I knew that people would get tired of just reading my thoughts and opinions so I had to branch out and find others with the same passion and knowledge for baseball that I had. I interacted with Norm Ordaz almost every day at Volcanoes games and knew his passion for the game, and his past experience working as a clubhouse attendant in the Diamondbacks system and then as security for the Volcanoes.
I initially asked him to just write a guest post for me about his favorite players in the game and what it was like to work as a clubhouse attendant. He was a little reluctant at first but then he wrote me a blog and starting talking to me about writing other blogs. I knew I had him hooked, but little did I know just how much of an impact on the 9 Inning Empire he would have. I will talk about that later.
Over the next few months I was excited to have guest posts from Mike Murray, former minor league baseball player in the Giants system and Scott Sepich, official score keeper in minor league baseball. Both brought new and amazing view points in the game to the blog.
Next I started to recruit my brother-in-law Kelly Byrnes. I knew that his love for the Dodgers and experience with autographing and so much more in baseball would be a great addition. He was interested but it took a while to get him to finally write an article. Like Norm all it took was one post to hook him and now he is addicted.
With the addition of Norm to the 9 Inning Crew things started to change in a hurry. Norm is much more adventurous than I am. He has no problem doing whatever it takes to get in contact with someone for an interview. I didn’t think much of it until I received a text message from Norm letting me know that Dale Murphy had agreed to do an interview.
I was at work when I got that text message and I just froze. There was no way that Norm landed a Dale Murphy interview, but it was true. Suddenly I saw new potential for the blog. Norm and I brainstormed ideas for his interviews and came up with ‘5 Good Questions with Norm.’ For a while that name was perfect until Norm started asking more than 5 questions. So we changed the name to what we currently have ‘Beyond Left Field with Norm.’
Then Norm talked to me about this online radio show that touched on a lot of the major sports and was interested in having the two of us come on and talk baseball. I have to admit I was a little nervous on this one but ‘That Other Sports Show’ was a lot of fun to be a part of. In fact I had so much fun doing it that I went out and started a show of my own.
9 Inning Baseball Talk was born and the first show was awful. It was 30 minutes of me trying to talk baseball all by myself. I didn’t know what I was doing and really was lost. I redeemed myself in the second show by having Norm come on as my co-host. It was much easier to talk baseball with someone else, instead of by myself.
It took us a show or two to get used to each other’s styles but over time we figured it out. Then just to throw a monkey wrench into what we were doing, we decided to bring Kelly in as well after Kelly and I did a Mariners FanFest special. Like before it took a show or two to get used to having three people but slowly we started to gel.
Norm kept pulling in interview after interview, a lot from team Israel, which would result in some great blog posts, some amazing guests on our radio show and a connection with Gellar Sports Radio.
Along the way I even had the opportunity to ask my sister-in-law to design a logo for the blog. What came out was one of the more amazing things I have ever seen in my life. I love the logo for a million different reasons.
Every month the blog would keep seeing more people reading the posts and scrolling through the photos. A few people even referred to me as the 9 Inning Know It All before I even mentioned it.