Baseball Univere: 2013 Issue, Yearbook 2
Things did not turn out the way we expected and unfortunately the Baseball Unvierse English Yearbook is not coming out until today (it should have come by mid February), which is why we would like to start by apologizing because of the delay.
Many of the problems we faced were out of our reach to solve, including several technological issues in both connection and hardware matters. Therefore, there is no excuse, but for the time being, we are bringing a much smaller English magazine, compared to the one you had the chance to read about a year ago. Much of that has to with the problems mentioned above, so I will not repeat them.
This time, we have included a few less works, and we have given a less thorough analysis to the Cuban league as well as the other foreign leagues. We do believe that as long as we don’t find a designer who does that part of the magazine, we will not be on time as much as we want, no matter how big the effort we could make.
Recently, many things have happened around Unvierso Béisbol, from being sent a bat by Cuban Five Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo (there is a piece here devoted to the history of his baseball bat project named CubaCan), to start opening new windows with readers like Julio Cesar Bermudez, Teofilo Villa and Ariel Villa, all of whom have made an approach to the work of Universo Béisbol beyond the digital work (the two latter, father and son, have met me personally). Of course, the usual contributions made by Jim Allen, Chris Kabout, Matt Nadel and Ton Hofstede (all of whom do things voluntarily) have also enriched the work of UB for the course of the year.
Despite of being still ignored, underrated and diminished by many people in the Cuban press, some doors have been opened for the project of UB, which was even mentioned as a magazine in a comment posted on an ESPN blog. The comment in question will be published in the February issue of UB, which will be released in a few days.
One of the first things we would have to admit is precisely the fact that for the time being, there has been no redesign of the magazine, in any of the two languages. For over a full year, we have kept the same view and even it has not drawn too much criticism, we are fully aware of the fact that a change needs to be made.
Other challenges lay ahead, though:
UB is currently approaching its fourth anniversary, while also coming close to our 50th issue, which will definitely have to be a special one (we launched two Special Editions on February and March last year because of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The blog we are housed in is also subject to changes, but those will not come any time sooner, since those changes require payments that cannot be made unless the person paying for them is not in Cuba.
As much as we have tried to make this project grow, we are still a few steps ahead compared to last year, but thousands of steps behind where we should be by now. But well, I guess that’s how things are, and I have to admit that even with help, this is a very hard work to do… and a VERY difficult hobby to keep. That is what keeps us moving, as well as the feedback we are currently having from readers (that aspect has shown serious improvement), who do not hesitate either encouraging or criticizing.
The best part comes when someone calls you out and tells you: “Hey, I just read what you published!” or when someone who has copied all the magazines comes back the next month, looking for the next issue. That way, my friends, we will continue doing this work, trying our best to make monthly issue after monthly issue come to the cyberspace or get into the streets via flash drives.
That said, we hope that you find pleasure in reading this magazine, by far not as good as its predecessor, but just as filled with passion, devotion and hard work.
founder and chief editor of Universo Béisbol