It’s hard for me to explain what NotGraphs is, what it aspired to be, what it was, and what it meant to me. What I know is this: NotGraphs was different. It was unique. And that’s what I loved about it.
While every baseball website out there writes about the same stuff, for the most part in the same way, NotGraphs marched to the beat of its own drum. What you found on NotGraphs day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year was always something you didn’t find anywhere else.
That’s a testament to Chairman Carson Cistulli, the best editor a writer could ever ask for, because he gave us no rules. And a testament to the amazing writers who graced these electronic pages. I’m a better man for having read their words – especially Dayn Perry’s, Robert J. Baumann’s, Patrick Dubuque’s, Jeremy Blachman’s, Craig Robinson’s, Bradley Woodrum’s, and David G. Temple’s.
NotGraphs was my first paying baseball writing gig. On some level, I still can’t believe I was paid. I’ll always appreciate Cistulli giving me a shot, when he had no business doing so.
This website came into my life at a time I needed it most. I was 28, depressed, unemployed, actually living in my parents’ basement, having recently completed what I called “The Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime,” when I visited all 30 major league parks in 55 days. It was both the best and worst trip of my life, and one I never finished writing about.
Eventually, I stopped writing altogether. Everywhere, including at NotGraphs. I wrote two posts on the site in 2014. I can write hard news, and do for a living, and that’s about it. To borrow a baseball metaphor: I no longer believe in my stuff. But I never stopped feeling like I was a part of NotGraphs.
It’s the sense of community I’ll miss most. NotGraphs was the one website on the entire Internet where I read the comments. All of them. And truly enjoyed doing so.
NotGraphs was whatever we wanted it to be. That was the beauty of it, and that’s how I’ll remember it. Thanks, Carson, and Dave Cameron, and David Appelman. And thank you.
I’ll miss this place more than I ever imagined I would.
Thanks to S. Bridges for the image.
Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.