What does minor league baseball mean today? What can it tell us about ourselves? We have some ideas, but we want answers, so off we go -- five months, 119 cities, 26,000 miles around this incredible country. We want to talk with players and coaches, team owners and the folks they pay to work behind the concessions counter, fans. We always want to talk with fans. We want to find the local spots that make our cities great. We want to tell one chapter of the story of America. This is about more than baseball. This is about us. All of us. Want to come along for the ride?
A former newspaper and magazine writer, Matt LaWell dreamed up A Minor League Season a decade ago on the floor of his Ohio University dorm room. He fell in love with the Indians the season they lost 105 games. He thinks that probably explains something about patience and optimism. He and his wife, Carolyn, lived in Cleveland until a month before opening day, when they packed most of their life into storage and the rest into the back of their Honda Element.
The Tour Manager
The more practical half of this relationship, Carolyn LaWell writes, edits and shoots for A Minor League Season. More important, she handles the logistics to make sure she and Matt stay on schedule from one city to the next. She has worked at a securities magazine in England, a newspaper in North Carolina, a business magazine in Ohio and, for the last two years, the biggest magazine in the landscaping industry. In high school, her gym teacher gave her four strikes.
Bethany Heck is a lifelong Braves fan and runs the Eephus League, a community focused on all of baseball's magnificent minutia and peddler of carefully designed baseball-related goods. She loves scorekeeping, vintage baseball goods and uniforms, and Dan Uggla's forearms. She grew up playing second base in rec leagues in Auburn, Alabama. Bethany has been designing websites since junior high and was thrilled to have the opportunity to help make A Minor League Season happen.
Daniel Corbett is a legal and strategic consultant for A Minor League Season. His practice centers on trademark law, corporate law and nonprofit law. Back in Little League, his career batting average was .168, give or take. Law school was probably a good choice. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, he lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Erin, a photographer and digital artist, and their border terriers, Remy and Gemma.
The Technical Wizard
By day, Chris Bartos is a system developer and engineer at a major Midwestern university. By night, he puts his computer science degree to even more use by building and maintaining the back end of this website. In elementary school, he sliced open his finger playing with Carolyn's brother the day before a Little League game. He wanted to play, so he begged Carolyn's Mom not to tell his Dad. No luck. The next day he wore a bandage on his hand, but no glove.