By AngelsWin.com Senior Writer, David Saltzer -
Happy New Years Angels fans & AngelsWin.com faithful. The Announcement you have all been waiting for is finally here! It's time to celebrate an anniversary, and one that will be celebrated over the entire course of the 2014 calendar year. (More details on that later)
Ten years. That’s a long time. In internet years, that’s almost an eternity.
Think back: where were you 10 years ago? What were you doing? Where did you go to talk Angels baseball?
They say that all it takes for good things to happen is that someone stands up and says I’ll do it. And that’s how AngelsWin.com started—Chuck Richter looked around the internet at the limited options for Angels fans and decided that Angels fans needed and deserved an internet site to call their own. He created AngelsWin.com: a website by Angels fans for Angels fans.
If you go back that far with AngelsWin.com, give yourself a gold star. Heck, go ahead and give yourself 5 gold stars—Lee won’t mind.
When AngelsWin.com started, it was a small group of friends who got together to talk Angels baseball. There was a lot to talk about: The memories of the 2002 Championship Team were still strong. Arte Moreno made a big splash by signing Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, and Kelvim Escobar. The team seemed poised for a spectacular run.
Not one to be complacent, Chuck wanted to do more than just talk about the Angels. He wanted to help shape the conversation. So, he started reaching out to members on the site and leveraging contacts with the Angels to give Angels fans their own unique perspective where they would drive the course of the conversation.
By doing that, AngelsWin.com became dubbed the “Voice of the Fans” by KNX 1070 AM Radio. Whenever they, or for that matter any media outlet, needed an Angels fan’s perspective, they contacted AngelsWin.com. Whether it was providing commentary for USA Today during the playoffs, commenting on the Dan Haren trade on XM Radio, or giving a perspective on the ongoing negotiations between the team and the City on CNN Latino, AngelsWin.com has been there to be the voice of the fans.
As the website grew, Chuck wanted to branch out into all things related to Angels baseball. For hardcore fans, that meant branching out into all levels of the organization. AngelsWin.com started providing prospect lists, bios, and updates. As the connections between the website and the players grew, we got them to write blogs on our site to give fans a unique perspective into their lives. Over time, we began to advertise with Angels affiliates.
As the collection of writers grew, more possibilities opened for the website. At first it was a few interviews, almost all of which were audio recorded. Hours were spent transcribing them for fans to make them useful for fans. In time, it grew to video interviews and holiday greetings.
Through the steady and professional work put forth by the website, the Angels front office began to pay attention to AngelsWin.com. They became more receptive to our interview requests giving us the chance to truly shape the conversation. AngelsWin.com arranged for online chat interviews with Eddie Bane, the Director of Scouting for the Angels. He gave fans true insights into the development of players who would go on to become staples of the team. Soon, doors opened with Abe Flores, Tony Reagins and Jerry Dipoto.
With content like that, more fans kept coming. Soon AngelsWin.com was busting at the seams and the website needed to be redesigned to handle the volume of traffic. Shortly thereafter, a second redesign had to be done. And by 2013, we had already done our 4th expansion to handle all the Angels traffic. What had once been a little chatboard had become mainstream.
AngelsWin.com has always been about the community. And, there’s no better way to build community than to get people together in person. So, in 2006, a group from AngelsWin.com decided to meet up in Spring Training. At a bar called Hail Marys they met, ate food, drank suds, and relished in Angels’ stories. And thus, the Spring Training Fanfest was born.
But, as with the website itself, the Spring Training Fanfests grew until they too burst at the seams. Within a few years, the crowd could no longer fit into Hail Mary’s—a new location had to be found. Soon, getting together just once a year as a community wasn’t enough; a summer Fanfest at the Big A was added including charity events dedicated to raising funds for the O.C. Miracle League. Even that has grown in just a few short years to include a charity golf tournament, a golf tournament, and a whole weekend of fun.
In 2012, Arte Moreno, the Angel’s owner attended our Spring Training Fanfest to take questions directly from the fans. Since then, Jerry Dipoto, the Angels General Manager, Tim Salmon, and all the Angels reporters have come to speak with our ever growing community.
Along the way, AngelsWin.com got credentialed to sit in the press box. Then, we got credentialed to be in the clubhouse and conduct interviews. And, finally, we were invited to the press conferences where we were allowed to ask a question on live national TV!
But really, AngelsWin.com is all about you, the fans. It’s about the community that comes here daily, follows us on Twitter and Facebook, and engages with one another.
So, how shall celebrate our 10-year anniversary? By honoring you, our fans. Over the next year, we will be interviewing members of our community to tell their stories, to share their favorite memories, to relive their greatest moments.
Of course we will continue to do all that makes AngelsWin.com THE internet home for Angels fans. We will continue to debate all things that are Angels baseball. We will continue the Fanfests. We will continue to provide content, news, and prospect lists. We will have our game day chats and our interviews.
As we begin the second decade of our existence, we want to thank you, our fans for making it all possible. What started as an idea from Chuck Richter has grown into so much more. As each of you has joined our site and encouraged others to come, we have continued to grow and expand our offerings to make AngelsWin.com truly a 24/7 community by Angels fans, for Angels fans.