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  1. In the early 2000s, five baseball-lovers met in Saturday detention (sort of) and discovered that they have more in common than they thought. Driven by their love of the sport, these aficionados wanted to create a non-traditional space for the average fan. This led to the inception of Twins Daily in 2012. Over the past decade, this humble space evolved from a small group of writers and readers to a media empire. This is the origin story of how John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, Seth Stohs, and Brock Beauchamp turned their simple love of the game into Twins Daily. Starting from the basics, all five of the founders were born and raised around Minnesota. Their childhoods played an influential role in their love of the Twins. Seth: My dad played baseball and softball, and we watched games on TV together sometimes too. Kirby Puckett debuted when I was eight and I was hooked on the Twins for life. Brock: I was ten years old when the Twins made a surprise run at the postseason in 1987. It suddenly became fashionable to like the Twins and I HAD to have one of the new “M” hats the team wore that year (in retrospect, I hate that M design). Nick: My parents definitely instilled a love of the game in me. We used to frequently catch the bus on Bloomington Ave to go catch Twins games at the Metrodome. Baseball has also always been my favorite sport to play — from tee-ball through high school. John: Starting at about seven years old, I started listening to every Twins game on the radio, often while throwing a tennis ball against a garage door to pretend I was fielding it. Parker: My parents would tell me that I had some MLB sticker book as a toddler and they would trot me out as a party favor in front of their friends, and they’d quiz me on team names. Supposedly I had them down pat. Each founder also dabbled in content creation and entrepreneurship throughout their teenage years. Seth wanted to own a sports card shop (although he preferred buying them to selling them), Nick created his own newspaper called “The Daily Mouse”, which he sold door to door, and Brock was always working on a new project, mostly artistic endeavors. Most commonly, each spent innumerable hours consuming Twins coverage, which was limited to mostly newspaper and radio in the 1990s. However, baseball coverage was often a footnote to football and basketball. This lack of content availability led Nick, Seth, Parker, and John to start writing and blogging in the early 2000s. As some of the only independent Twins’ writers, meeting one another was fate waiting to happen. Seth: John and I exchanged some e-mails when I started blogging in May 2003, I believe the first time we met in person at the state fair in maybe 2005 or 2006. We had done some two-minute Twins spots with Rita Maloney on WCCO, and we were invited to their booth at the state fair. Or was it when John let me write for the Gameday magazine and help sell them outside the Metrodome? There were a lot of Twins bloggers and we often linked to each others' sites. Nick: I don’t remember exactly how I met these guys, other than that it happened kind of organically because we were all writing about the team. When John recruited me to write for the Gameday program, sold outside of the Metrodome, that was definitely an inflection point. It made me realize there was a more serious business concept behind this hobby. Parker: I think I started writing about the Twins in 2006 after my first kid was born. I had a lot of time at home and not a lot of money. I’d watch a game and chart stuff like swinging strikes and other things. At some point, I got connected with Seth and Aaron Gleeman. John’s TwinsGeek site linked to other Twins blogs, so I remember reaching out to him to have him post mine. Bonnes asked me to write an article for a GameDay program (my Mom took a copy of that article and had it framed, it felt like such a huge deal then). I know there were bloggers getting together in various capacities, but I remember pushing for us to get together to drink beer and watch games. John: I started writing about the Twins in 2002 and at the time, nobody else was really doing that locally. I remember the rest of us getting together kind of organically. Someone would start a Twins blog and we would reach out and keep in touch online. The outing that we decided to really work together was arranged by Parker in 2007. Brock: In 2005 or so, I launched the Battle Your Tail Off forum. From that forum, I met Nick Nelson and was later introduced to John, Seth, and Parker when we started talking about merging my forum into Twins Daily, which had just launched a month or two prior. Although the spark was instantaneous, it took another five years and more beers to put their brands together into one. Throughout the 2000s, each individual grew their own name and following in the Twins’ sphere. During this, the idea of a collaborative effort started to float around. Parker: We had a couple of group projects including an Offseason Primer ebook and the Star Tribune’s TwinsCentric blog that we had worked together on, but we also kept our separate blogs. It was like a trial run to see if we could all function together. John: Seth and Nick talked about how we came together to produce some content, but that wasn’t when we decided to do the website. Between 2007 and 2011, we did produce a lot together: pdfs that we sold directly, some hard copy annual programs that we produced for Maple Street Press, and also we often copied and pasted stories from our individual blogs to a blog we had at StarTribune.com. But the site wasn’t a thought until 2011. Nick: We went to the Swarzak game, and wandered over to nearby Dan Kelly’s Pub for postgame drinks, where we started hashing out ideas for a collective plan to move forward. The rest, as they say, is history. Parker: If you want to make it clean, sure, it was the Swarzak debut game at the Metrodome. We had a small group of bloggers and we went out afterward and did a blood oath to put together a daily Twins website. John: Fox Sports had asked us to combine our sites, but it was subscription-based site, and that made us a little uncomfortable. So I researched options. Rob Litt, who runs GopherHole.com, tutored me in running a site based purely on ad revenue. I found a software package that could do a lot of what we wanted so for about $1,300. So we sold a pdf, used all the money to buy the software, and I programmed the modifications. We tested it, set up a writing schedule for the four of us, and launched it when pitchers and catchers reported. And like the Big Bang Theory, Twins Daily was born. While the first name iteration suggested was TwinsCentric, Nick (or Seth, up for debate) ultimately came up with the catchy moniker used today. Right away, the website took off like wildfire. Just in the first week, Twins Daily built an impressive following. In the first five weeks, there were 1,100 registered users, with nearly 500 regularly contributing through discussion threads and posts, and over half a million page views. For a small-market team with hobby writers, this was an unprecedented feat. Over the first year, organic growth continued, and the site was redesigned for better user experiences. Brock: A funny story… the four of them were *very* proud of the website. I hated it, heh. In fact, I was so aggravated just looking at it that I redesigned their logo without asking (I didn’t even know John, Parker, or Seth at this point), sent it to Nick, and basically said “get that da**ed ugly thing off the site and replace it with this”. Right off the bat, my first large project was redesigning the site and adding new features. As the community grew, a fan-favorite event emerged. John: The first Winter Meltdown was unofficial, where we just bought a keg at Hubert’s. That was Parker’s idea, and I think it was kind of a shared event with DiamondCentric, which was his (and Brock’s) company that made t-shirts. We were shocked 100+ people showed up, including a lot of media. So the next year, we had it more formally, called it the first annual, and included Gleeman & The Geek. It was at Mason’s Barre, which is now The Gold Room. The first speaker was Scott Erickson, which ended up being a legendary night because he stayed and hung out with everyone for several hours. I think we had about 200 people, which packed the place. Although the Winter Meltdowns and the website grew in popularity, there were ebbs and flows along the way. Not surprisingly, they often coincided with the success of the Twins. One of the highest points in viewership and engagement was after the 2019 Bomba Squad season. However, a small global pandemic put a wrench into things, and the drop was precipitous. Fans had much more important things to worry about. Ad revenue, traffic, and morale came to a screeching halt. For any business, this is detrimental. The once-flourishing community was lifeless. However, the Twins Daily writers and founders rallied. The writers continued to produce daily content, and Seth, Nick, John, and Brock continue to find innovative ways to rally the community. From virtual interviews to TikToks, these entrepreneurs had to pivot to navigate the unknown. Regardless of how dire the situation got, they never stopped paying their writers for their contributions. Although monetization is a key challenge, providing a springboard for writers is at the forefront of the founders’ goals. Although the current state of baseball is dire, the Fab Five have a lot to be proud of with what they’ve built in the past ten years. When asked whether Twins Daily is what they envisioned ten years ago, it was a resounding no across the board. None of them predicted that Twins Daily would become not only a large, passionate community but also a legitimate business instead of a modest side hustle. To close, for any fans of the podcast How I Built This by Guy Raz, each founder was asked how much of their success can be attributed to luck and skill. They all agreed that while luck played a factor, a lot of hustle and follow through contributed to the creation of the Twins Daily that we all love so much. Thank you for reading, and thank you John, Nick, Parker, Brock, and Seth for all that you’ve done. View full article
  2. Starting from the basics, all five of the founders were born and raised around Minnesota. Their childhoods played an influential role in their love of the Twins. Seth: My dad played baseball and softball, and we watched games on TV together sometimes too. Kirby Puckett debuted when I was eight and I was hooked on the Twins for life. Brock: I was ten years old when the Twins made a surprise run at the postseason in 1987. It suddenly became fashionable to like the Twins and I HAD to have one of the new “M” hats the team wore that year (in retrospect, I hate that M design). Nick: My parents definitely instilled a love of the game in me. We used to frequently catch the bus on Bloomington Ave to go catch Twins games at the Metrodome. Baseball has also always been my favorite sport to play — from tee-ball through high school. John: Starting at about seven years old, I started listening to every Twins game on the radio, often while throwing a tennis ball against a garage door to pretend I was fielding it. Parker: My parents would tell me that I had some MLB sticker book as a toddler and they would trot me out as a party favor in front of their friends, and they’d quiz me on team names. Supposedly I had them down pat. Each founder also dabbled in content creation and entrepreneurship throughout their teenage years. Seth wanted to own a sports card shop (although he preferred buying them to selling them), Nick created his own newspaper called “The Daily Mouse”, which he sold door to door, and Brock was always working on a new project, mostly artistic endeavors. Most commonly, each spent innumerable hours consuming Twins coverage, which was limited to mostly newspaper and radio in the 1990s. However, baseball coverage was often a footnote to football and basketball. This lack of content availability led Nick, Seth, Parker, and John to start writing and blogging in the early 2000s. As some of the only independent Twins’ writers, meeting one another was fate waiting to happen. Seth: John and I exchanged some e-mails when I started blogging in May 2003, I believe the first time we met in person at the state fair in maybe 2005 or 2006. We had done some two-minute Twins spots with Rita Maloney on WCCO, and we were invited to their booth at the state fair. Or was it when John let me write for the Gameday magazine and help sell them outside the Metrodome? There were a lot of Twins bloggers and we often linked to each others' sites. Nick: I don’t remember exactly how I met these guys, other than that it happened kind of organically because we were all writing about the team. When John recruited me to write for the Gameday program, sold outside of the Metrodome, that was definitely an inflection point. It made me realize there was a more serious business concept behind this hobby. Parker: I think I started writing about the Twins in 2006 after my first kid was born. I had a lot of time at home and not a lot of money. I’d watch a game and chart stuff like swinging strikes and other things. At some point, I got connected with Seth and Aaron Gleeman. John’s TwinsGeek site linked to other Twins blogs, so I remember reaching out to him to have him post mine. Bonnes asked me to write an article for a GameDay program (my Mom took a copy of that article and had it framed, it felt like such a huge deal then). I know there were bloggers getting together in various capacities, but I remember pushing for us to get together to drink beer and watch games. John: I started writing about the Twins in 2002 and at the time, nobody else was really doing that locally. I remember the rest of us getting together kind of organically. Someone would start a Twins blog and we would reach out and keep in touch online. The outing that we decided to really work together was arranged by Parker in 2007. Brock: In 2005 or so, I launched the Battle Your Tail Off forum. From that forum, I met Nick Nelson and was later introduced to John, Seth, and Parker when we started talking about merging my forum into Twins Daily, which had just launched a month or two prior. Although the spark was instantaneous, it took another five years and more beers to put their brands together into one. Throughout the 2000s, each individual grew their own name and following in the Twins’ sphere. During this, the idea of a collaborative effort started to float around. Parker: We had a couple of group projects including an Offseason Primer ebook and the Star Tribune’s TwinsCentric blog that we had worked together on, but we also kept our separate blogs. It was like a trial run to see if we could all function together. John: Seth and Nick talked about how we came together to produce some content, but that wasn’t when we decided to do the website. Between 2007 and 2011, we did produce a lot together: pdfs that we sold directly, some hard copy annual programs that we produced for Maple Street Press, and also we often copied and pasted stories from our individual blogs to a blog we had at StarTribune.com. But the site wasn’t a thought until 2011. Nick: We went to the Swarzak game, and wandered over to nearby Dan Kelly’s Pub for postgame drinks, where we started hashing out ideas for a collective plan to move forward. The rest, as they say, is history. Parker: If you want to make it clean, sure, it was the Swarzak debut game at the Metrodome. We had a small group of bloggers and we went out afterward and did a blood oath to put together a daily Twins website. John: Fox Sports had asked us to combine our sites, but it was subscription-based site, and that made us a little uncomfortable. So I researched options. Rob Litt, who runs GopherHole.com, tutored me in running a site based purely on ad revenue. I found a software package that could do a lot of what we wanted so for about $1,300. So we sold a pdf, used all the money to buy the software, and I programmed the modifications. We tested it, set up a writing schedule for the four of us, and launched it when pitchers and catchers reported. And like the Big Bang Theory, Twins Daily was born. While the first name iteration suggested was TwinsCentric, Nick (or Seth, up for debate) ultimately came up with the catchy moniker used today. Right away, the website took off like wildfire. Just in the first week, Twins Daily built an impressive following. In the first five weeks, there were 1,100 registered users, with nearly 500 regularly contributing through discussion threads and posts, and over half a million page views. For a small-market team with hobby writers, this was an unprecedented feat. Over the first year, organic growth continued, and the site was redesigned for better user experiences. Brock: A funny story… the four of them were *very* proud of the website. I hated it, heh. In fact, I was so aggravated just looking at it that I redesigned their logo without asking (I didn’t even know John, Parker, or Seth at this point), sent it to Nick, and basically said “get that da**ed ugly thing off the site and replace it with this”. Right off the bat, my first large project was redesigning the site and adding new features. As the community grew, a fan-favorite event emerged. John: The first Winter Meltdown was unofficial, where we just bought a keg at Hubert’s. That was Parker’s idea, and I think it was kind of a shared event with DiamondCentric, which was his (and Brock’s) company that made t-shirts. We were shocked 100+ people showed up, including a lot of media. So the next year, we had it more formally, called it the first annual, and included Gleeman & The Geek. It was at Mason’s Barre, which is now The Gold Room. The first speaker was Scott Erickson, which ended up being a legendary night because he stayed and hung out with everyone for several hours. I think we had about 200 people, which packed the place. Although the Winter Meltdowns and the website grew in popularity, there were ebbs and flows along the way. Not surprisingly, they often coincided with the success of the Twins. One of the highest points in viewership and engagement was after the 2019 Bomba Squad season. However, a small global pandemic put a wrench into things, and the drop was precipitous. Fans had much more important things to worry about. Ad revenue, traffic, and morale came to a screeching halt. For any business, this is detrimental. The once-flourishing community was lifeless. However, the Twins Daily writers and founders rallied. The writers continued to produce daily content, and Seth, Nick, John, and Brock continue to find innovative ways to rally the community. From virtual interviews to TikToks, these entrepreneurs had to pivot to navigate the unknown. Regardless of how dire the situation got, they never stopped paying their writers for their contributions. Although monetization is a key challenge, providing a springboard for writers is at the forefront of the founders’ goals. Although the current state of baseball is dire, the Fab Five have a lot to be proud of with what they’ve built in the past ten years. When asked whether Twins Daily is what they envisioned ten years ago, it was a resounding no across the board. None of them predicted that Twins Daily would become not only a large, passionate community but also a legitimate business instead of a modest side hustle. To close, for any fans of the podcast How I Built This by Guy Raz, each founder was asked how much of their success can be attributed to luck and skill. They all agreed that while luck played a factor, a lot of hustle and follow through contributed to the creation of the Twins Daily that we all love so much. Thank you for reading, and thank you John, Nick, Parker, Brock, and Seth for all that you’ve done.
  3. Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters next week, and has been the subject of much online speculation, along with requests from the studio to not spoil the film's ending. Falvey is unconcerned. “I know what happens,” said the Twins Executive Vice President and Chief of Baseball Operations as he addressed reporters following yesterday’s 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays. “I saw it on Reddit. You wanna dance? I’ll tell you who dies right now. I’ll call your kids and grandkids too. Try me.” The Twins were dogged by questions all off-season about their lack of bullpen spending. After a disappointing home series versus Toronto that saw relievers blow two games, the chatter only intensified. Falvey was having none of it. “Do you want to know if Spider-Man and Black Panther come back? Do you want to know if Iron Man dies? Ask me about Craig Kimbrel,” said Falvey. “I will absolutely do it.” Disputes over the bullpen upgrades (and lack thereof) rankled the team’s fanbase and media members alike, with unconfirmed reports of Twins Daily’s own Nick Nelson challenging ESPN’s Phil Mackey to a sabermetrics-themed rap battle at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Snelling Avenue. For his part, Falvey was resolute in defending the team’s approach. “We’re not as stable as we’d like to be this early in the season, but we like the guys we have,” said an agitated Falvey. “We’ve had some injuries. Are they the mortal injuries that Ant-Man and The Hulk suffer at the hand of Thanos? No.” Falvey continued. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say too much? How rude of me. I know how the new Star Wars ends too. Keep asking questions. See what happens.”
  4. The long-simmering debate over the Twins bullpen came to a head on Thursday, as a defiant Derek Falvey threatened to reveal the ending of the next Avengers movie to the next person who asked about relief pitching.Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters next week, and has been the subject of much online speculation, along with requests from the studio to not spoil the film's ending. Falvey is unconcerned. “I know what happens,” said the Twins Executive Vice President and Chief of Baseball Operations as he addressed reporters following yesterday’s 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays. “I saw it on Reddit. You wanna dance? I’ll tell you who dies right now. I’ll call your kids and grandkids too. Try me.” The Twins were dogged by questions all off-season about their lack of bullpen spending. After a disappointing home series versus Toronto that saw relievers blow two games, the chatter only intensified. Falvey was having none of it. “Do you want to know if Spider-Man and Black Panther come back? Do you want to know if Iron Man dies? Ask me about Craig Kimbrel,” said Falvey. “I will absolutely do it.” Disputes over the bullpen upgrades (and lack thereof) rankled the team’s fanbase and media members alike, with unconfirmed reports of Twins Daily’s own Nick Nelson challenging ESPN’s Phil Mackey to a sabermetrics-themed rap battle at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Snelling Avenue. For his part, Falvey was resolute in defending the team’s approach. “We’re not as stable as we’d like to be this early in the season, but we like the guys we have,” said an agitated Falvey. “We’ve had some injuries. Are they the mortal injuries that Ant-Man and The Hulk suffer at the hand of Thanos? No.” Falvey continued. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say too much? How rude of me. I know how the new Star Wars ends too. Keep asking questions. See what happens.” Click here to view the article
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