Earlier today I said that we began working on the 2011 Amazin' Avenue Annual a couple of months ago, but that's only partially true. Yes, we started kicking around very basic ideas about what we liked about last year's edition and what we wanted to improve upon, but mostly we just tossed out names for potential contributors. We had so many great people pitch in last year, and while I think we could have easily brought them all back for 2011, we also wanted to cover some new ground and get some different voices in there. We've also added four writers to the team here since the AAA 2010 so we'll have nearly twice as much in-house content potential this time around.
The first decision we made was to secure someone to write the foreword. Last year we had Tim Marchman, who is a terrific writer and a great guy, and really did as wonderful a job as we could have possibly asked for. It exceeded our expectations on every level, from writing quality to capturing the essence of being a Mets fan. He also helped proofread the near-final draft of the book, and even late in the process it never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes on it.
The foreword is an important part of the overall book, not just because it provides a bridge from the cover to the meat of the content, but also because a reputable name on the cover can bring a lot of credibility to the project. Tim absolutely did that for us last year, and we needed to find someone who would be equal to the task this year.
After some internal deliberation, the name that floated to the top of our list was Ken Davidoff from Newsday. I had exchanged e-mails with Ken a number of times in the past so we were at least on familiar terms before getting started. When you approach someone to contribute to a project like this, the easiest people to convince to help out are those you already know. Not only does having some personal history help, but friends and acquaintances are far less likely to turn you down than people you hardly know at all. We had actually asked Ken to write an article for AAA 2010 but couldn't find a suitable topic that he might not otherwise use at Newsday. This is actually true of most writers who cover the Mets professionally. In Ken's case, his day job is to write about the Mets and the Yankees for Newsday, and his editors are right to expect that if he's going to write something about those teams that he should do so for their publication, not someone else's. A foreword presents no such conflict of interest.
I reached out to Ken back in October and he was quick to sign on, so long before we had anything else we knew Ken Davidoff would be writing our foreword, and it was a big relief to have that crucial item nailed down. Ken is one of the few local writers who never lets a good story get in the way of the facts, and he has the writing chops to present his objectively informed opinions in a way that is interesting and relatable. In short, we're extremely lucky to have him in the fold.
Check back tomorrow for thoughts on how we go about selecting potential contributors and a few names we have lined up for AAA 2011. Over the next couple of weeks we'll talk about choosing a photo for the cover (and discussing alternative cover designs), figuring out who's going to write what, plus a big announcement that affects how and where you'll be able to buy the AAA 2011.