We spend a lot of time here on this site analyzing and breaking down and talking about our favorite sports team, the Texas Rangers. We break down games, trades, trade rumors, player moves, streaks, and analyze anything else that can be analyzed. Sometimes, spending day in and day out informing you all of our opinions of what is wrong or right about this team, we miss explaining why we (or at least I) do this in the first place. So I thought I would share a little of my story with you all.
I was born in Phoenixville, PA through no fault of my own to a family who lived and died by Phillies baseball and Eagles football. Realizing the errors of their ways, my parents decided to move to Texas in 1985, when I was just nine years old. I had only been to one baseball game as a Pennsylvania child, and I got to see Mike Schmidt hit an upper deck home run, and I remember it to this day. That game made me love baseball, which I was already playing at that point.
Once we moved to Texas and my parents became missionaries, we moved around a bit, and I spent some time in both central and south America, until I was the ripe old age of 13, when I returned to Texas to stay. I went to a small private school in the small Texas town where I lived, and they had neither football or baseball programs, so I had to play soccer and basketball (I am a 5-10 white guy with a plus or minus 2″ vertical). Even though I never played baseball out side of little league, and only a year or two of that, it was still my favorite sport.
The Texas Rangers were not on television to watch every day in the late eighties and early ninties, so I had to read the paper to keep up with them, and people always accused me of being old for my age because I like talk radio and listening to baseball games on the radio as well, with the now hall of fame voice of Eric Nadel. When I went to college and got a full time job, I lost track of them for a while until their play-off runs at the end of that 90’s.
I started going to more games in the early 2000’s, when I could afford it, and I really liked taking the trip to the ballpark and watching all the players that cycled through in those years. I used to share my opinion with anyone who would listen, telling them what was wrong what the Texas Rangers, what they needed, what they did right, and what I would do differently. In 2009, a friend told me you should start writing some of this down on the internet, so I took his advice and got an MLBlog called RangerFanDieter (creative, I know). If you want a good laugh, you can read my first ever online post here.
I wrote and I wrote, the team was bad and my writing was worse. But I still loved the Texas Rangers so much I had to write it down somewhere, The Texas Rangers got better and ended the 2009 season well, and I was super excited. I started doing The Hague Sports Podcast as well, and eventually began a podcast of my own called, you guessed it, Ranger Fan Dieter. Then the Texas Rangers won their first post season series, then they defeated the Yankees to go to their first ever World Series, and I cried like a school girl. I was totally in love.
At this point I had another friend tell me that I should start another website, except this time I should actually start my own blog. So I did some research and came up with The Ranger Report in January of 2011. My first article there is downright embarrasing, as it was anti Adrian Beltre, who is now my favorite Texas Rangers player. You can laugh and read it here. But I pressed on, because my love for the team continued to grow, and they made it to their second straight World Series, this time as the favorite. I remember game six like it was yesterday. I was in Austin taking a certification test that I needed for work, and the test was the day after game 7 of that years World Series. I got a 43 on the test.
I continued to write about the Texas Rangers, and hopefully I was getting better. I had an article written about me on Yahoo! Sports. I had the opening voice over on an ALCS piece on FoxSports about Michael Young. The Hague Sports Podcast grew to over 1500 downloads per week. I still was doing all of this for free because of my love of the Texas Rangers.
In early 2013, after a disappointing end to the 2012 season, I was working on a fence in my front yard, when I felt something in my back. Turned out I had ruptured a disc and was going to require surgery, not only that but my sciatic nerve had been destroyed in my left leg and I was going to have to learn to walk again through some painful rehab. So what did I do? I saw an ad on Twitter that the FanSided Texas Rangers site was looking for writers. I had some time on my hands since I couldn’t work or get out of bed for a month, so I responded.
I began writing for NolanWritin in March of 2013 as a staff writer. I was highly medicated and it was a little rough in the beginning (read it here). The Texas Rangers helped my through my recovery, I watched everyday while I was rehabbing from the injury. I felt like it was one of the things that kept me going through some pretty tough times. I continued to work on my site (The Ranger Report) while also writing for this site, doing the podcast, and also doing my own podcast from time to time, now called the Ranger Report Extra Innings Podcast.
When the position of editor came available on this site, both myself and David Cash applied, and we were granted a co-editorship of the site. I cannot tell you how great it has been working with David and now with all of the staff writers we have. Almost all of them are amazing writers, and I feel like I learn things from them every time they post.
It has been a dream come true to get to work with a group like we have a FanSided, and if you ever wanted to write about sports then this is the place for you! I now write for three sites, do two podcasts, have been a guest on a local ESPN radio station, all this because I am a fan who loves the Texas Rangers and began writing some thoughts down way back in 2009.
This may be boring to you all, and if it is I am sorry, but I wanted to share a little of why I do what I do, and encourage you that, even if you don’t think that you can write or that you have anything to offer, that passion for the Texas Rangers or what ever team you happen to love is almost always enough to get started, and repetition is the way to get better at anything you have a passion about. So get out there and start telling your story, sharing you passion, and writing about your team. That is why I do what I do. Because, no matter how negative I get or how disappointed I get, I still love the Texas Rangers!