Halfway Home, Haven't Solved a Thing: Baseball History With Buffalo Pete

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Sunday March 12 2017

Like paper in the wind

I've been thinking about where I want to go with this.

I started this blog about three years ago, in large part as an intellectual and creative outlet during a tough stretch in my personal life. I'd begun to write about baseball and its history a few years before that, and writing's always been my first love; I wrote pretty prolifically as a younger guy, less as I grew older (like a lot of people), and finding a subject I was passionate about and a voice in the essay form that I felt fit me really brought me home to my keyboard after many years away, and that's been a beautiful thing.

A lot's changed in the last couple years, mostly for the good, but also to the detriment of this blog. Like I said in my last post, I tend to write less when I'm happy, and I've been pretty happy. Mostly. There have also been some very difficult times, that have demanded every scrap of energy and fight I had. I was very sick. Things were fucking tough, touch and go for months. And my interests and passions, while in no way diminished, have definitely evolved. I still love to write, and I still love the game, but things are different. It's been hard to put my finger on.

So it's not that I want to quit. Far from it, I want to write more, and about more stuff. The Saints, and independent baseball, the weird and wonderful little corner of the baseball galaxy they call home. I didn't know anything about it until a few years ago, and it's awesome, I feel like I am Columbus discovering a new world. I'd like to write about downtown St. Paul, this beautiful neighborhood in this amazing city that I'm so very blessed to live in. As much for myself as for anyone else; I really do love it here, I feel like I've come home for the first time in my grown-up life, and I want to capture that feeling, the awe that I still feel every day when I go outside, because I probably won't be here forever, but I plan to look back on these years and smile for the rest of my life. And yes, of course, baseball history, but I also feel like there's a lot of non-baseball history stories I'd like to tell.

There's a lot I want to do. So much that it's paralyzed me a little. This is part of my effort to try and put all that in some sort of order, in my mind and on the page.

So I've been thinking about where I want to go with this. Here's what I've come up with.

Effective today, this space, buffalopete.net, will be where I write about baseball and the Saints and St. Paul and the space I inhabit in the middle of all that. There will be a new name, a new design (please be patient), new content (this week! multiple posts! swear to God!), and yes, that means the history content will be going away(!). But only next door, as it were; I finally purchased buffalopete.com (don't bother looking, there's nothing there yet), which in time will be the new home for all my history essays, baseball history and everything else I want to do. For the moment, that's going to take a little bit of a back seat to the reboot here, but stay tuned, there's a lot of really cool stuff I want to do with that, you're gonna like it.

Again, thanks for your patience. This is going to be an ambitious project and, if not exactly a change in direction, a broadening of scope. It's gonna be fun.


Song of the moment: Tom Petty, To Find a Friend

Monday July 18 2016


Today is my 35th birthday. It's also been a year and a half since I've posted to this blog. A lot has changed. This will not be a "Sorry I haven't posted" post. Those are the funeral dirge of any blog. Once you've gotten there, it's already over. And this might be over too, although I hope it isn't. It will, however, be that most annoying of tropes, the meta post. I want to talk through some of the things in my life that have changed, and how that's affected my writing, and think about possible directions I'd like to take with all of that, moving forward into my quattuordecennial year on planet Earth.

The first thing that happened is that I got a goddamn job, which was goddamn good. When I started this blog, it was in large part a creativity and energy outlet toward the tail end of a six month period of unemployment. I needed something to do at the bar, you see. For the last year and a half I've worked as a commercial printer, which is a much more creative and mentally and physically active profession than you may think. I've stayed busy, and that's sucked a lot of time and energy away from my writing, here and elsewhere. And these days, although I'm still sometimes to be found at the bar towards midnight (now, for instance), the beer or two I allow myself just doesn't afford the time for the research and writing process that goes into one of these essays. Sorry everyone, I got a job and I'm drinking less. Necessity's a bitch.

The second thing that happened is that I met a girl. I think she's the one. I've been in a lot of relationships in my life, but never anything like this. We're talking about moving in together in the spring, which is something I've never done before (really), but I'm very excited about. Things are good. I'm really happy. Fact: happy people don't write. So I'm in love, working, and drinking less. Sue me.

I moved. Here. It's beautiful.

I've been going to a lot of games. Here. It's really beautiful.

Really beautiful. You oughta see it. And the baseball's been fucking good. The Saints played .740 baseball last year before getting bounced out of the first round of the playoffs. This year they look better. It's been an unbelievable ride. I've been to a fucking lot of games. It's been good, man. And independent baseball, the Saints in particular, are everything you're told as a child that baseball is about, but you never got to see because you were born too late. It's baseball heaven. I'd give my left nut to work there. I want to write more about the Saints in the future, and the American Association and independent baseball.

I haven't divorced the Twins. I still have season tickets across the river, and I've been bleeding out my goddamn eyes with this team all year. It's been an atrocity. But they're still the Twins, and I'm still Pete. I'll go. And I haven't divorced Major League Baseball, although I look at it with a much more jaundiced eye than I used to (and I already did). Of course everyone wants to see the highest level of competition. But the Saints have shown me that there can be more to baseball than just that.

That's what I've been up to. Precious little writing, none of it here, obviously. I do want to change that. I want to keep writing about the history of the game I love, and I want to start writing about our strange little corner of the great drama of baseball that we get to watch play out here in St. Paul. My heart's still in it, now more than ever, really.

Stay tuned. We'll see what happens.