A couple months ago, I decided one of my goals for 2010 would be to get a press pass for a San Francisco Giants or Oakland Athletics game. I used to get media access all the time as a journalist and have had passes to Arco Arena for a Sacramento Kings game, AT&T Park for a college football All-Star contest and Raley Field in Sacramento for maybe two dozen Triple-A baseball games. There’s a certain feeling that having a press pass around one’s neck grants, that special knowledge of getting to hold up the plastic shield and go somewhere others aren’t allowed. It’s been a couple years since I last had a press pass. Call it ego, but I miss that feeling.
So I decided in December to try for a pass this year, for this Web site. My thought was that I would get a credential for an A’s game, when they play the Yankees so that I could interview Nick Johnson, who went to my high school in Sacramento, McClatchy and is married to the sister of a woman I grew up with. Then I got to thinking I may as well request a pass from the Giants too, as they also have a former McClatchy player in their organization, Steve Holm. I figured I would see about a Cubs-Giants series, when a great baseball player from Sacramento, Derek Lee, would be in town.
Thing is, my search engine ranking wasn’t great at the time I had this idea. There is a Web site, Alexa, which ranks every site on the Internet according to total number of visitors and page views. Google is ranked #1, Facebook #2 and Yahoo #3 and so on. I have an acquaintance that founded a popular guitar Web site that’s ranked 20,000th roughly and that’s awesome– he’s able to make a living with that sort of ranking. Personally, I’ve been ranked as high as 1.3-millionth (which probably wasn’t accurate, since it came early in the life of this site) but in December, my ranking was maybe 3-millionth. Now, it’s 7-millionth.
I don’t know what’s going on, because I’ve tripled my number of monthly unique visitors since I quit my job in November and am starting to approach a thousand, but my fear has been that any Giants or A’s employee looking to grant me access would see my ranking and think, “Okay, who the hell is this guy? Next!” And I don’t know if I have an especially compelling reason for needing a pass.
Nevertheless, I impulsively picked up the phone a couple of weeks ago and touched base with members of both teams’ credential departments. Each representative gave me instructions on what to do next. The Giants employee emailed me some paperwork to fax in and said he hoped to see me at the ballpark. The A’s rep told me a specific person to contact with the Yankees and gave me his email address, saying the decision would be up to them and that it might be hard to get a pass for the first game of the series. I haven’t taken any action since then and don’t know where this will lead, but for some reason, I’m feeling slightly hopeful at the moment.