In 2003, while taking a digital media class at the University of Maryland, I created a blog about the Mets. The objective was to pick a new medium and subject we were passionate about. I am political junkie, and blogs were rising in popularity, mostly due to coverage of the Iraq War.
It was a few years earlier that I discovered Bryan Hoch’s MetsOnline.net, which was the first popular, online destination for Mets fans. The site was eventually shut down when team owners banded together to create MLB Advanced Media, the Internet and interactive branch of MLB.
Hoch eventually landed at NJ.com where he wrote Always Amazin, a traditional-style blog about the Mets. It was this site that inspired me to pick the Mets for my digital media class in 2003.
In time, Hoch would cover the Mets for MLB.com, where he’s still working, now covering the Yankees. To me, he’s the Godfather of Mets blogging, which is why the following quote is so meaningful to me.
“I’m a big fan of what Matthew Cerrone has done with MetsBlog.com, having seen him launch it and grow it into something great,” Hoch said in an interview with MetsMerized in 2010. “I know he’s just as serious and devoted to what he’s doing as I once was. It’s fantastic that he has latched on with SNY and that the Mets organization is now so receptive and aware of the influence blogs and the Internet carry among the fan base. He really has become a must-read for fans of baseball.”
In 2003, I knew only some HTML, and even less CSS. I had no idea what permalink was or how to create a comment section. I only knew how to write, and even that was in development.
My first thousand readers will remember the site without a custom domain name, with nothing but black text, no comments, no images, and no sidebars, on a generic Yahoo! Geocities page. On it, I simply logged my thoughts and opinions about each game, talked about trades and what I wanted the Mets to do to be better. I was an out-of-market fan and this was the best way I could stay connected to the team. And, thankfully, other people spending their time online found it interesting and useful enough to keep reading.
I named the site MetsBlog and bought the corresponding domain name. I flirted with “MetsWeblog,” because that is what the Internet was still calling them back the. MetsBlog had a better ring to it, so I went with it. In hindsight, that may have been the greatest decision of my life.
In 2003, I started writing online about the New York Mets for a project in college. In time, I turned MetsBlog.com in to 500 million page views, a Cynopsis Sports Blog of the Year nominee, a job as Director of Digital Content for SNY, and a consulting business helping people reach online sports fans.