Biloxi Shuckers fans deserve a dedicated fan site. BiloxiBaseball.wordpress.com intends to provide that site. As such, we shamelessly and brazenly seek to emulate the best sports fan blogs in existence today, and tailor their best attributes to suit the Shuckers Nation. Accordingly…
The aim of Biloxi Baseball is to help Biloxi Shuckers fans, no matter where they may be, to get the best Shuckers information available as soon as possible, and to provide a forum for all fans to freely express themselves about the team and its fan experience. If someone has a question about the team, we want the correct answer available to them here. If the information exists elsewhere online, we won’t hesitate to point our visitors in that direction. We will obsessively follow every move the team makes and share our thoughts frequently on the site, aiming to deliver fresh and thought-provoking content. Biloxi Baseball intends to cover all aspects of this franchise, including financial, economic, and marketing, as well as the cultural importance of this team to the Coast, Mississippi, and the Gulf South. We will insist on high standards for this site, and as such our writers – beginning with your host – will need to consistently prove ourselves to be educated, responsible, and passionate about the subject, the team, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
To provide a forum of excellence for the fan discussion and analysis of all facets of the Biloxi Shuckers. To be a meaningful and significant part of the culture of the Biloxi Shuckers. To interact with the Biloxi Shuckers, their fans, and their media in a consistent and mutually beneficial manner.
- While the SunHerald, WLOX, WXXV, and other media outlets provide excellent coverage of the Biloxi Shuckers, space and time limitations at each of those sites necessarily cause certain aspects of the fan experience to be underserved. We resolve to fill those gaps with ample opportunities for fan discussions, and coverage of topics the media for whatever reason may not choose to or be able to cover in depth. We resolve to be correct, clear, consistent, and comprehensive.
- Likewise, the Biloxi Shuckers organization does a fine job in media and fan relations, but by definition there will be some topics that they will not be at complete liberty to discuss freely. We resolve to fill those gaps, as well.
- Readers and Fans: As we are fans and readers ourselves, we resolve to treat fans and readers at least as well as we want to be treated. This includes encouraging fandom, educating fans, promoting good interactions with fans and discouraging interactions that negatively affect the culture surrounding the team or our operations.
- We are not journalists, and although not full-time or paid members of the media, we resolve to hold ourselves at least to the standards that paid and full-time media members are held. This includes going out of our way to compliment and promote good work by media members, be an available resource to media members, and engage in criticism of opinion or analysis in open, accepted, and respectful ways.
Your Humble Correspondent
I have lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1989, having moved down here to work out at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. I am a sixth-generation Mississippian, having been born and raised in Jackson. Like so many other families in the state, we spent just about every summer vacation down here on the Coast, so when it came time for me to move down for the job, it was to well-familiar and much-loved surroundings.
- My personal baseball experience is limited to an ignominious two years in Little League (with team “Capitol 66”) and a somewhat less-embarrassing year before that in Minor League (“Harkins Builders”). I loved to play pick-up games in the neighborhood though, and still firmly believe our four-foul-balls-and-you’re-out rule should be instituted in MiLB and MLB.
- My MLB team allegiance has evolved through the years – though my hatred of the Yankees has not, and neither has my distaste for the Designated Hitter.
- I started off with the Cardinals, since my dad, like a lot of Southerners, listened to Dizzy Dean, Haray Caray and Jack Buck call the games on St Louis’ clear channel radio station KMOX. He had a special affinity for Dean, who had the good sense to retire to South Mississippi, and whose museum was in Jackson for many years. Is his brand of charcoal still around? My favorite Dizzy Dean story from my dad: while calling a minor league game in Montreal, Dean was amazed at all the folks speaking French up there, “Even the little kids!”
- I watched live on TV the night Hank Aaron hit home run 715, and I watched live – way past bed time – Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. In my mind still the best single game ever played. By that time I was a fan of the Big Red Machine.
- Along came cable TV, and I fell into following the Braves through the Atlanta superstation WTBS. Their highlight was the worst-to-first season of 1991, then the World Series victory in 1996. By 2000, though, it was getting harder to reconcile my baseball affection for Atlanta’s baseball team, while I maintained (as a Saints fan) a football hatred for the Falcons. I justified my break from the Braves when it seemed the fans had become blase, and didn’t fill their stadium for playoff games.
- The Red Sox caught my imagination with their epic 2004 ALCS come-from-behind victory over the hated New York Yankees, but once they reversed-the-curse and won the World Series, I was ready to move on.
- Staying with my love of the underdog – being a New Orleans Saints fan since the day they drafted my childhood hero Archie Manning – I have since laid my allegiances with the Chicago Cubs, the ultimate underdogs. Honestly, I don’t know how this will work, also rooting for the Double-A farm team of a division rival. We’ll see!
- Jackson also had the Double-A farm club of the New York Mets, and it was thrilling to see Darryl Strawberry and all the rest (include our own Barry Lyons, sort of) before they made it to the 1986 “It-gets-past-Buckner!” World Series.
- To conclude my baseball fan resume, I’ll just add that I went to school at both LSU and Mississippi State, which have both occasionally fielded pretty respectable teams…
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the blog. I want it to be as much yours as it is mine. Go Shuckers!
-James Duke, June 2015