time being, I’ve decided to shift my focus, at least for a while, to covering current (and maybe a dab of historical) minor league news. I’m also going to attempt to get a small part-time for a little extra scratch, as well as — hopefully — working on a longer project about, well, me, my health challenges and my ancestry. Finally, I plan to apply for fall 2017 enrollment in the University of New Orleans Creative Writing MFA program. If I’m accepted, it doesn’t mean I’ll enroll, but I’m intrigued by the option.

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I also have some personal goals in addition to getting healthy, especially — finally! — getting married to my betrothed Lori and becoming a step dad. I also want to look into volunteering for a thing or two (a local animal shelter needs Cat Cuddlers). I’m hoping that giving back somehow will help me feel better about myself, something that, after 20-plus years, I want to at last accomplish.

So there it is. I want to deeply thank everyone who has followed and/or read my blog over the last three years — I am extremely grateful for and humbled by it. Thanks also to every single person who aided me along the way, whether it was providing tips, passing along documents or photos, being patient and gracious enough to be interviewed.

I will hopefully be back — the Negro Leagues and baseball history will always, always be my passion — and I’ll try to keep with the current blackball news, blogs and Facebook pages.

Again, many apologies for doing this, but sincere thanks to everyone who helped and/or read along the way! Good luck, Godspeed and keep the faith! Just remember what the great Buck Leonard said:

“We in the Negro leagues felt like we were contributing something to baseball, too, when we were playing. We played with a round ball, and we played with a round bat. And we wore baseball uniforms, and we thought that we were making a contribution to baseball. We loved the game, and we liked to play it.”

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