Thoughts from the 18th hole

The 18th hole.
 
It seems to be a fitting description for where I feel like I am right now as I begin to write this blog. After a little over five years of covering the Twins for MLB.com, I’m getting ready to start what will be a new chapter of my career.

Next week, I will be joining the LPGA as a communications manager and moving to Daytona Beach, Fla. My job will entail traveling to LPGA tournaments around the world and helping to promote women’s golf.

For those of you that know me or have followed my blog in the past, you are aware that one of my greatest passions in life is golf. I started playing the sport at the age of 5, spent nearly all of my summers on the links while growing up in Michigan and then went on to play for the Michigan State women’s golf team (Go Spartans!).
 
When I was 12 years old, I wrote a paper for school detailing my dream of one day playing on the LPGA Tour. I might not be joining the tour in exactly the capacity I had envisioned when I was younger, but this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up.

Sunday will be my final day on the Twins beat and admittedly there are a lot of emotions as I prepare to say goodbye to Minnesota and to all of the wonderful people that I’ve met while covering the Twins. It seems like just yesterday that I was moving to the Twin Cities and was greeted by numerous welcoming emails from Twins fans.
 
I’ve felt blessed to have the opportunity to work for MLB.com over the past six years, including the year I spent as an intern in Chicago. Over that time, I’ve been lucky enough to cover a World Series (yes, Twins fans it was in 2005 with the White Sox -sorry about that), three AL Central titles for the Twins and two Game 163s — the one against Detroit being perhaps the greatest game I’ve been able to see in person. I’ve gotten to watch two players have American League MVP seasons, covered Johan Santana winning a Cy Young and got a chance to write about Ron Gardenhire’s wait for a Manager of the Year Award come to an end this past November.

As a reporter, I’ll miss working with the Twins front office and covering a group of players that I watched grow over the past few years. It’s hard to find an organization with more continuity in their front office than the Twins. And everyone — from the baseball operations department to the baseball communications staff to the community relations staff and so on –has been so helpful to me over the years. There are always changes within a baseball clubhouse every year but I’ve been fortunate that a solid core of this Twins team has been around for awhile. And because of that, I’ve been lucky to have formed some great relationships along the way.

I was also lucky to work with a wonderful traveling group of reporters during my time in Minnesota. I’ll miss getting to tease LaVelle about the Bears and the Illini, trips to Wild Ginger in Seattle with Joe C., and having someone who understands hockey and my love of Glee like Kelsie does. I’ve learned a lot about this business from them as well as the many other people I’ve encountered over the years. It’s impossible to mention everyone that I’ve been blessed to get to know but John, JK, Dave, Phil, Patrick, Tom, Barry, Stew, Peggy, Tonya and everyone in the Target Field Pressbox, thanks for everything.

I also can’t leave without thanking all of the readers who have reached out to me since I started covering the Twins. With this blog and Twitter, I feel like I’ve gotten to create a much closer bond in recent years. It always brought a smile to my face when Twins fans would say hello during Spring Training or at a ballpark on the road during the season. Twins fans certainly have a strong passion for their team and I thank you for having welcomed me to this beat with open arms.

But now I’m getting ready to pass this beat along to someone else. Rhett Bollinger will be taking over the Twins beat and he’ll be joining me in Fort Myers starting on Friday. I’ll introduce him to you on this blog tomorrow and I’m sure you will all welcome him with open arms like you did for me when I started covering the Twins back in December 2005.

For now, I just wanted to say thank you one last time for everything. It’s been a fun five years.

~Kelly

12 Comments

Good luck to you, Kelly, and congrats on getting to the LPGA. I hope to see you before you leave. It’s been fun. DJ

Good luck Kelly, thanks for everything!

Congrats Kelly. It couldn’t happen to a better person. Thanks for all your work and kindness.

Kelly, it has been a pleasure reading your blog. Change is hard, even when it’s something good. I wish you the absolutely best as you move on to the LPGA, they are lucky to have you!

Thanks Kelly for all your great coverage over the past 5 years. We’ll definitely miss you, but best of luck on your new gig with the LPGA!

Thanks for all the info and laughs.
Good luck with the LPGA.

Thanks Kelly – your insight and tone have been valuable complements to the rest of the blogosphere.

Congrats, Kelly! We’ll miss you around here — I hope you’ll stop by occasionally.

I’m not happy about this… no one asked me first. But I have enjoyed your work so much that I will send you off with some salient quotes. Remember this though… Once a Twin, always a Twin.

Katie Couric: You beat out the following losers: the economy, Mel Gibson, Dina Lohan… and Sparky Lohan, who is Dina Lohan’s dog and, apparently, also a loser. How do you deal with that?
Kelly: I’ve been drinking a lot of bleach.

Sue [to Kelly]: I realize you’re only half orangutan, but I’m still allergic to your lustrous, ginger mane.

Sue: Oh God, Will, let me break it down for you. High school’s a dry run for the rest of your life. Not everyone can be champions; not everyone should be champions. The world needs fry cooks; bus drivers and LPGA communications directors…

While I admit to slight editing here… I am sure it is no worse than your editors have done to your work in the past….

Best of luck to you.

Ed

I’m glad I at least got to meet you and shake your hand today before you left us behind… better late than never!

Thanks for all your work and best of luck with the LPGA.

JC

Good luck Kelly, I always enjoyed talking with you and reading your blog. Good luck always.

Sad to see you go, but sounds like a cool new gig for you. I have enjoyed your writing style and felt that you did a great job describing the Twins trials and tribulations. LPGA is lucky to have you.

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