This postseason marks five years since I launched this blog (then known as Pepper: a MLB Blog) with two of my friends, Borja and Pablo, as a freshman in High School. The blog started on Blogger with a super-generic theme, but we had a lot of fun with it. That December, we launched a video podcast series, titled the “Pepper Show”, and we had a whole season of over 30 episodes.
Later on in the Spring of 2014, to coincide with the Australian Opening Series, I made the decision to move the blog to it’s current home, MLBlogs, and eventually, that May, we became a dedicated Mets blog, called “Pepper Mets Blog” and was all by myself (and continued to be for the next four years).
We did a lot of cool things with the blog, we got credentials to the Winter Meetings three years in a row, covered plenty of Minor League ballclubs, and got to peek into the Citi Field press box every once in a while. The blog was prominently featured when I was the Baseball Bloggers Alliance president in 2014 and 2015.
I’ve had the time of my life sharing my baseball life with 750,000 of you over the last five years. And while I won’t give that up anytime soon, this blog will (continue to) take a pause, for a good portion of the offseason.
As some of you who know me personally are aware of, I have around three hours of free time on an average week. Between a job, an internship and being a college sophomore full time, there just isn’t a sufficient amount of time to devote to this blog.
I’ll still be active on Twitter, on my refreshed account, @NikoGoutakolis and sharing stuff on Instagram @NikoGoutakolis. If you were already following @NikoMetsPlus before, you need not do anything, my feed will automatically roll over to the new account.
So thanks, everyone, see you real soon, Mets, Transit, Aviation, NYC or whatever, Let’s Go Mets, Let’s Go MetsPlus.
One thing that not many folks know about me is that when I was very young, I was actually a Yankee fan.
It could be due to the fact I never had the opportunity to make a choice for myself, or that the elementary school I went to in Westchester was filled with dads sending their kids to school in oversized Yankee caps, but for the first two years of my baseball fandom, I appreciated the team from the Bronx, as crazy as that sounds.
However, in 2005, I went to the first Mets game that I can remember (technically a Marlins-Mets matinee in 2002 was my first game) and was quickly swept away by the atmosphere of Shea Stadium, the energy of the crowd, and the talent on the field.
Since then, I’ve been a loyal Mets fan. So dedicated, that I started this blog back in 2013, and decided to go to over 35 games this past season.
Sure, I’ve had my favorites throughout the years. Pedro Martinez quickly became my favorite because of his infectious personality, Johan Santana took that spot for me after Pedro’s departure, followed by R.A Dickey, Daniel Murphy, Jacob deGrom, and now I’m starting to get attached to Jeff McNeil.
There was always that one constant through all of that, and that’s David Wright.
I met David Wright for the first time in 2008, I got him to sign my oversized glove that I still use today when I play catch, and while the signature might have faded away, the thoughts I have on the player himself sure haven’t.
David was a leader, but not in the way he spoke. He commanded the clubhouse based on his presence, his work ethic and his intelligence. Even by the year 2007, it was already clear that David was going to be a mainstay with the Mets for years to come in a leadership role, and he had only been playing for three years at that point.
I’m going to miss David Wright.
In many ways, this is the end of the era of my first generation of Mets fandom. I love this team and always will, but the Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Santana, Wagner, Familia, Santana, Harvey, Wright generation (known informally as Generation Wright) has officially come to a close, and I will never forget the fun I had rooting on that team.
Best of luck going forward, Captain. we all had just as much passion for you as you had for us, and Mets fans will remember that for a long, long time.
Now, how many days until we retire #5?