Given the events of the past few weeks, I've been pondering this question? Actually, not pondering it...but realizing just how very true it is.

I never met Jeff, Nick or Brandon. I once met Mary Anne.

I don't think it matters though...when I learned about each of them I went numb. It hurt. It still hurts. I think about them a lot.

We come on here and in some ways bare our soul through our writing unlike we do with our 'everyday' friends. There's something about writing that allows that. It also allows us to go off on each other more easily. Sometimes that can be a sign of 'feeling comfortable' with each other...however, I resolve to not do it again...or at least to be much more sensitive.

JT was special...as were the others. They all taught us something. I miss them all, even though I never met most of them.

I value all of you...including the ones I tangle with sometimes. God bless you all...I just needed to tell you that.

My prayers for our friends continue. Frown
Last edited {1}
Original Post
I define a friend as the one person who would get out of bed at 2 in the morning to drive me to the hospital or loan me his second car for the weekend---can you count 5 of them in your life---on that basis a cyber friend can never be the same--

I like the term "acquaintance" more
TR,

I can say many of these folks would do exactly that if they lived close enough, including me.

I hope you find a way to see that.

Best,
JBB
I agree. I count as one of my closest friends a gal I "cybermet" 14 years ago. She knows more about me than my own husband. (Actually, not a difficult standard to fill, now that I think of it...)
JBB

Why do I have to "find a way to see that" ?

Are you a missionary trying to convert me?--I am not trying to convert you !!!


D A M N ---express an opinion and they take offense
quote:
Originally posted by TRhit:
I define a friend as the one person who would get out of bed at 2 in the morning to drive me to the hospital or loan me his second car for the weekend---can you count 5 of them in your life---on that basis a cyber friend can never be the same--

I like the term "acquaintance" more


I'd call those those "brothers", and you're right, you can probably count them on one or two hands.

Friends are the next level. Since I've lived in the same area my entire life I have quiet a few and I would describe them as people I can share a thought with and know I will get an honest answer in return and also know they would go out of their way to help out if I asked.

Then comes "cyber-friends". This is a relativily new "relationship" brought on by our "virtual world". I think that we've seen that this relationship type has it's flaws with the perverts of the world, but with right format, it opens our lives to a more diverse population. IMHO, any means of dropping the blinders or removing the rose colored gasses with varied opinions from these "friends" makes every person more complete.

Losing members of these relatioships hurts if you have mutual respect. I think it's important that we never minimize the word "friend" regardless of its level.
Last edited by rz1
I believe you get out of a friendship, or any relationship, what you put into it. The capability to open up, to empathize, and to give without expecting something in return offers you the opportunity to make many friends.

I also believe that with our busy lives, we tend to compartmentalize friends. You may have friends at work, for example, that you wouldn't want to take to a ball game --- that's just not your shared experience. It doesn't lessen them as a friend, though.

Cyber friends are a recent phenomena, one we probably don't completely understand.

This community is unique in having a strong identification; we are all involved in baseball as/with a player, and that player is good enough to be able to consider progressing to the next level. And this is THE place where we can talk about that player, garner advice on the journey, and share experience. (Of course that blossoms out into other tangentially related areas, be it computer advice, humor, books, whatever.) But unlike our friends in the "real" world, there is the same level of commitment here without the potential jealousy, lack of experience, or just plain disinterest in the subject.

Because of that, our friends here fulfill an important role for most of us. And sometimes it's like the Stranger On A Plane. The guy you sit next to and you find yourself telling him things you wouldn't tell a close friend ---- because you can be totally honest with him and with yourself as you're never going to see him again!

Many of us visit this community daily; it takes a great deal of detachment to not feel the loss of a fellow regular.

And because of our shared Baseball Status, we identify strongly with each other. I think much of our response to these tragic losses is pure empathy.
justbb, what a timely, sensitive and insightful post.
For me, friends come in all forms, from many places, but most of all, my view of a friend is someone who offers themselves to us/me.
In my world, it does not matter whether they offer their hand to shake, or through an email or a post on this site, they offer their advice, their guidance, or a warm thought on a tough day
I think it would be fair to think that many of us have posted some very personal thoughts on this site or in PM's with other other members.
I have posted feelings about baseball, feelings about death, feelings about my family, my children and other issues and items on this site in ways that I feel comfortable to do.
There is something very special about friends and about friendships and the common bonds and the caring they create.
Not everyone joins this site to become friends. Some join, find what they need, or not, and move beyond the HWBBW.
Others join and become what JT clearly did for so many on this site..a friend.
Friendships involve making another person, whether you have met them or not, feel appreciated. JT, and many others do/did that for so many of us/me. JT made us/me feel "big."
Others, like you, have taken time to want to know who I am and are there for support or guidance when those times require.
For me at least, friendships derive from the substance and content of the relationship, not from the form it might take.
quote:
For me at least, friendships derive from the substance and content of the relationship, not from the form it might take.

I think that is correct.

I used to feel somewhat guilty for all the time I have spent here. It has occurred to me in good times and in bad that this is where my "friends" are. I like to hang around smart people and the smartest ones I know can be found right here on the hsbbweb. I like to read good writing and the best writers I know are right here on the hsbbweb. I like to hear good philosophies and I continually find them here in this community. Most of all, I like to interact with people who care as much about others as they do themselves. Sure, maybe all I "personally" know is the spelling of a screen name or the appearance of an avatar, but when it gets right down to things that matter to "me," I feel that I know everything that I need to know.
quote:
I define a friend as the one person who would get out of bed at 2 in the morning to drive me to the hospital or loan me his second car for the weekend


Yes, I have more than a few of those. And a couple of them I met online first. I have many friends online who I truly believe would do anything in their power to get here to help me out if I needed it. Even if it meant flying across the country.

I feel like I have become close to many people on here, through a couple of other websites, and in a chat room. These are people I would definitely consider to be friends.
quote:
Are you a missionary trying to convert me?--I am not trying to convert you !!!


No, not at all. Sorry you took it that way.

quote:
D A M N ---express an opinion and they take offense


No offense taken, whatsoever.

Peace.
Infield dad - That is a beautiful post. I agree with your sentiments.

I have actually traveled to meet people from HSBBW - strictly for that purpose. I have friends here who I turn to for advice just as I do friends that live nearby. As a matter of fact, as I shared elsewhere, JT helped me pick out my computer. I have friends on here who I would absolutely get out of bed and go assist if they needed me and it was possible to do so. I have friends who I have shared personal challenges with and received comfort and advice. I have friends who I hope feel that I have supported them during struggles. I have prayed for many that I "knew" and many that I didn't, but that was simply a name through a mutual friend. I have friends here that my son has had the pleasure of meeting.... many more that I wish he could meet. I have met the sons of some posters. I have followed the sons of many posters and continue to do so. Last night when reading about JT, one of my most immediate thoughts was "so and so need to know this". I began to make some phone calls and a couple of emails. That's what friends and family do. They care about each other... that carries over into our personal lives from the cyber world oftentimes.

HSBBW "friends" important to me personally.... you betcha ya!!!!
quote:
Originally posted by TRhit:
It has become a "virtual world" not a real world--- Can you pay taxes with "virtual money" ?


Well, you could pay virtual taxes with virtual money. If your virtual CPA told you to. Wink

The "virtual world" hasn't replaced the real world; but it has enhanced it.

Yes, yes, people expressing how much they appreciate and regard their Cyber Friends. I can certainly see how that's something to get all pr*ckly about! Roll Eyes (and then rolls eyes again that I can't use a perfectly legitimate word without getting censored Wink)
Last edited by Orlando
TR, I think we can all agree to disagree.
I tend not to "define" friends. I do not define them by what they can or would do for me.
Not a criticism in any way, just a different point of view.
To me, it does not matter if we meet them in a "virtual world." They are real people experiencing every aspect of real life, including paying "real taxes" in a "real down economy."
quote:
I do not define them by what they can or would do for me.

I wasn't going to comment on that but I am the same way. My definition is almost the opposite of that. I define my friends by what I can do for them. The reason I say that is when I find I like someone, I'll do whatever is in my power to maintain the relationship and nurture it. Kind of ask not what your friends can do for you but what you can do for your friends. Obviously, sometimes we all need a friend to help us with something.

One other thing, there are some things that cyber-friends can do that real friends cannot like share meaningful youtube links Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7hDnKtc9oM
Last edited by ClevelandDad
I see the site as more of a fraternity of baseball brethern than friends. We're here because we have our kid's baseball experience in common. I believe people can meet online and become friends in person. I believe people can meet online and be friendly online to each other. There are people here I believe I could enjoy watching a baseball game. I also believe if a person feels they have more online friends than friends in their community it's time to log off.
The negative part of "virtual friendships" is the lack of eye-2-eye conversations involving body language, and that is 2-fold.

On one side a person can give an opinion via the keyboard and be construed as being "wrong" and an opinion of that person is built. If that same conversation is held f2f you may understand the process in which the opinion was developed.

At the other end is the cyber poster who goes behind the backs of others to spread their "ill-will" of someone and that person will never have the chance to defend themselves and will be portrayed as a schmuck from then on.

IMHO, While this is true of all friendships, the varying levels of honesty/sincerity, is the negative side of "virtual friendships", and even worse is the potential of character bashing that has increased by way of the "backdoor" poster.

Because of our common interests and the "maturity" of this board I don't think this is a widespread HSBBW dilemma, however with the advent of Facebook and similar sites I feel that virtual friendships are potentially dangerous especially with the young websters.
Last edited by rz1
Yes cyber friends can be as good as any other friend - many of my local friends do not enjoy baseball or have sons that play baseball so this is not a topic they are typically interested in. I have found people here with similar interests.

Websites like this one help you to connect with others with similar interests. (this could apply to any number of interests...quilting, model cars, etc). By following this website, I have found myself following players all over the country that I became aware of through this site. I have also connected with other parents (locally and nationally) who I enjoy lending support and encouragment to. Several of these have also lent support and encouragement to me.....

I am proud to call these people my friend.....
Last edited by cheapseats
quote:
The negative part of "virtual friendships" is the lack of eye-2-eye conversations involving body language, and that is 2-fold.

There is no doubt about that imho.

That is why it takes some skill to develop relationships in cyberspace. Many posters, especially newer ones, do not realize there is no context for anything in cyberspace. Cannot tell if someone is kidding sometimes unless they let you know they are kidding, for example. Body language and facial expressions convey much information that is not available in cyberspace. What people need to be able to do (the successful ones that have been around here for a number of years) is paint a picture with their words. They need to use words to fill in the missing context. IMHO, it is possible to provide most of the missing context with words. I takes some practice and getting used to however. I fail to see how the cyber-relationship is any less meaningful however.
quote:
There are people here I believe I could enjoy watching a baseball game.

And sharing "war" stories and learning from. I always seek out other HSbbweb.com folks to meet them personally at the tournaments we share in common. I was looking forward to meeting JT this summer as he helped me recently as I was making a decision on collegiate summer leagues and his son will be playing in the same league...
I will lift the family up in prayer as though they are friends. JT shared himself with me, he was gracious enough to help me out. Not necessarilly as a stranger would, we knew each other, if only briefly in this "cyber-world" that interfaces with our actual reality.
Some of my dearest friends are on this website. I have even met a few, and hope with all my might that I have the opportunity to meet more.

I have spoken on a real telephone with some hsbbw friends--and to tell you the truth, I speak on the phone with some of them more than I speak with friends who live in and around my "real" community. The wonderful thing about hsbbw friends is that they UNDERSTAND the wacky world of baseball that I’m in. In the small community that I call home, there is nobody who really understands…..and certainly does not understand the “sacrifices” that my family has made---from traveling to random areas to spend hard-earned time and money, to all of the injuries my children have faced…..Nobody at home understands it, especially my extended family—sisters, brother, and mother. But my friends here do.

For, you see, the friends here in cyberspace are REAL PEOPLE. I've learned that with the very first person I met many years ago. Immediately he changed from a screen name to a REAL PERSON. One of the next hsbbw friends I met I had not even communicated with---out of the blue I received a private message from her with news that she would be traveling to Chicago and was I available to hang out? We had a delightful time.

Happily, this scenario has played out many times. A screen name turned into a real person. And even though I may not ever meet them “for real”, they are real. I’m reminded of one of my favorite books, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT:
quote:
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."


It’s kind of like here. It takes time to become a friend, just like in life. I am so glad that I have taken the time to know you.
Last edited by play baseball
Great post justbaseball.

IMO friendships are developed with people whom you, first have something in common with, and then realize that you have some common thought processes or values.

We all obviously have baseball in common. Then when we read thousands of posts from hundreds of people we kind of identify with certain posters and true friendships can develop.

We are a community of made up names (mostly), who have never met (mostly) but who have bonded by our common loves, our children and baseball. And we are united by this community, just like our real hometown communities.

Virtual or not, I am glad I moved into the HSBBW community.
Last edited by fillsfan
quote:
Originally posted by fillsfan:
Virtual or not, I am glad I moved into the HSBBW community.
Me too! I'd like one house on Hsbaseballweb Avenue.
Last edited by RJM
quote:
Originally posted by play baseball:
I’m reminded of one of my favorite books, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT:
quote:
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."


It’s kind of like here. It takes time to become a friend, just like in life.

play baseball has a gift for words, emotions, and ideas quite frankly. I had never heard of the Velveteen Rabbit before but I think I just might go out and purchase it Smile

This has been a very enjoyable and introspective thread to read.
quote:
Losing members of these relatioships hurts if you have mutual respect. I think it's important that we never minimize the word "friend" regardless of its level.



great thread. great posts, could quote most of them. I believe there are special bonds between posters on this site, and when we lose one of them i feel like I have lost family, and I dont know any of the people that have passed away.
Baseball is a special entity inand of itself, those not involved do not understand, thats why this site is special. I have received wonderful pms over the last couple years from many on here and I consider many special in my life. God bless
And I say what I say even though my wife and I met in a baseball chat room and then at a baseball clinic face to face---12 years now and she is my best friend and partner
I call you a friend (acquaintance) TR cause I read your posts and you helped me one time via a PM. Smile

And .... if you are ever in my part of Texas I would be glad to help you in a time of need.
Last edited by cheapseats
No offense taken TR....we are just generally friendlier in the south.... Smile

P.S. Danny B where are you! I need some back up!
Last edited by cheapseats
.

Here you go TR...just have my ol' Chrysler back to me by Monday. It needs gas and the right front tire is nearly flat.



And I hope you like Radar Love...no amount of prying, pulling, or cajoling can get that Golden Earring CD out of the player. I even tried stuffing a rather diminutive Somali pirate in there to see if he could sling it out of there ...told him he could keep it if he got it loose. No luck.


Last edited by gotwood4sale
quote:
cd quote:
What people need to be able to do (the successful ones that have been around here for a number of years) is paint a picture with their words. They need to use words to fill in the missing context. IMHO, it is possible to provide most of the missing context with words. I takes some practice and getting used to however.


The only problem with that is that not everyone has that ability, it's almost a talent that many times is enhanced by those who read/write/respond for a living. Some have the gift of "gab", some may write with eloquence, and some may rather read and keep their opinions short and direct. In "real life" I am a man of few words and my point is laid out with very few sentences and a lot of body language. My daughters used to yell to their mom; "Dad's yelling at us with his eyes again". Professionally I cannot take script at face value and have to dig for the "inner-meaning", and write to explain a "position" at all levels. Does that "picture painting" help on sites like this? Maybe....but sometimes it's a curse because the message may be so simple that we take basic thoughts and build an out of context personal profile out of it.
Last edited by rz1
quote:
Originally posted by Orlando:
Many of us visit this community daily; it takes a great deal of detachment to not feel the loss of a fellow regular.


Regardless whether you are friends with someone on a daily basis or just an aquaintance in cyber space, I find it very sad that those who claim to have passion for the game lack compassion in other areas.

I have not met many of the people who have recently lost their lives, but I feel for those that grieve and their loss.
Last edited by TPM
The difference in real life is that PM's are not used to talk about people behind their back---they tell you in real life face to face, at least where I come from.---then we go have dinner
I have a number of Cyber-friendships formed through HSBBW and highly value all of them. Oftentimes, I can share thoughts and concerns with my PM friends that are not appropriate to share with others here at home. Their counsel, advice, and encouragement is invaluable.

Last week, a Cyber friend I befriended on this message board was having a rough time as she watched numerous things in her family's life unravel. I sent her some flowers (real ones) and it considerably brightened her outlook on things. I'm sure she would do the same for me. Even though we have never met and have talked on the phone only once in the past 2 years, our cyber-friendship is real, not virtual.
Last edited by Infield08
Many times I have spoken about folks on this board and referred to them as "my friend."

Occasionally, I've wondered that if I don't even know the real name of this "friend," can he or she really be a friend?

I've concluded: Yes.

There are people here whose real name I don't know, but about whom I know far more than I know about people in the non-virtual world who I consider friends.

Like some of you, I don't define a friend by what I imagine they will do for me if I need them. For me, a friend is someone I like. Period.

There are many degrees and types and categories of friends, but the one thing they all have in common is that I like them.

And I have found many, many folks here who I like - whether I know their real name or not.
Last edited by Rob Kremer

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