Get out of my head and fall into my arms instead

Technical difficulties
Oct 06, 2012 by Joseph Ramelo

My blog, Baseball 2.0, may be inaccessible on Saturday 10/6 due to a planned service interruption for maintenance by Tumblr.

Joe's anatomy
Sep 17, 2012 by Joseph Ramelo

Dear you,

As an events coordinator, I like to begin each introduction for every author that my store hosts by thanking the audience for even being there in the first place.

"We know you have many events to choose from and many ways to spend your evening," I say. "It's your participation here tonight that has helped to make us the west coast's independent bookseller since 1851."

That's not just a marketing tactic. San Francisco teems with events on even the slowest night, if there is even such a thing as a slow night in San Francisco. Maybe Sunday. Maybe Easter Sunday -- no, scratch that. Have you seen all the drunk people out carousing on Easter Sunday? I tell you. Any holiday is an excuse for this town to have some party somewhere.

The reason why I brought up my events coordinator spiel is because it also applies to donating to charity. Not only are there many worthy charities that are asking for money, but many other kinds of organizations and people are asking for your money, not to mention the bills you have to pay and also your own donations that you want to make to whatever your own personal cause or causes happen to be.

We are living in a world where we are being asked to care about everything: the environment, Arab Spring, the neglected children next door, watching Breaking Bad just so you can have something to talk about with the people you work with for eight hours a day, five days a week. Our capacity to be an involved people is being stretched to the limit and, quite frankly, most of us would rather hang back and not do anything at all. That is how overwhelming the world has become.

You are here because for a split second you stopped to consider donating to me. I am not a cancer survivor. I am fortunate that I do not know anyone very closely who has had to endure cancer -- although a good church friend did recently step forward and say so. (I had no idea.) I also run a blog where I write imaginary ("never-to-be-sent") letters to a baseball player for whom I know nothing about yet has stricken me with such mystique that I am drawn to his orbit, distant and nonexistent as that orbit may ever be. I suppose that is the dumbest writing project that a man could ever undertake but it certainly will not be mankind's last.

I'm telling you these things so you know a little bit about to whom you are giving money. In keeping with the expectation I have set with the title of this posting -- I suppose one more thing you may have suspected about me is that I am passionate, saccharine, and veer to the melodramatic -- I am now going to ask you to pick me. Choose me. Donate to me. And yes, maybe You, capital 'Y' (also capital 'T' and 'L', but that is just me being imaginary as usual...), will Love me.


How I spent my summer vacation
Sep 16, 2012 by Joseph Ramelo

Dear you,

You're reading this because I am begging you for money. In this world there are a lot of people begging for money: other organizations, plus you have bills to pay, your family needs to eat, and then there are those aggressive panhandlers roaming the streets of San Francisco. I feel for them, but wow. They are intense.

Why give to me? First, here are some numbers:

13 pounds lost since 05/2012

9-minute miles running (down from 16 miles in 05/2012)

$415 raised

I like the amount of money we have raised. It is the area code for San Francisco. Also, it's nice to have gotten these donations in light of how tough the economy is these days.

And I had no idea that there were lymphoma survivors in my midst.

Two donors surprised me with $100 donations each. $100 was what I had to put down as my entry fee. (That fee went toward my fundraising goal.)

Can you donate $100 or more, too?

This organization is about leukemia and lymphoma. My journey is about losing weight, being fit, and sticking to a commitment. I have spent the summer doing just that and plan on continuing to do so. Running has always been my favorite sport. It is the perfect sport for those writer-only-child-baseball-loving types that you know and love.

Everyone who donates $50 or more will be entered in a chance to win a prize pack generously donated to me by my favorite bar, 21st Amendment. The prize pack contains a t-shirt, wrist bands, cap and a $50 gift card. That is a lot of delicious beer. And believe me, 21st Amendment has very delicious beer.

Donors at the $50 level will also receive a Message In A Bottle edition of Baseball 2.0. They are letters not published on my blog, artfully enclosed in an adorable collectible bottle. If you are able to match the previous $100 donations, you'll be entered for the prize pack, receive the Message In A Bottle, and also exclusive sketches by the artist John Yap. Click here to see his rendering of me and Tim Lincecum flying in the imaginary sky above Our Ballpark.

About that.

This fundraising effort is about the organization, and my journey -- and it's about my blog, too. When you read my blog, you discover just what kind of a person to whom you are donating. I'm Catholic. I'm Filipino. I'm gay. I'm Democrat but I don't think I am an extreme liberal -- unless you count beliefs in health care for everyone, more funding for public schools, public libraries and public transit as extremely liberal. Fine. I'm extremely liberal because I think people should have better lives.

I can also be a little bit of a firecracker but not always. Mostly I am quiet. And you know what the quiet ones are like.

All my gratitude,


Baseball 2 and a half man
May 21, 2012

Teams are made up of individuals. Without them, there is no team.

OK, so I finally decided to take out some of the canned text. I left that top sentence and the closing sentence because, well, quite frankly they are pretty good. Kudos to the TNT marketing people.

Here is why I'm training and fundraising with Team In Training:

  • It's for a good cause (blood cancer cures)
  • I want to get in shape
  • I used to be a good runner, but then life got in the way
  • I want to be a runner again
  • I like meeting new people (strange thing for someone shy to say)

The race is in October. It is the Nike Women's Marathon. Unless you've been living under a rock or you time traveled here from before 1920, yes, men can run in it, too.

I'm absolutely terrrified that this summer will come to a close and I'll be no closer to my $1800 fundraising goal. Please alleviate my terror by, like, getting me there. In return, I'll take off my shirt. I plan on looking super ridiculously hot by then. OK, no matter how much weight I lose, I'll never be hot. Made you look.

If I had to have a theme song for this little adventure -- which I'm hoping will not be a misadventure -- I guess "Shake It Out" by Florence and the Machine would be it.

I will most likely be writing about my adventure on my blog, Baseball 2.0. (That should be a total non-surprise to those of you who know me.) In particular, you should read this letter.

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures.


Supporter Comments

    "Hey Joe, Tom is a Lymphoma survivor and we are tremendously grateful for LLS research! Great Cause, Good Luck, Have Fun and THANKS for doing this! Denise and Tom"

    Denise Kendall

    Mon Sep 24 07:43:52 EDT 2012

    "you go Joe! thanks for always making me smile"

    Hayley Seyfried

    Fri Sep 21 03:05:33 EDT 2012

    "Go Joe Go!"

    Dave Mickle & Miriam Dolin

    Mon Sep 17 08:01:10 EDT 2012

    "You're doing a good thing by supporting this cause. Keep up the good work. "

    Michael Samuels

    Mon Jun 25 01:51:15 EDT 2012

    "We love you & are proud of your commitment to this! "


    Thu Jun 07 01:37:20 EDT 2012

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $860.00 | Goal: $1,800.00
48 %

Make a Donation

We are sorry donations are no longer being accepted for this participant for this event.

My Thanks To

Yupeng Gao $125.00
Christopher Leong $100.00
Katherine Nunez $100.00
Denise Kendall $75.00
Charlayne Wright $50.00
Nicole Waterman $50.00
Dave Mickle & Miriam Doli... $50.00
Katrina Sherman $40.00
John McCoy $25.00
Hayley Seyfried $25.00
Phoebe Yoshie $25.00
robin Walters $25.00
Michael Samuels $25.00
DEAL $25.00
Fiona Wong $20.00