Welcome to the first installment of a new feature here at BaseballGB. We’ll be offering up a recommendation of some interesting and enjoyable reading every Friday lunchtime in our ‘Web Pick’ of the week. The only rule we will have is that, naturally enough, the web pick has to relate to baseball. From there, anything goes: from MLB to British baseball, stat-based research articles to fun-filled blog posts, recent news to archive content worth looking back at.
We’ll start with one of my favourite discoveries of 2009. Flip Flop Fly Ball is a simple idea that works brilliantly. Craig Robinson combines his love of infographics and baseball to provide some truly unique ways of presenting interesting information. His website is the sort of place you can end up browsing for much longer than you intended, so you might want to keep an eye on the clock if you’re looking at this during your lunch hour. Robinson’s work has proved so popular that he is currently working on a book of similar material, due to be published in spring 2011.
Add in the fact that Craig is English and you have a must-see site for all British baseball fans.
The info that undergoes Robinson’s graphical treatment varies from interesting historic information such as a fantastic timeline of the professional major leagues in America, to more quirky matters such as the native American population in Cleveland, a tutorial on removing stickers from baseball caps and the number of baseball films Kevin Costner has appeared in.
One particular favourite of mine is the chart on the World Series winners since 1995. You can find that information on any number of websites, but it’s not presented in a more engaging way than can be found here. The Yankees’ 2009 triumph was only the third time in the last fifteen years that the team with the best regular season record has gone on to win the World Series. The Yankees accounted for one of those other occasions (in 1998, the Red Sox did it in 2007), but they also won the Fall Classic in 2000 when they had the worst record of any of the eight postseason teams. The Cardinals did the same in 2006 after missing out in the previous two years despite having the best record in the Majors both times. The graphical approach works brilliantly here, as it does on many of the other examples on the website.
Whether you want to check how each league has performed in interleague play, find out which teams have their home dugout on the third base line or how far the combined distance of every pitch in a season would stretch, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.