My name is Dan Holmes. I’m a writer, content creator, marketer. I enjoy being a Dad, it’s my favorite thing.
I also enjoy running and lemon bars.
This website is where I write about what interests me. If you want to hire me to write for your organization or business, go here.
My list of influences includes Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Leo Burnett, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and James Thurber.
Melville wrote one of the first novels, which happened to be so good that it’s still probably the best adventure story ever told. Hard to top that sort of beginner’s luck.
Mark Twain, of course, is one of the most influential people in American history. His novels, writings, and wit are timeless and he had the guts to say whatever the hell he wanted. I’m a huge fan of Twain, something I have in common with Vonnegut, who is one of the great writers and satirists of the 20th century. His novels Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five are wonderful and I strongly recommend them.
Leo Burnett was an “ad man,” a pioneering marketer who created many popular campaigns. He thought up Tony the Tiger, Charlie the Tuna, and the Jolly Green Giant. HO HO HO! You’ve heard of them, I bet.
I also admire Malcolm Lowry, Joseph Heller, Ray Bradbury, James Agee, Jack Kerouac, Stanley Elkin, and Arthur C. Clarke. Ditto the very best travel writer (Paul Theroux), sportswriter (Frank Deford), historical writers (Nathaniel Philbrick, Jane Leavy, Erik Larson), essayists (David Foster Wallace, Sarah Vowell), and magazine writers (Tom Chiarella and A.J. Jacobs).
If you don’t recognize some of the names I listed above, go to a library and learn about them. You have a library card, don’t you?
My favorite book, Robinson Crusoe, is the ultimate survival story. The primary themes of that book are religion and race – two issues that still pester us. Amazingly, there are only two characters in the entire novel. It was written by Daniel Defoe almost three centuries ago. Defoe was at one point a political prisoner, and he lived his latter years penniless, having earned very little as an author during his lifetime. He died in 1731. Read him.
I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation, but I do believe that we live several “lives” while we’re here on Earth in our one go-around.
In a previous life I worked in baseball. I wrote copy, covered events, and created marketing campaigns for the Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. One of the most thrilling things I did was step into the batter’s box against Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro. I also found myself playing poker with Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett, who was my favorite ballplayer when I was a kid. I thought his batting stance was cool. I could imitate hundreds of batting stances when I was 12. I don’t know if kids do that anymore. They’re too busy using SnapChat.
Among many baseball legends, I interviewed Brett, Nolan Ryan, Yogi Berra, Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, and Bob Feller. They were self-centered, classy, humorous, gentlemanly, cocky, thoughtful, and heroic (in that order).
Other folks I’ve interviewed for stories include a woman who claimed to be able to tell the future, a man who went over Niagara Falls in a rubber ball, a former U.S. Senator, two former Presidents, a fella who was bitten by a whale shark, and a man who has ran on a treadmill every day for the last 28 years. People have great stories.
In yet another life I was a website designer. My portfolio includes the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Songs.com, MusicForce.com, Lefty O’ Doul’s Restaurant, Grand Traverse Pie Co., and dozens of other sites that still chug along on the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is what they used to call the Internet. In the future the Internet will be regulated and monitored in ways we can’t fathom today, so let’s enjoy our YouTube videos of drunk kittens while we can.
My articles have appeared in magazines (Geneology, Memories and Dreams, Hour Detroit Magazine), newspapers (Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press), and online (MotleyFool.com, MLB.com, MiLB.com, Detroit Athletic Company).
In October of 2004, Greenwood Press published my book, Ty Cobb: A Biography. It’s 1/10th of a series on baseball’s greatest hitters. If you search hard enough you can find a copy. I’m proud of that book, though I wish Greenwood would issue it in paperback. I also contributed to Deadball Stars of the American League, a superb baseball book from SABR and Sock it to ‘em, Tigers: The Incredible story of the 1968 Detroit Tigers, an equally impressive tome from the same organization. For those projects I wrote about some ballplayers named Braggo Roth, Ed Killian, Germany Schaefer, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, and Jon Warden. Have you ever heard of them?
In one of my previous lives I launched The Baseball Page, a baseball history website that eventually attracted a considerable audience while answering more than 5,000 baseball questions for students and fans. I sold that website in 2008. I developed a number of online marketing tactics while running that site that helped me attract a large audience. Shortly after, I launched BaseballPedia.org to have a place to write about baseball after a few friends asked me to do so. Unfortunately, someone owned the trademark for that name, so I launched WahooSam.net, where you can read my baseball stuff if that fancies you.
In one of my most satisfying lives I served as a baseball commentator on WJAB radio in Portland, Maine, on The Morning Jab. It was a hell of a lot better than those “morning zoo” radio shows. One of the hosts was Frank Fixaris, a man who knew so much about local athletics in New England that he was called “a walking encyclopedia of sports.” He died in a fire in 2006 and is missed. I’ve also appeared on other radio stations, most recently on 1310 AM The Score in northern Michigan and The Knee Jerks. I played the part of the baseball expert, not one of the jerks.
I’m very active on Twitter and if you follow me there you can expect me to share about writing, marketing, and digital trends, with a tiny sprinkle of parenting and baseball thrown in. Occasionally I cuss.
I’m passionate about a few things and they find their way into the stuff I create. First is parenting. I am a proud father of two daughters. I actively try to assist fathers who have had their kids taken from them. I’ve founded an organization called #DadsMatter to help fathers so they can navigate the legal system when they have troubles with custody issues.
Some of my recent projects include the launching of new websites for one of the largest licensed sports apparel retailers in Detroit, and content marketing for the largest digital marketing company in Oklahoma, as well as a podcast titled The Corner where I’ll share stories that interest me. Look for that in 2016.
Also in 2016 I founded Good Content, a digital guild of content creators and marketers. The purpose of that project is to promote ethical standards in digital marketing, foster a place for marketers to share their ideas, and encourage the creation of GOOD content. There’s a lot of bad content and bad marketing out there. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation about digital marketing being published by many in the industry.
– Dan Holmes