Road Grays is a new independent print magazine about baseball, launching in early 2019.
We’ll be telling original nonfiction stories from the world of baseball — from the sandlot to the majors, from the game’s early history to the present day. There are plenty of other places to turn for the latest news on stars and stats; we want to focus on the human stories behind the game, what it means to us as fans, and how it intersects with society and culture.
The magazine will be a beautifully designed and illustrated print piece, and all articles will be exclusive to print. We plan to publish twice a year. This campaign is your chance to support our very first issue (to be released in time for spring training), which is in production now!
We are thrilled by the quality of contributors we’ve assembled for our first issue! A sample of what you’ll find in Issue 1:
- Steven Goldman (Baseball Prospectus, The Infinite Inning podcast) illuminates the turning points in the long, legendary career of Satchel Paige.
- Acclaimed short-fiction writer/The Wire screenwriter Rafael Alvarez tells the true story of a former player’s last request, and the stadium demolition that was halted to honor it.
- Rachael McDaniel (Baseball Prospectus, VICE Sports) explores the intersecting lives of Canada’s greatest player, Fergie Jenkins, and the teacher & scout who altered the course of his career.
- Kenon Carter takes us behind the scenes—and inside the mascot costumes—with the hardworking employees of Single-A ball.
- Raúl Ramos tells the story of Puerto Rico’s first baseball superstar and the son who carried his legacy to Cooperstown.
- Ashley McLennan (SB Nation) ponders the unexpected consequences of turning a baseball passion into a profession.
- Comedy writer Peter Karinen learns to let go and enjoy the full ballpark experience.
- Sarah Wexler (Hardball Times) explores the historical intersections between baseball and theater.
- Artist/photographer Monika Jurczyk’s photo essay takes us to the ballfields along the banks of the Tama River in Tokyo.
- Plus: At work with an MLB head groundskeeper; the story behind SABR’s Baseball Biography Project; charting the world of minor-league team nicknames; and more!
It’s important to us to tell stories from a range of viewpoints. Expect to find a diverse mix—of genders, ethnicities, and countries of origin—both in our contributors list and in the subjects of the stories themselves.
Issue 1 will also feature amazing illustration work from Post Typography, Daniel Sulzberg, Laurent Hrybyk, Nick Prevas, and more.
Who we are
Austin is an art director, publication designer, and writer/editor who has worked on designing and developing magazines for over 15 years. (Road Grays is his dream project, a chance to apply his magazine expertise to a subject that’s been close to his heart since the age of six — and one that’s not currently well-served by any other indie print mag.)
Megan is a creative polymath who has worked as a business manager for various small businesses.
We’re Orioles fans, but don’t hold that against us.
Why publish in print?
Why create a print-only publication? We think this invites a slower experience that readers can engage with more deeply. Most baseball content available online is about what’s happening right now — and there’s value in that. But we see Road Grays as a contrast and complement to the fast-moving online experience: an opportunity for readers to step away, slow down, and explore stories that aren’t being told anywhere else.
Our goal is to create a magazine that feels timeless—with stories that are just as relevant a few years from now as they are today—and to deliver the kind of beautiful, tactile experience that only print can provide.
The Magazine — Be the first to get your hands on a copy of Issue 1! We’ll also thank you as a supporter in the pages of Issue 1.
The Magazine: Doubleheader — Issues 1 and (eventually) 2! Be the first to get your hands on a copy of Issue 1, and then we’ll send you Issue 2 when we make it in late 2019.
One for the Road — Take Road Grays on the road: A limited-edition “baseball quote tote” with a copy of Issue 1 inside. Plus a limited-edition enamel pin. (The tote will be a USA-made Enviro-Tote cotton canvas tote bag, in a slightly compact size of 13"w x 14"h.)
Two for the Road — The limited-edition “baseball quote tote” with a copy of Issue 1 inside, the enamel pin, and then Issue 2 when we make it in late 2019.
Stock Us — For stores/retailers who’d like to support us by stocking the mag: get a box of 10 copies of Issue 1, at a discount. (Or for everyone else, you could select this pledge and give a bunch to friends, which would make you an awesome friend.)
Sponsor Us — Become a Sponsor and promote your product or brand to an audience of engaged baseball fans! We’ll create a simple standardized page in Issue 1 thanking your company/organization as a sponsor, with your logo and a brief message. We’ll also throw in 5 copies of Issue 1 for your team. (Please contact us for details before selecting this pledge level! Sponsors and messages subject to our approval.)
Where the money is going
We’ve already funded much of the production of Issue 1 ourselves, including paying a fair rate to all of our writers and artists. (As creative people, this was of paramount importance to us.)
All we’re asking for now is enough to get us over the finish line: to help defray the cost of printing and shipping the magazines. (Expert printing on high-quality paper is expensive!) We’re thinking of this campaign as a pre-order process—With your support, we'll be able to deliver the best quality magazine we can.
Risks and challenges
We’re 90% finished with the content and design, so we’re very confident that we’ll be able to go to print before the end of the year. There are always possible risks of delay in the printing process, but Austin’s extensive experience as a publication designer for print, along with the expertise of our printer, should ensure things go smoothly.
For the totes and pins, we’ve intentionally left plenty of time in the production process to ensure all rewards can go out on time.
You should expect to receive your magazine/rewards before the issue goes on sale to the general public (slated for February).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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