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Feliz Quinceañera, Athletics Nation!!!

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These guys have made the A’s fun again.
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

I know, I know, no one asked to dig me up from my old guy slumber but thankfully, Alex and Nico and baseballgirl and company are still gracious enough to let me show up as a guest DJ for a day. I’ll try and not spin Careless Whisper over and over again.

And today is a very special day because 15 years ago today, I started Athletics Nation at my home in Sacramento. I had no idea how big it would become or that it would wind up being a media-altering decision but alas, it was and I’m still so very happy that fate brought me to this place. Not merely because of the pride that I have that Athletics Nation spawned SB Nation which eventually became Vox Media, but I treasure some of the lifelong friendships that have come from this. People who remain near and dear to my heart to this day. Some who were at the very first Athletics Nation Day meet up at the Coliseum. Some who showed up later in the existence of the site. But the creation of the site gave me a much bigger family than I ever thought possible.

In case you’re newer to Athletics Nation and don’t really know who I am, I founded this blog and eventually built a company out of it. November 6th always makes me nostalgic and extra reflective of how far things have come - and I’m definitely NOT referring to election day and the country. I’m not here to hammer you with the same nostalgia but more to just say, thank you.

Thank you for continuing to make AN a reflective and awesome place. Thank you for commenting and offering opinions and passion and insight into my favorite baseball team. I’ve played the role of creepy lurker for quite some time now because, well, I can’t quit you, AN. And the A’s are actually an incredibly fun and exciting team once again and you make it that much better to watch Ollie and Chappie and Ramon Laureano come to life in a way that they don’t in any other medium...to this day.

Maybe it’s a sign of my age or that I’m stuck in my ways but I’m still incredibly fond of this format. It’s better than Twitter. It’s better than other forms of social media and reddit and all those other places that have tried to replicate the secret sauce of SB Nation. I believe you can’t fake passion. It’s either there, or it isn’t. You either truly live and die with your team or you don’t. And it’s clear to me that this group still does that. You are a special group who add something irreplaceable to following a team.

In case you forgot, here is my reflection on when Athletics Nation turned 10 years old. We even produced a video at the Coliseum to celebrate the milestone!

Any way, take a moment today to VOTE, first and foremost. And then take another moment later, maybe while waiting in line at one of those polling places, to reflect on just what a great online family you have here. In a world that seems destined to tear itself apart lately, Athletics Nation became the blueprint to create hundreds of other sites that do nothing but bring people today to share a common passion rather than argue over differences. I’d like to think that ultimately, AN helped to make the world a more positive place with people celebrating victories together and comforting each other after losses. And it might just be that fact that I remain most proud of to this day.

I might ask the staff here to pop in a little more frequently since I’m not always a fan of being the creepy lurker. I’m convinced the NSA now knows that I have the most boring online profile they’ve ever stumbled across. But regardless, thanks for letting me come in for a day. I’m thinking that 15 years of a site is like several lifetimes of human years given the speed with which the Internet rolls forward, but I’m hoping it isn’t. I’m hoping that AN will remain a beacon of good things for many, many years to come and that I’ll be here to celebrate each and every one of those birthdays.

Now, I’ve got to go. Old guys need a lot of slumber. Happy birthday, AN! You’re one very special place.