This is the first instalment of a new feature for BaseballGB. On the first Tuesday of every month, I will be pointing readers in the direction of a web resource that I find really useful. Some of them you will probably be using already, others you might not be. Most of the sites will be US based as America is, of course, where the majority of baseball websites originate. That said, I will be making an effort to also highlight stand-out sites on British and international baseball. In fact, my first Web Pick of the Month is a British site.
British Baseball Data (click here to open the site in a new window)
On British Baseball Data, Mark Tobin compiles all the post-World War II league standings, play-off results, and other historical details he can get his hands on. The site is not full of fancy graphics or cutting-edge multimedia, but focuses on getting crucial information out in the public domain in an easy-to-read format. In the time it takes for the various bits and pieces to load up on the MLB broadband site, I could have found out the league standings in Britain from 1973 or the Great Britain roster from the European Championship B-Pool tournament in 1984.
For me, British Baseball Data is the Internet in its purest form. It presents information not easily accessible anywhere else (with the exception of the standings and national champions that can be found among the fascinating appendices of British Baseball and the West Ham Club). The information is open to public scrutiny and Mark is quick to correct anything on the site if he is satisfied that an alternative piece of evidence presented is more reliable. In terms of presenting information, I see few more powerful uses of the Internet in the world of sport.
I have always enjoyed clicking through the pages on Mark Tobin’s site, but it was not until I was writing my article on classic finals in Britain that I realized just how indispensable a resource this site is. Without the efforts that Mark has put in to collecting and presenting the information on the site, it is quite possible that much of the information would have been gone for good in 30 years’ time.
There is one improvement I can suggest, but it is up to the British baseball community to make it happen. I am talking about making the information even more complete. Every member of this baseball community who knows someone who might have old baseball materials in his or her attic should find out if the materials could add to what Mark has already presented. It’s simple: if you’ve got some top-tier standings or play-off results that aren’t on Mark’s site, then send them to him as it means there’s a gap that needs filling.