Merc’s Tim Ball headed to Bangkok magazine

Tim Ball after Casino Night at SND Orlando 2006 (photo by MattE)

Tim Ball
, Assistant Sports Editor for Design at the San Jose Mercury News, made another one of those announcements today that those of us who call him a good friend are used to.

He’s ready to embark on a new challenge at a new publication.

But this time, he’s really giving himself a new challenge.

TBall, as he’s affectionately known, will leave the Merc in late July to become Creative Director for a group of English-language magazines based in Bangkok, where he’ll start in mid-August. Yes, you read that right: Bangkok. Thailand.

The company’s flagship, Instore magazine, serves American jewelry-industry professionals. “It’s quite well-designed, well-established and, well, it’s a magazine,” TBall said. And who among us in the newspaper world hasn’t dreamed of running our own show at a magazine?!? TBall will get that opportunity, and he’ll get to experience a new culture in Southeast Asia at the same time.

Tim called the move “probably the biggest decision of my decision-filled life,” alluding to the stops along the way in his newspaper career. They’re plentiful, and even TBall says he needs to take a deep breath before reciting them: The Record-Courier (Gardnerville, Nev.); Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles, Wash.); Oakland (Calif.) Tribune; San Antonio Express-News; the Merc; the Wisconsin State Journal; Indianapolis Star; and the Merc again. Whew, to say the least, right?!?

TBall said the move is not made without some anxiety: “It’s … one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities I’ve heard so much about, so I’m pretty excited about it. And terrified at the same time. So far, excitement is winning out by a nose.”
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The Blog has obtained an exclusive excerpt from TBall’s e-mail to colleagues at the Merc, which as of this posting isn’t even released yet. Here’s a peek:

This has, honestly, been the most difficult decision of my life, but it’s one I’m supremely excited about now that it’s becoming reality.

It’s incredibly tough to leave the Merc (even, ahem, tougher to leave it twice), especially right now, in the midst of a redesign. But this is one of those chances I probably won’t see again: To move abroad, to a thrilling city; to break into magazines; and to live, I hope, comfortably while doing it.

The goodbye to the Merc and California will be a long one, thankfully, as there’s a pesky All-Star game keeping me here through most of July, but I plan on using the time to really appreciate the people and the places I’ll be leaving behind.

Matt Mansfield at the Merc said TBall will, to put it mildly, be missed.

“It is an exciting move for him personally,” Mansfield said Wednesday night. “We are sad to see him go, but none of us would ever stand in the way of such an adventurous move. What will we miss most? The amazing conceptual skill and design presence that is TBall. We can’t ever replace that.”

Don’t miss some examples of Tim’s work, which has been awarded by all kinds of professional organizations, not to mention SND.

T-Ball, you will for sure be missed stateside. But you can better believe you will have all kinds of calls and e-mails coming your way from those of us wanting you to show us around Thailand!

8 thoughts on “Merc’s Tim Ball headed to Bangkok magazine”

  1. Congratulations T-Ball! After being called “America’s Most Influential Sports Designer,” it’s sad to see your run come to an end. But I’m sure your new publication will soon be the Boldest Thai Jewelry Store Owner Magazine we’ve seen!

    But, here’s the thing: Aren’t you supposed to quit AFTER I come back to the Merc? I thought that’s how this worked …

    Seriously, though, this sucks. Your talent and impact on this industry are undeniable. And while this move is certainly a loss for the Merc, it’s an even greater loss for the newspaper design community as a whole. Best of luck to you, sir.

  2. Congrats, T-Ball! We’ll miss you, of course, but on the bright side, now we all have a reason to go to Thailand, finally? Hmmm…

    So, when does Kenney have to start in San Jose? Wasn’t there some kind of contract hidden deep in someone’s drawer somewhere that covers this exact scenario? And: Has anyone told Goldman yet? (Tsk, tsk) Messy situation… I thought Kenney and Tim were just supposed to trade places again after 24 months.

    Seriously, congrats, T, on a very bold move.


  3. T-Ball: I had a blast getting to know you in Orlando, and I’m sad we can’t have a sequel. But, with that said, congratulations on what sounds like an amazing opportunity. I wish you all the best. I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand, so I think Dorsey’s on to something here …
    (Also, am I the only one without a Blogger profile? Oh you kids and your fancy blogs and internets.)

  4. Congrats, Tball. I hope it all works out for you. Big move, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a guy that can do pretty much anything.

  5. Two things. First of all, let’s stop this Marlatt-Back-To-The-Merc nonsense. Right. Now.

    Thank you. Now, on to ThaiBall (copyright, 2007, Kenney Marlatt, Inc.) … wow. What a great, bold move by Tim. Wouldn’t expect anything less. The loss in sports design and news design overall is tremendous.

    We will miss our T, and wish our friend nothing but success in this new adventure!

    When’s SND/Thailand?

  6. Well, I guess your commute to Syracuse just got ridiculously long. That said, I wish you all the best in Thailand but this make rip a whole in the fabric of the newpaper design vortex causing the whole damn thing to collapse upon itself. I hope that makes you happy.

    Seriously, good luck over there.

  7. What the?!

    I go offline for a week, and what happens?

    My goodness. I don’t know what to say.

    I’m going through the seven stages of denial in the span of 30 seconds.

    Who will buy me Ben & Jerry’s?

    That’s so freakin’ cool dude. When can I come visit?

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