R.I.P. FCP

FullCountPitch Media, LLC. was born in August of 2009. It was an idea built on the foundation that its writing could make inroads in the baseball media business. With small successes over the years, FCP Media was finally put to its final rest in May 2016.

Through one lens, its nearly seven year existence can be characterized as a failure. The company never produced a site that achieved National recognition. It was never credentialed to cover a Major League Baseball game, despite being given an official affiliate ID by Major League Baseball. It never achieved the level of readership that other independent sites received, despite delivering quality content. It made very little money. It didn’t make a lasting mark on the industry, nor did it have enough of an impact to raise the industry standards. It never led to a full-time writing job for any of its writers. It didn’t become a rival for any baseball news or analysis site. Despite a period of daily production, it simply never became big.

Through that lens, FCP’s life was a waste. It was a waste of time. It was a waste of resources, a waste of content, and a waste of talent. Through that lens, it was a failure.

But, there’s another lens. There’s a lens that doesn’t measure success by money or fame. This lens measures the value of quality writing, the small progress, the major connection of friends, and experiences that would’ve never occurred without FCP’s existence.

Without FCP, I don’t get credentialed to cover two Winter Meetings. I don’t get to be in the room with all of the other writers, watching them work. I don’t get the satisfaction of knowing that I could have done the same job, perhaps even better, had I made different choices earlier in life. I don’t get to interview Gary Sheffield, Jeff Luhnow, Mike Chernoff, Victor Rojas, Rick Peterson, Michael Bourn, Jason Giambi, Zach Wheeler and so many more players and people around the game of baseball.

Without FCP, I don’t get an opportunity to write a couple of cover stories for USA Today Baseball Weekly. I don’t get to work with someone like Will Carroll, who not only takes the time to help with little to gain, but tutors me in how to navigate through researching injuries. I don’t get to do a series of articles with Rick Peterson and Dr. Glen Fleisig about the epidemic of pitching injuries years before the topic becomes mainstream. Without FCP, I don’t get the opportunity to work for such great independent sites like Going 9, Operation Sports, and Baltimore Sports and Life.

Without FCP, I don’t have the opportunity to make a friendship that goes beyond baseball. Without FCP, I don’t have the opportunity to work with talented writers and men who shared a similar vision about telling a story.

FCP, in the end, may have been a failure. But, if failure adds up to all of that good, is it really a failure? We can often get caught up in the results and ignore the process. The process of FCP led to so much good. The juxtaposition of failure and good isn’t lost on me.

The real end of FCP was probably a few years ago. This final ending is a couple of years too late. I kept it around, hoping to maybe recapture the drive and focus that I had when I first started. It never happened. You can only do things once. While FCP Media’s shutdown wasn’t planned, the need to shut it down came at the right time. Why? It is simply the right time.

I do believe that, as a writer,  our words are our soul’s mark on the world. FCP Media and all of the websites and newsletters that it published was a large part of my writing soul. It’s a part of me that no longer exists. Time and life has moved on. The writer who cared enough to write about the great game every day no longer exists, at least in that form of media. There’s still a desire to write. But, that part of the writing soul is gone.

FullCountPitch Media is no longer. Very few people even knew it existed and fewer people will even care that it’s gone. As a company, it was a complete failure. The intended goal was never accomplished. But, I look back on all of that time–from 2007 when I first started the FullCountPitch blog to 2009 when the company was formed and to today–with a smile. It was a time of hope, a time of creativity, and a time of possibilities. It led to experiences so few of us get to experience. It led to allowing part of me to be fulfilled during a stretch when few other parts of life was allowing for that same feeling. The decision to do it was one of the better choices I’ve made in life, even if the end result is failure.

So long, old friend. Thanks for all of the good times, the friendships and connections made, the inspiration to write, the constant need to do better, and for all of the lessons learned. You deserved a better ending than this. But, even if it wasn’t planned, it’s time to move on.

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