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Twinkie Town turns ten years old

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Happy birthday! Happy anniversary! Happy birthaversary!

This is the story of how Twinkie Town started.

At some point in early 2005, I found out that people were blogging about the Minnesota Twins. I was temping at TBWA Chiat-Day in New York, which was great but boring and it left time for browsing the internet. So I found Twins Geek, and Bat-Girl, and Aaron Gleeman.

It was a whole new world for me. Here were people writing intelligently about the Twins, breathing life into a topic that had, to that point, been a silent passion. Aaron was the no-nonsense analyst, Bat-Girl was creative and hilarious, but it was this "Twins Geek" whose work spoke to me the most. Reading his stuff, it almost felt like he was talking to me. And he was. Not to me personally, but to people like me. I started checking these three websites every day.

That spring, Twins Geek transitioned his blog to a community. TwinsTerritory.com was a place where people passionate about the Twins could gather to not just read TG's latest, but where people could post their own thoughts and ideas and where everyone was allowed to comment. Twins Territory was the predecessor for Twinkie Town, but it was also the origin of Twins Daily.

tt screenshot

I started writing, first tentatively and then obsessively, trying to post Monday through Friday. Some of it I liked. This, for example, is a rehash of something I wrote for Twins Territory. But some of it was outright hideous. I remember more of those. Let's not talk about them.

Twins Geek would eventually reach out to ask me to help him administer the community. I did. I wrote more often. But near the end of the 2005 season TG - who I now knew as John Bonnes - announced that he'd be discontinuing the community. It was a lot of work, but it was also limited, and so the website eventually shut down.

In October I was approached about heading up a new community for Minnesota Twins fans. The road somehow went through both John Bonnes and Anne Ursu (aka Bat-Girl), but it did eventually come to me. Somebody called Tyler Bleszinski had a community called Athletics Nation, and he wanted to have a family of websites under one banner: SportsBlogs Nation. He trained me on the CMS over AOL Instant Messenger, because 2005 was hilarious.

Twinkie Town screenshot

On November 15, 2005, this was my introduction to Twinkie Town. That's ten years ago, which is astonishing to me for any number of reasons. I apologize for the name of the website, by the way. In the running were Over the Baggy, Off the Milk Jug (remember that thing?), and probably one or two other names. But I chose Twinkie Town because it carried the same initials as its predecessor, and for legal purposes we were discouraged from using the actual team's name in the title.

It's strange how certain things mark the passage of time more than others. The day (and night) jobs I've had while writing for Twinkie Town, the relationships I've been through, the friends I've met, the places I've lived - this website has been the one constant throughout it all. And I must love it. I'm writing 40 stories a month for a hobby. I wonder what I could do if I was ever paid to do this for a full-time job?

My first original post was obviously Bat-Girl inspired. It involved various Twins players floating through a void, playing on the idea that baseball players don't really exist during the winter, because we don't think about them. It's not as awful as I remember it being.

The rest of that week I wrote an introduction to the payroll situation and then on the challenges of continuing to keep a good team competitive. Honestly, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Twinkie Town has grown by leaps and bounds since then. There were times where I was ecstatic when we had 600 pageviews in a day. Now we get a few million pageviews a year. That success is down to crazy people like you, who love the Twins as much as I do. And it's down to the people who have been good enough to write for me throughout the years: cmathewson, Jon Marthaler, bobomojo, AdamOnFirst, ubelmann, Adam Peterson, Steve Adams, Brandon Warne, and everyone else I may have overlooked - not to mention the fine people who are part of our crew today.

Whether you've been with us for ten years or ten minutes, thank you. Thanks for taking time out of your life, thanks for sharing your passion with us, thanks for reading. Ten years is a testament to that thing we all love: Twins baseball.