Sunday, September 15, 2013


Once upon a time, BYB was formed after a much needed rant. From there, the rest is history but I feel fortunate because I have been here for so much of it. It's been a great ride and I look forward to more. Lou Gehrig once said he was the luckiest man on earth. Looking back at the opportunities I have had here I feel like I am the luckiest woman on earth.

A long time ago, before BYB even turned a year old I was an avid everyday reader. I would get up in the morning, grab my juice and check out what the buzz was on the page. I came here everyday first over anywhere else because I really felt like this place was the perfect blend of news and opinion. After some time, I saw a post from Casey advertising for a female voice. I noticed the staff was all male voices and he was looking for the first female on BYB. I thought about it for a couple of days. I kept thinking about submitting something for him to read, but I never did. I don't know why. I think part of me was too afraid to be the first female. What if people thought I was misinformed? What if people thought I had no credibility? Writing has always been a passion for me so I think I talked myself out of it because I just didn't want to think about taking a risk and failing. People can be brutal when it comes to a female sports analyst.

Casey found his first female voice and obviously it wasn't me because I chickened out. But right after he found his female voice, BYB became even more popular, and the next thing I knew I had a private message waiting for me on Facebook. One of my friends was a writer for the website, and I used to edit his own work long before he joined BYB. He let me know that BYB was looking for an editor. I wasn't going to pass up a second opportunity.

Shortly after, I had a message from Casey himself. He wanted to make sure I was who I said I was and that I was a writer and that I had been an editor and that I could do exactly what he was looking for. He was straight forward with me, and that is something I admire. I appreciated how much he valued integrity and that he was willing to give me a shot. I could tell right away how important his readers were to him, and that is why he has made this so successful.

So I spent a few months editing stories for him. I liked what I was doing and it felt good to know that I was helping Casey out as BYB was growing. Eventually, I wanted to do more than just help people polish their words into great stories. I wanted to share my own words. It took some time, but eventually I did. Without asking, I just put fingers on my keyboard and just started writing. Derek Jeter's 3000th hit inspired me so I wrote WHY IT'S MORE THAN 3000, IT'S DESTINY. I spent several hours on it because I told myself if I was going to do this unsolicited I needed to impress. Last thing I wanted was to submit it and the boss man be less than impressed. I didn't know what to expect, and I didn't even expect him to publish it.....but he did!

So here we are, over 2 years later and he still lets me write so, I'm glad I took the risk finally. I look back at that now and realize if I had not done that, I never would have been able to talk to one of my favorite players Chris Dickerson, or Meredith Marakovits. When I interviewed her and listened to her tell me about how she conquered my greatest fears about being a female sports writer it felt good to know that I wasn't the only one with those same fears. If you missed that, read our interview with her HERE.

Writing for Bleeding Yankee Blue has taught me so many valuable life lessons, and they have proven to be invaluable.

I have been here for a big chunk of BYB's accomplishments. I have seen us grow, and I see how the readers look for us. I see how other writers come to our website and read our stuff too! I think that is the greatest compliment you can receive. I don't think I can put into words how great it has been working for Casey. Not only do we have fun being here, but he understands how real life comes first and he cares about us writers as people. We have a lot of great creative energy on our team. Everyday someone comes up with a great nugget that they want to share, and he encourages that. We bring our own ideas to the table and he lets us run with them. For as long as I have been here, I can't think of a single story idea that has been pitched by anyone that he hasn't given the green light for, as long as we are confident that it can be done and that the audience will enjoy it. I swear, Bleeding Yankee Blue is like a well-oiled machine that runs as professionally as say... the New York Times, except I am positive we have more fun because we are fans!  We are bitten by the radioactive writing addiction, and we love the Yankees just like you do!

For whatever reason, you all choose to read us and that makes us love doing what we do. This isn't the place where you punch a time card. This is that creative free space that is also known as the dream job. If it weren't for this website and our loyal readers, I wouldn't be able to combine two of my favorite things: the Yankees and writing, so thank you to our readers and to Casey for giving me the best gig a girl can ask for. What a gig!

--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ


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