A friend is someone you connect with, someone you share with, someone you have things in common with. How you meet or how you communicate is irrelevant. My grandpa "met" his bride through the mail - they never laid eyes on each other until the day she got off the boat. But through their letters to each other they learned to love one another and knew that they wanted to be together. They were "posting" long before it took this form!

People frequently refer to the "real" world, as if this online world were not real. How is this any less real than the parents that I have gotten to know through my boys' many years of baseball? I am still real, you are still real, and we are sharing about the things that mean the most to us. Doesn't get much more real than that!
justbb,
I love this thread.
For me, most every post is thoughtful and fully expressive of what it means to us to have friends and to be friends, of caring, of be cared for and being cared about...of feeling, of communicating, of knowing that there is importance and respect in what we post, what we say, the words we exchange and the meanings/impact they might convey.
For each of you who have posted your thoughts and feelings, you have made this a better day. Thank you.
Thank you justbb for starting this thread and for your keen and inquisitive spirit about who we are and how we can and do feel and relate to and with each other.
Thanks to each of you for sharing and adding in such meaningful ways.
As time passes, I anticipate I will return often to this thread for comfort, for guidance... for reassurance on the goodness of people.
Thank you.
Last edited by infielddad
quote:
Originally posted by PGStaff:
TR,

You are full of ****!

Where you want to go eat?


Couldn't have said it better myself PGStaff. Tohave a friend you have to be a friend. While I have many aquaintences here, I am fortunate that some of my closest friends I met here on the HSBBWeb. Whether I talk to them live or virtually, they are as 'real' as any friend I have. And JustBB - you say the word and I'm there (you will have to buy me a beer, though Cool
hows that song go? i'm so much cooler on line?
i'm a much better communicator in person........i can't type.the one finger thing is a chore. but i can talk a hungry dog off a meat wagon. and i tend to use ........ aggressive language. but only when i'm alone...or with somebody.

i don't post often, but my wife and i read here everyday. which is really funny,as we are as low tech as they come. heck i just got rid of my 8 track.

i do feel as i know people here, just like a community. it feels that way. it would be nice to put a face to a name, but i have my own vision of what you each look like. the mind is a wonderful thing.

i've gotten way more from you all than i could ever give back. i also think it is very a special thing to have friends, i'd like to think i've made a couple here.
Last edited by 20dad
quote:
Originally posted by floridafan:
Hey 20dad your post is the year I was born! What could that mean... :

Oh, he needs two more to get to my year! Smile
20dad - I find you to be one genuine person and always enjoy reading what you (and your wife? Wink) have to say.

I think you give a lot. Perspective would be very high on that list...you give very good perspective.

And infielddad - you beat me to it. I have truly enjoyed nearly every post in this thread as well. It gives me comfort to read some very good and genuine thoughts from everyone.

A "community." Thats what it is...with lots of friends that I truly treasure. Thanks everyone.
Last edited by justbaseball
PG

I consider you a great friend but we have known each other in the "real" world for many years

Heres the deal/// come in for one of the NE events at Baseball Heaven (August or September)--I have a Seafood restaurant that is A-1(You know the size of my coaches---they want to eat there every nite-)- greatest lobsters---super clams and oysters--unreal clam chowder---deserts--I can describe

Are you on?---MY treat
.

quote:
Originally posted by 20dad:
i can talk a hungry dog off a meat wagon.




B-U-R-P! I dunno' Fritz. One moment I'm up on the wagon feasting on a nice brisket and before I know it this guy wearing a Listen To Me Or Die baseball cap and a big number 20 T-shirt launches into a very charming story about Rin Tin Tin and some kid named Rusty.

Next thing I know I'm all starry eyed and laying along the ditch watching that brisket head down the road to Nashua. Whoever this guy is he's good...very good!






quote:
Originally posted by TPM:
Gotwood,
Could you please remove the pitcure of that poor doggy, it breaks my heart. Frown


Done. Skinny Joe is gone and Fatty Patty is scrounging for more brisket!


Last edited by gotwood4sale
I saw TR's post earlier today and when I read it I got what he was saying but I knew he would take a lot of heat for it. (50 replies later i was right)

He qualified his definition of friend quite well.

Some of define "friend" differently. I would describe a friend as someone I could count on - on whatever level of friendship we shared.

Ie, my cyber friends can be counted on for advice more than say a neighbor down the street who can always be counted on for a spare egg or trip to the dealership to pick up my car. If I need baseball advice I know I can come here for "friendship" and good advice. Maybe my best girlfriend cant help me there.

Anyway TR I would hope that if I needed baseball advice that I could count on you as a "cyberfriend" the way I count on my best "real" friend for her support.

I think you are both the same kind of high quality person regardless of your physical location.
justbaseball,

I think your original post in this thread was very insightful:

"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."

I have met people on this site who I correspond with almost daily, and would go far out of my way just to meet them for dinner or a ballgame, or of course to help if they needed help. We share more deeply and personally than we do with our coworkers or actual neighbors, partly because of our shared love for baseball and for our kids who play it, but also because "There's something about writing that allows that."

And there are at least a handful of members who I have grown to love, yes love. There are many others who, while I don't know them personally, I consider cyber-friends and I marvel at their willingness to help newcomers who they have just "met".

infielddad said:

"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." "

Very true. JT was a perfect example of the unselfish people we meet here, who not only keep coming back to help others, but they care about making other people feel appreciated and cared about. That unselfishness, that gracious willingness to give, is a huge part of what makes the "friends" that we meet here so very special.

Julie
Last edited by MN-Mom
Gotwood,
Could you please remove the pitcure of that poor doggy, it breaks my heart. Frown

This was a really good topic started by my friend Justbaseball......
PGStaff saying...

One can never have too many friends!

Personally I've never ever considered friendship being what someone can do for someone else.

I have very close friends I've known my entire life. To this day we still get together often, and swap lies, and drink beer and argue about politics or any other topic that comes up.

I have different very close friends that are involved in my baseball life. I'd like to think I have close friends here, even some that I've never met in person. I think it's easy to pick out the people you want as friends. Its the ones that want to be a friend rather than an enemy. IMO we are all the same in that way.

So yes, I feel like I have many friends here. I can tell that they're friends. Because my greatest talent is being able to sniff out the enemy!

There is no question that this site has produced many very good friendships. I think it's because of the quality of the membership. BTW, I've met people before they ever got involved here on this site and ended up liking them even more after reading their opinions about various subjects.

The "human" side to this message board is what makes it so special IMO
Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose. And I have been so fortunate to have a number of "cyber" acquaintances who have become great friends. I KNOW I can count on them for any trial or tribulation I go thru....and hope they feel the same way about me. My life has certainly been enriched by those friends who began "virtually"...but are now "reality".
We all share a common interest. To the extent that I can help another person; I and most of us do. Over the last few years, I have gone out of the way to go and meet several of my HSBBWeb friends. I have made a point of see several of them play. Several have come out to ball fields, when their kids aren't playing to say hello and to meet my son.

This has been a forum for us to learn, share, grow and to experience the best and worst of life with people that have common intersts. When one of our kids does well we celebrate, when we loose one to tragedy we mourn.

For me, I feel a real connection with many and consider them friends.
.
Good question JB, and particularly timely given recent tragic events...

In the immortal words of Jimmy Chitwood, “I don't know if it'll make a difference, but I figured it's time for me to start playing ball”

Observations...

I think most of us here come, as I do, from a different era, one where words were important and valued. If you had something to say, or more importantly something to write it better be pretty darned important and if it was worth writing it was worth REALLY thinking out and writing well. We did this both out of respect for the word, the thought and out of respect to the reader/listener. In other words, a man or a woman was as good as their word...and their word was their bond. Particularly the written word.

And in my era if you took the time to write, and stamp and mail you meant it and you stood behind it. If you took the money to call (and it was expensive) you made those words count and you chose your calls carefully by time, content and callee. I would like to think many here still hold those same values of communication and that in part is why I stay.

The internet and phone technologies have certainly fostered communication but in the process of making it easier, have we collectively have lost our souls and our character and some of our humanity? I ask my boys all the time, “What is it that you value? Because with every move you make, you make a statement about who you are, and what you value. Live for something, take a stand and choose your values and battles wisely. If you win with your values, you teach and lead. If you go down you need be go down standing for something” I have made it a point to offer them the value of communication with substance and thought to balance the bombardment they get electronically. Has it worked? God, I hope it will. Without real communication that has depth, not just cheap self created celebrity drama we are less of a species.

I think that for many the internet is a sad excuse for real human communication and many have fallen into a pattern of thoughtless babble: a throw away level of endless, pointless, useless, self centered chatter/twitter with out substance...both phone portion and the written portion. In that process we all risk a great deal. We risk and are paying a price for de-sensitizing our communication process, dumbing it down, and spilling it over into our lives and treating all the people around us like twitter friends.

That being said...the technologies also offer some amazing opportunities. If by hard work (Bottle washer Bob and Julie) and example you can engage and circle the right individuals with the right values and character and intent you can pull together an amazing community from a wide diversity of geography, backgrounds. viewpoints and experience. We all can grow, we all can learn, and sometimes cry, together. While I believe that baseball is a method to greater good and greater values, I also believe at times that it is not just baseball, but the deep character and values of the posters that pull us in, hold us here, and draw us close. And I think that really shows in times of great tragedy in our community.

When many of us post here, we choose our words carefully, and we trust that by building that credibility that we will be heard on a deeper level and that our words hold some sort of lasting value, first on the screen, then in the hearts of others (because as human beings that connection is what we want). Over time maybe we develop some credibility and trust. When some people post I pay attention. I hang on their words. I have come to trust their words and trough their word’s their character, not their looks, or their bank accounts, or where they live, or good looking they are. Will you show me your character through your words? Or will you show me your stupidity? While there is a pecking order of son’s ability here, it is not the only measure, and I would like to think that it is not the most important measure. I would like to think that it is character and humanity.

I actually have come to believe that if we do this thing right we sometimes offer as much or more of our character in our words than we do in our real life. I have met some posters in real life and they are online mirrors of who they are in life. I can assure you that Justbaseball is both a man and leader of incredible heart, intelligence and sensitivity. 08Dad just as intelligent and though out as his posts. CABB just as caring, kind and appreciative. In other words, the Intelligent and the compassionate are the intelligent and the compassionate. The knee jerk flitterers and twitters are the knee jerk flitterers and the twitters. The measured are the measured. The Jerks are the Jerks. Internet or not, you are as good as your word. For better and sometimes worse, We say things here that we would hold back, out of fear or social convention. Maybe the internet also gives you a chance to be more of who you are. Maybe I can choose my friends by their posts and value them greatly.

And for those who I have not met in person, I have to believe that I know them, Woodman and Play Baseball are family people and clowns with hearts of pure Gold. (I smile just thinking about them) CD has real convictions, and is a bit more serious but I do not doubt his sincerity to get it right, and I trust his values. TR? Well, I cannot think that TR is any different in real life than on the internet, and while I may not agree with him, I’d love to get an earful of his heartfelt direct opinions and I am certain that he’d offer them. I am sure that Infield 08, is just as compassionate and wanting to help as she seems. I could go on and on about many others as well...And most amazingly when I looked at the photo of JT for the very first time, and I saw that smile, somehow I already knew him and I knew that I was going to miss him more than ever.

Do I need to meet them? No. If I am right/write I can make my point here character to character, soul to soul without the distractions, and built in judgements that real life often brings, colors and those that sometimes destroy relationships. Does it make me value them any less? No. Remember in my world, You are your word. Our shared humanity is what I value on line or off. I’d like to think that is one of things I stand for and foster in others. I'd like to think that it is one of the things I bring to this community in some small measure and that I will leave to others to carry on when I go.

I do think that the HSBBW is a wonderful, and rare and close on line community. One that seems to engender friendship, useful information, real communication and, for lack of a better description, Love. This is not just the usual twitter/pointless babble and self centered one way statement making and desperate need/cry to be heard that characterizes and describes so much of the cyber world. And that I can let go of. There is often real human substance here, not always, but it does exist and we see that so clearly in times of community crisis.

Cool 44
.
Last edited by observer44
quote:
Over time maybe we develop some credibility and trust. When some people post I pay attention. I hang on their words. I have come to trust their words and trough their word’s their character, not their looks, or their bank accounts, or where they live, or good looking they are.

Another excellent post 44. You are one of those that I look for. Any chance that I could meet you this weekend?
ob44 - I am touched that you would mention me!

Another classic post. If it were "only" about baseball, I would no longer be a member here. "Real" friends indeed exist here Smile
Smile
I looked for a champion icon but I couldn't find one. I would give it to O44. And lots of others on this board.

Thank you all for the advice you give, the consolation, the calming whenever I have felt anxious.

You are a great group of people.
.

quote:
Originally posted by observer44:
callee.






Your comments do seem to emanate from a different era 44 and that era seemingly was more relaxed and peaceful. In reality it wasn't much different from now. We weren't bombarded with all of the bad stuff, but that bad stuff was there nonetheless.

The importance and need for meaningful and effective communication has not diminished from that era to the present. The difference is that now there are so many various means and methods to communicate and many, if not all, of them are being marketed to us as quicker, faster, and more convenient than what was available previously.

The younger members of our society embrace all of the newest technology and, as you described 44, they tend to develop their communication skills with the tools they choose. We did the same when we were younger.

The problem is that now the changes are much more significant and occur at almost blinding speed. The transition from one method to another is rapid and it is less likely that many people will settle in and get comfortable with one form of communicating before jettisoning it for the next new one coming down the pike.

None of this negates or diminishes the importance and need for meaningful and effective communication as I mentioned before.

I think the HSBBW allows all of us to connect on a common field using the same tools. It takes an effort to make this work, but I agree with you 44...we humans do want to connect with others in a meaningful way and for the most part I believe that is exactly what happens here.

Thank you for your post 44.


Last edited by gotwood4sale
O44:

Like CD, I am touched and honored to be included in your post. Thank you - both for including me - and for being my friend.

I should say that I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of your posts as well as the elegance of your writing - and that last post makes my top 10 O44 posts of all time.

08
I guess it all depends on ones definition of what a friend is. I have no idea how many friends I actually have. And I really dont want to find out anytime soon. All I know is if I know you and you have been kind to me or my family or my other "friends" then you are my friend as well. If I can do something for you I will. Why? Because its the right thing to do. If I were in need I would hope someone would help me. And more importantly if my family was in need you would step up for them because you know me.

Many of the people on this site are my friends. Why? Because we know each other. We talk to each other. We take the time to tell each other things we would not tell many other people. We try to help each other. We share a common love of the game and those that play it. That makes you my friend.

There are many on this site I have never met in person. But I have talked to you for years. I have listened to you for years. I have gotten to know you and you have gotten to know me. I have never met my friend from Oregon whos son Jeff is going to be attending Duke University next year to play baseball and attend school. Duke is only 25 minutes from my home. But you can bet he can call me and I will be there for any reason at anytime no questions asked. If he needs money its his. If he is broke down I am there. If he has a problem and needs to talk I will be there. If he needs a home cooked meal my wife will be there for Jeff. Whatever he needs we will be there for him.

Why? Because I know him. And because my son will be in Ohio this summer. And if he needs something I have no doubt that Slugger or any number of our posters from that area would do the same thing. Why? Because they know me. Why , because baseball folks are the best folks in the world. We understand each other. That is a friend. A person that will do for you and never ask a single question.

Why do the recent incidents hurt so much? Because we knew them. Because we know it could have just as easily been us or our children.

I consider you my friends. You can know that I am your friend even if you do not consider me your friend. And if you ever need anything I will step up and do everything I can. Why , because I know you and that matters to me. I have many members of my extended family and people who know me and my family that never will understand this thing called baseball. They say "You never take vacations. Dont you get tired of the baseball field? On and on they go , they will never understand. You do. And that matters to me.

So I dont care as much if others see me as their friend or not. That is not as important to me as them knowing if they need anything I will be there for them and especially their kids , because they are the most precious thing any of us will ever have.

Thank God for guys like JT. Thank God for young men like Nick.
.

quote:
Originally posted by mikamom:
Smile
I looked for a champion icon but I couldn't find one. I would give it to O44.






He's almost always firing on all cylinders so I suppose he'd appreciate some of these mikamom!




Wink
Last edited by gotwood4sale
quote:
I have never met my friend from Oregon whos son Jeff is going to be attending Duke University next year to play baseball and attend school. Duke is only 25 minutes from my home. But you can bet he can call me and I will be there for any reason at anytime no questions asked. If he needs money its his. If he is broke down I am there. If he has a problem and needs to talk I will be there. If he needs a home cooked meal my wife will be there for Jeff. Whatever he needs we will be there for him.

Coach May: I can't tell you how grateful I am that you would say this, nor how comforting it is to know that when I send my son 3000 miles away for school, that he has a person of your character nearby in case he ever needs something.

You are one of the first people I ever "met" on this site. Within two minutes I knew that you were a person I wanted to get to know very well. I look forward to this fall, when I am sure we will meet for the first time in person.

And I especially look forward to next spring, sitting in the stands watching our boys compete! Won't that be something?

Thanks again.
quote:
I have many members of my extended family and people who know me and my family that never will understand this thing called baseball. They say "You never take vacations. Dont you get tired of the baseball field? On and on they go , they will never understand. You do. And that matters to me.


Smile
Reading this thread, just, has proven your original thought to be true. Yes, cyber friends are are real friends.

Just as Coach May has offered a surrogate home to Rob's Jeff, many of us have had the experience of a fellow webster taking our faraway sons under their wing (Thanks, Mary Ann and Kirsten --- for starters!). Our shared experience makes it so.

Golden Thread AND Good Karma to me!
O44, that is one of the most beautifully articulated and compelling personal statements I have ever read.
I have been following this thread since its inception. I have started and erased many responses. O44 you hit the chord I was searching for and Coach May concluded the words I couldn't find.

I used to joke that you could hold my wake in a telephone booth. Then my world came crashing down around me. At first I couldn't imagine how I would make it through that day yet any other. Then my friends started coming forward. Some of them I hadn't heard from or seen in years. Some were mere acquaintances who stepped up in all kinds of ways. Many were right here on this site. I found solace and hope in the words they sent and strength in their prayers. Some I have met, others I spoke to only by way of a thread or a PM. The one thing I seemed to know is that their thoughts and prayers were genuine and sincere.

I can't explain this site to my wife. I quit trying. I am not sure I completely understand myself but we are connected if we choose to be.

JBB thank you for this thread.

PS. TR call me anytime, I'll come get you at 2 am and you can have the dam* car for all I care.
Last edited by deldad
Duane,
Glad to see your post, I think of you and your family often.

When my son went off to school 12 hours away, I had people here writing to me to tell me if son ever needed anything to let them know. Kevin11, always offering to take DK out to dinner when up in Clemson or could he bring him goodies when they played at WCU. HighHard Heat calling me during a game to let me know how son was doing. I got pm's from those in the Atlanta area telling us to stop over when on our way up to Clemson. I have never met these people in person.
A great Clemson parent friendship that developed over the years began right here, catchersdad. Because our sons don't play together has not stopped our friendship, he's just busier than me I now, it's his sons draft year and he is doing well playing in the Pac10.
Last edited by TPM
There are some amazing writers on this site.
Tough for us normal people to compete with! I am in awe of the beautiful writing of Obs.44, justbaseball, and Coach May. We are all fortunate to have this sense of comraderie and friendship with so many posters.

For those of us that have asked for help here through the years this is an amazing place to get great advice. People are willing to share their experience with you. I have learned so much through the years and it has directly helped my son with his journey to "the next level". With each new level there was always someone here I could ask for help.
I agree with Observer 44 about posters being the same as they seem to be here. We have gotten so much guidance from people that had already traveled down this road. They have been generous with their advice and I can honestly say I don't think my son would be where he is today w/o the advice of some experienced posters on this site.
quote:
There are some amazing writers on this site.
Tough for us normal people to compete with! I am in awe of the beautiful writing of Obs.44, justbaseball, and Coach May.

There is no doubt in my mind about that. Just one of the reasons (among many) they are such good writers is that they speak from the heart. They don't write what they think people want to "hear" them say but from the emotion of what they actually "want" to say.
quote:
I do think that the HSBBW is a wonderful, and rare and close on line community. One that seems to engender friendship, useful information, real communication and, for lack of a better description, Love.


....for lack of a better, more cerebral word,...that was AWESOME!

I agree completely.
Last edited by shortstopmom
Woody,
Thanks for changing that pic, hey, that's what friends are for!

This topic went Gold! Awesome.

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