Welcome to South Side Hit Pen!

Welcome, welcome, welcome, everybody, we’re South Side Hit Pen! As we’re prepping an onslaught of coverage here in our debut week, there’s just time for a quick recap of the website politics of this past season.

Coming out of our season-long struggles at South Side Sox, including a quickly-aborted merger with another site, we’ve landed here, as our home for the near and foreseeable future.

(As you can read over on South Side Sox today, SSS is not going away, not at all.)

But what will change is that the talented and diverse collection of voices we built at SSS over the past year-and-a-half are all coming over to South Side Hit Pen to continue their coverage.

And that staff is talented beyond measure. For brevity’s sake, just take a look at our masthead page to get acquainted with everyone.

Unlike the plan when we attempted our merger last month, here at South Side Hit Pen, we’ll be providing all the coverage seen at South Side Sox, including gamethreads and game recaps. It’s the only way for all of writers to continue to get the shine they deserve, given some of SSS’s budget limitations at present.

So essentially, everything you’ve become accustomed to reading at SSS, you’ll now find here at South Side Hit Pen.

As you might tell from glancing in the upper right corner of the home page, we are now able to freely solicit your support via Patreon. And if you click over to our Patreon page, you’ll see that the support tiers for South Side Hit Pen have expanded beyond the five we started our fundraising effort with. A short version is that anyone supporting us at designated levels for an entire year (and if you’ve been supporting us since the spring, your year clock is already ticking …) will get some nice premiums as a thank-you for your support.

And it’s worth reminding you of how crucial that support has been; after support changes to SSS slashed our budget in half, Patreon contributions are how all of our staff have been paid for the balance of the summer. It’s gotten a little tight at times, yeah, but we are a group of White Sox fans who are very devoted not only to the team, but to our efforts as a site. We truly hope that devotion seeps out of every article we run, and appreciate the fact that you as Patreon supporters are responsible for that work being possible.

Patreon contributions are how all of our staff have been paid for the balance of the summer. We are a group of White Sox fans who are very devoted not only to the team, but to our efforts as a site. We truly hope that devotion seeps out of every article we run, and appreciate the fact that you as Patreon supporters are responsible for that work being possible.

(For now at least, we’re avoiding any advertising at South Side Hit Pen. After the visual assault that is SSS, you are probably owed some White Sox reading in repose.)

As for the coverage you’ll find on South Side Hit Pen beyond what you’re used to (gamethread, game recap, Minor League Update, Six Pack of Stats), well, yeah, there’s gonna be more. We’ve introduced some new features at midseason, most notably Know Your Enemy written not just for every new White Sox opponent, but every White Sox opponent, period.

Next week, following up on our unprecedented Top 100 Prospects that were named earlier this year, we’ll update that list with a midseason Top 50.

And yes, yes, yes, finally, after more than a year away, we’ll be dragging a podcast out again. It’s likely going to be one or more episodes per week, but shorter, one-conversation segments, rather than multi-part opuses that might put you to sleep. (Long, droning episodes that can be used as a sleep aid will be available to Patreon supporters, so if you’re sleepy, consider ponying up.)

Looking ahead to the offseason, we’ve got a ton in store for you:

  • WSM20051917 (yep, he’s truncated it a bit from SSS) will roll out his Deep Dive series. Recall a year ago, he profiled more than 200 White Sox minor leaguers.
  • In December and January, we’ll be rolling out not one, not two, but three Hall of Fame elections: our first-ever Veteran’s Committee vote, a traditional Cooperstown Class of 2020 vote, and the third annual White Sox Hall of Fame vote.
  • In January, we’ll begin counting down our 2020 Top 100 Prospects.

And there’s more, some Patreon-only content, some just cool ideas we come up with at the spur of the moment. Video, music, art … yep, we’ve got some surprises in store.

One thing that bears mentioning is that primary reason I resisted doing any site work outside of South Side Sox. Foremost, South Side Sox is awesome — unquestionably the best Chicago White Sox site on the web. But the core of SSS is the community, one that’s built up over 15 years, through leadership changes, and lord knows how White Sox team failures. The greatest reluctance over leaving SSS in any way whatsoever is the community that’s flourished there.

So more important than praise for individual writers or stories or ideas here at South Side Hit Pen is the hope that at least some of that South Side Sox community will be willing to follow us here and grow a base that could one day rival that of peak SSS. An extremely lofty goal, but the White Sox are talking about a “championship window,” no? So let’s set our sights high.

Joining the community and commenting at South Side Hit Pen is easy to accomplish:

You have several login options: WordPress, Google, Twitter and Facebook. And if you’re not into any of that, you can just provide an email and screen name, one time, tick the “Save my name” box, and you’re good.

We’ve got a Twitter handle, SouthSideHitPen, although the sassiest takes and occasional street fights with northside fans will come from the BrettBallantini Twitter handle and other individual writer accounts. But you already knew that.

There’s probably some stuff I’m forgetting, so this welcome is going to be anchored among our freshest posts for awhile, in case you want to revisit.

As always, thanks to each and every one of you who have made our time covering the White Sox for you a true delight. We promise to continue to surprise and delight you with our coverage, and earn every penny of the support you provide.