CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

After eight years, I’d like to say “thank you!”


For the past eight years, I have called the Astros’ Fan Blog home. It has been a place where family and friends could share the love of baseball and where friendships could be born and nurtured.

Today, after nearly 2,000 entries and literally thousands upon thousands of comments, I’d like to say “thank you”. It’s been a fun ride. It’s been incredible, no unbelievable! You have been and are an incredible blessing to me.

Indeed, it’s been a wonderful eight years. Today, I’m here to let you know that I will no longer be on these pages, at least not regularly. The pace of family, work and life demands a re-focus and I’m answering that call. So this week, I’d like to celebrate you and the memories that you helped to create here in these pages.

Here’s where it all started, back in late September of 2005. Joe Conway emailed, asking me to call him. I well remember where I was – waiting in the chiropractor’s office for an afternoon appointment. Joe was then one of only three members of the Chronicle’s online staff, and he was hoping to build readership during the Astros’ playoff run and eventual World Series appearance.

He had seen many of my exchanges on Richard Justice’s blog and was inquiring to see if I’d be interested to begin something new for the Chronicle: A fan blog.

He was hoping to create an environment for fan exchange to run through the playoffs and help build on the excitement of the team’s success.

Back then, My Space was bigger than Facebook, Word Press was in its infancy, and Apple was still two years from releasing its first iPhone. Justice’s blog was well ahead of its time and I had been a frequent commenter.  RJ often interacted in the conversation and banter.

After the playoffs, Joe asked me to continue writing over the off-season and “let’s just see how it goes.” We’d go entry to entry and see if readers responded. And, here we are, nearly eight years and a few sports editors and sports writers later. Thanks to Joe and thanks to current Sports Editor Nick Mathews for their trust. I cannot think of one time that they have edited or censored my entries.

Frankly, we couldn’t have predicted your response. The comments and interaction came in droves during those first months and years. Quite obviously, as the industry focus shifted from print to maintain the dramatic increase of overall online readership, the online Chronicle grew rapidly. Other fan blogs were also added. More beat writers began to blog as well.

Honestly, this has been one of the high privileges and blessings of my life. This blog has provided an opportunity I cannot possibly have imagined. I had written for major newspapers and even the AP, but the last 20 years or so I’ve spent mostly in radio, interviewing many political leaders, even presidential candidates and other politicians as well as a variety of sports figures.

Over the years, we’ve introduced our families to each other, exchanged impassioned ideas about baseball in general and the Astros in specific. There are no smarter fans in baseball than those who have traded thoughts on this blog. You have been – and will continue to be – an immense blessing in my life.

I’ve asked Dan Peschong and Brian Todd to help with this week’s celebration. I hope you’ll join in. We’ll return this weekend with a tradition that I started back in 2007: The Free Blog Weekend.

During the week, I invite you to please stop by, leave a note, share your memories and continue to discuss your ideas about the Astros and baseball. Let us know your real name, where you’re from and when you started to read this blog.

–more–

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

One comment on “After eight years, I’d like to say “thank you!”

  1. Mr. Bill
    July 8, 2013

    Okay, the woodwork is suddenly crawling with oldsters. What’s one more? Yes, Chip, old friend, you have brought me out of hiding. I confess – this is that long-lost, Colt 45s and Astros devotee who once roamed these pages under the moniker ‘Mr. Bill’. Oh noooo! Can your Chronicle blog truly be at an end? Cats gave been kicked mercilessly as a direct result of what happened on those pages. Hair has been dyed awkward shades of purple as a result of wagers placed on that blog. It was right there that Luke first aspired to be free. Wandy was flagellated there. The Grocer was boycotted there. Purpura paddled in the poo there, the Puma poured on the pounds there, and Woody got whacked at the woodshed there. El Caballo was put out to pasture there. The early demise of the Baggy-man was lamented there. His best mate’s slow boat to Cooperstown dang near capsized there. Beltran – and of course Scott Boras – got boo-ed on those pages weeks if not months before the birds came out over their heads anywhere else. Houston’s last great hope for a chance at the playoffs got Ike-ed and Selig-ed right before our eyes there. Well, all I have to say is good riddance. Not to you, Chip. Not to Holmes, or Becky, or DanP, or Jane, or Juanela or Flash. Good riddance to Fluffy’s bruises. Good riddance to Becky’s hair dye. Take a hike, Ike. Adios Los Caballeros. Break a leg, Beltran. Suck an egg, Bud. Swallow snot, Scott. Take a flying leap, Tim. Bask in your freedom, Luke. Keep a stiff upper lip, Chip. And good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. This is Mr. Bill, signing off the Houston Chronicle and onto http://www.chipalatta.com.

    Like

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2013 by in Astros.
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