ATLANTA – Atlanta Braves fans are amongst some of the most vocal fans on the internet these days. Many Braves fan sites have appeared and disappeared in the last five or six years. But a few have been constant, like Braves.net as well as Mervalous.com (presently FutureBraves.com). These two Braves fan sites, one devoted to the Atlanta Braves team, the other dedicated to the Braves’ minor league system, are joining forces this spring to bring Braves fans the largest, most complete Atlanta Braves fan site on the internet to date.
Two years ago, another Braves fan site, BravesBeat.com was a powerhouse site devoted to the Atlanta Braves. It was a mainstay on the web from 1999 until 2001 when it fell under the corporate stranglehold. But out of it, co-webmaster Michael Belmont, decided to go out on his own and create a website devoted solely to the Braves’ minor league system.
“I decided to dedicate Mervalous.com (and later FutureBraves.com) to the minor leagues because, until this point, the Braves minor league system was unchartered waters on the Internet”, Belmont now says. “I had hoped to provide a service for the fans and give a voice to some of the unheralded ‘Future Braves’.”
In 1998 after toiling around with the internet, Darren Rosner, decided to take a giant leap in to the internet and create his own site dedicated to his favorite team–the Atlanta Braves. Three years later, Braves.net really took off with the help of Kyle Hawkins. Hawkins had years of experience designing and running different gaming sites, and being a Braves fan just naturally made way for him to showcase his web talents and combine that with his love for the Braves.
“I envisioned creating a Braves website that would not only provide up-to-the minute news, and quality content, but also the means for interactivity between fans”, Hawkins says. “My goal was to build a strong and thriving community, and I think that we’ve accomplished that.”
Braves.net has never been the same and still stands today, just with quite a few more facelifts than it’s predecessors.
Rosner says that his devotion to the Braves is what fueled his decision to create a site devoted to his favorite team.
“The Braves have always been MY team, you know, the team that you just live and breathe, so to speak. So I thought, what better way to enjoy your favorite team than to share it with other Braves fans and come together and talk Braves baseball.”
Belmont, Rosner, and Hawkins decided that the new fan site needed a name that long time internet Braves fans and new fans could recognize. So it was settled; BravesBeat.com would rise up and live once again.
“It was a familiar name [BravesBeat.com] to most of my visitors and I wanted to try to bring credibility back to the site that was once so great,” says Belmont.
The new BravesBeat.com will combine the extensive Braves minor league coverage that Michael has compiled with his site, FutureBraves.com, with Braves.net’s talented corps of writers to form the most complete, comprehensive Atlanta Braves fan site anywhere. BravesBeat.com will continue to feature successful columnists like Michael Rapaport, Andrew Bare and the rest of Braves.net’s staff, along with the minor league player journals by Bubba Nelson, Brian Almeida, Zach Miner, and Brian Digby featured at FutureBraves.com as well as much, much more.
The BravesBeat.com staff is proud to welcome some other sister sites to the BravesBeat family. Andruw.com has joined the site and will continue to provide the most information anywhere on the internet in regards to the Braves’ star centerfielder. BravesJournal.com will be associating with BravesBeat.com, as well. Mac Thomason, Braves Journal’s weblog master, will provide commentary throughout the season for the site in his own BravesBeat Weblog.
With the launch of BravesBeat.com, the Braves internet community will have a whole new place to call home. The site is intended to be the place where you can find any and all the up-to-date information on the Braves, the Braves’ minor league system, and unique points of view from talented writers and webmasters whose love for the Braves truly shows in their work.
“All three of us are very much looking forward to this,” Rosner states. “It’s about time a Braves fan site has come along with all the information and place to a fan needs; BravesBeat.com will provide that.”…COMING THIS SPRING
Some of the details still need to be worked out, but the plan is that Braves Journal — whatever the name — will shift to Bravesbeat.com starting at the beginning of the new season. The content should remain exactly the same, and I’m going to keep the comments. The main differences should just be the look of the site (to match the rest of Braves Beat) and the url. (Whenever we make the change, bravesjournal.us should point to the new site.)