Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Baseball Post

I'm trying to figure out how to do this without being a total cornball about it, but...is there anything, anywhere, on any part of these here internets as wonderful and glorious as baseball-reference.com

I'm not quite old enough to remember a world without a baseball encyclopedia.  Big Mac, as the first one was called (it was published by MacMillon), debuted in 1969.  Before that, the statistical history of baseball was catch-as-catch can; one of the things to remember about Hall of Fame balloting up to that point is that the voters had no easy way of actually knowing the basic facts of many players' careers.

The next era, for thirty years, featured books.  Big, thick, books.  The books got better over the years; there were two or three competing publishers.  They didn't publish them every year; I have a few of these, including the 7th edition Big Mac, which was current through the 1987 season.  Total Baseball for a while published updates between editions, which I know because I own the 1990 update. 

And then, on February 1, 2000, Sean Forman brought baseball-reference online, and books were instantly obsolete. Well, that was bound to happen...but it didn't have to be amazing.  It didn't have to be awesome.  It didn't have to keep getting better and better. 

It is, though.  There are a lot of reasons why this is a great time to be a baseball fan, but if I had to narrow it down I'd go with radio broadcasts available through mlb.com, and the amazing baseball-reference pages.  The truth is I could go on for hours writing about all the terrific things available over there, but as I said, I'm trying to avoid being overly cornball.  Can't do it though: it's just that good.

Thanks, Sean. 

1 comment:

  1. Jonathan is right on the procedure, right about the politics, and correct that passing the Senate Bill irreversibly and favorably tilts the table. Nontheless I can feel in my bones that the House is not going to pass the Senate Bill. Not next week, certainly, probably not ever. Groups of people are rarely imaginative, they rarely grab at opportunities.

    It hurts to think about it.

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