The Best of Chicago: South Side Baseball

[interview with the author; Chicago Tribune, April 17, 2008]Chicago's Best Blogs

Name of Blog: South Side Baseball

Real Name: Andrew Reilly

Your Life Story in a URL:

I earned my bachelor’s in information systems and built a nice career as a software engineer before realizing I in fact hated information systems and software engineering. By some twist of luck, skill, or low admissions standards I was accepted into the graduate journalism program at Columbia College Chicago and ran with it from there. Since then I’ve been afforded the opportunity to learn up-close (and rattle incessantly) about some of my favorite things while interacting with some wild and interesting people. It’s not always fun, but even at its worst it’s a better time than systems design ever was – although admittedly less profitable, hence the “.org.”

Start Date: June 2007

Why do you blog? There are elements of sports beyond wins and losses that are more significant than a lot of people either acknowledge or understand, and for whatever reason I just can’t shut up about them. There’s a lot involved in being a fan, especially a Sox fan, and in some ways the actual games have become secondary to the idea of the games to the point where it’s hard to understand what we’re clinging to anymore. Memories? Possibilities? Civic pride and the projected economic benefits of creating an arena-related TIF district? I don’t claim to have the answers, but it’s nice to at least explore the questions. And, you know, it’s also pretty awesome when Paulie goes 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.

What topic gets people going on your blog? For some reason a live blog I did last season for a Sox-A’s game has proven to be wildly popular; your guess is as good as mine on that one. Beyond that, the emails I get are usually about trade rumors, potential lineup moves, or why I’m an idiot for not acknowledging the numerous World Series titles the Good Guys are so obviously poised to bring home.

What’s your favorite local blog that nobody has heard of? The ones I read are all pretty well-known, but Tim Bogue’s photoblog shows off some excellent Chicago pictures every now and then.

What have you learned from blogging? Like any other writing endeavor, you have to develop your own voice and bring something unique to the larger conversation to be worth reading. Enough people are already out there rehashing box scores and headlines or musing on favorite teams and players, and if it makes them happy that’s great, but I don’t see much of a point in trying to scream over the crowd. In the scheme of things, the only difference between reading my site and talking to some dude at a bar is that you don’t have to wait until 11 for South Side Baseball to open its doors.