This Great Game FAQ: Is This the Best Web Site on Baseball?
That’s for you to answer, but we feel confident that we’ve put together something that you’ll enjoy from start to finish. In the meantime, here’s some behind-the scenes information to give you good knowledge on what This Great Game is all about.
What is This Great Game?
How did This Great Game get started?
What’s behind the title?
Why do you subtitle the site "The Online Book of Baseball?"
How is this site best viewed?
Why begin your Yearly Reader section with 1900?
How can I advertise in This Great Game?
What was the first baseball game you ever saw?
Do you have any expansion plans for This Great Game?
About This Great Game designer/writer Eric Gouldsberry
About This Great Game writer/interviewer Ed Attanasio
This Great Game is a comprehensive and mostly oral history of major league baseball from 1900 to the present. The heart of the site is the Yearly Reader section, which represents every year in modern major league history by including a central oral summary, final standings, the “It Happened in…” section featuring capsulated reviews of the year’s list of firsts, records and oddities, the “They Were There” interviews with players who bore witness or took part in baseball’s memorable moments, and the “Leaders & Numbers” page, an oral and statistical overview of the year’s best hitters and pitchers.
This Great Game also includes our expanded Teams section, covering the history of all 30 major league teams with yearly statistical overviews, decade-by-decade oral reviews and a list of each team’s all-time best hitters, pitchers and most memorable games. Finally, This Great Game features The Comebacker, a popular weekly review of the baseball week that was, our Opinions section featuring our in-depth thoughts on current issues related to the game, and our new Lists section that reveals our top five choices from a various range of trivial baseball subjects (such as, The Five Worst Years by a Reigning MVP, or The Five Best Call-Up Performances).
The Internet is populated with many wonderful web sites regarding baseball history, but most of the content they provide is strictly of a referential nature—purely statistical, with only limited prose in some cases. This Great Game is the only site we know of on the Internet that provides a thorough, written historical examination of modern big league baseball.
Two lifelong baseball fans, Ed Attanasio (a copywriter) and Eric Gouldsberry (a graphic designer) met through mutual friends in 1995. Their friendship began despite the knowledge that Ed rooted for the Dodgers, Eric for the Giants. But they soon discovered something in common: They were both deep into baseball history projects. Ed, a member of SABR (The Society of American Baseball Research), was in the process of interviewing retired ballplayers for the organization’s Oral History Committee. Eric, meanwhile, was working on research, writing and design for a mammoth coffee table book entitled Major League Baseball—The Twentieth Century, an ambitious project that ultimately could find no takers in the stingy book publishing industry. One day Eric and Ed decided to combine the strength of Eric’s book and Ed’s interviews for the Internet. They envisioned an energetic, unparalleled web site that would appeal to both the casual fan and the really serious baseball researcher/historian. The result is This Great Game—the creation of two huge baseball fans with a vast amount of knowledge about the game of baseball, and a vast amount of creativity to make it happen.
For more on the evolution of This Great Game, check out our article “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today” in the Opinions section.
Ed originally came up with the name because he thought it was the last three words in the famous letter written regarding the eight 1919 Black Sox players by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis—you know, the letter that told them they were forever banned from playing professional baseball for throwing the World Series. Turns out, Landis never wrote or said the words, so far as we know. Nevertheless, we decided to stick with This Great Game because it’s a great name and a great game (and because Ed had already purchased the domain name).
Content is one thing, presentation is another. Many baseball web sites have the former but not the latter. Our vision is to promote a pleasurable, aesthetic and informative experience, as if you were reading a coffee table book. Such a vision needs a fusion of engaging writing and inventive design that will make you want to stay logged on for hours, and we feel we have done that. As professionals from the creative world, we’ve gone to great pains to brand This Great Game with solid content, sound presentation and an inviting look and feel. To do otherwise would be a waste of our time and talents—and a waste of time for our audience.
All major browsers, old and new, should be able to view This Great Game as intended. With our recent overhaul and updates to the site, we should now be viewed more agreeably on mobile and tablet devices.
We chose 1900 as This Great Game’s starting point for two key reasons. One was the ending of baseball’s wild 19th Century evolution, which settled down by 1900 with a set of rules that remain firmly in place today. The other was the formation of the American League, which gave birth to a long, stable rivalry with the National League—cemented with the advent of the World Series. Though the AL began play in 1901, we include 1900 partly as a review of 1800s baseball and as a prologue for what follows.
Contact Ed Attanasio at email@example.com for rates and sponsorship opportunities. We offer banner ads, links and many other ways for you to get involved with This Great Game.
Ed: It was in 1967 at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees vs. the Twins, I think. I remember the Yankees stunk horribly that year with an aging, hobbling Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone, with his ridiculous long hair and swagger. I guess at the time he was going to be the next great Bronx Bomber (laugh). We would stay after the game and hang out by the player’s parking lot and yell at them for autographs as they drove off in their Dodge Darts and Cadillacs.
Eric: My first game I attended was in June 1972 at the Houston Astrodome. (The purists cringe.) The Astros lost to the New York Mets, 5-4. The nine-year old in me got a kick out of hearing the prerecorded bugle calling for the fans to yell, "Charge!" Willie Mays, 41 years young and a Met for a week after being traded by the Giants, appeared as a late-inning defensive replacement and received a standing ovation upon taking the field. My favorite memory of the game came when I shouted at Astro third baseman Doug Rader to hit a home run—and on the next pitch, he did just that.
We’re working on whole new sections and content, and are continuously adding to the They Were There, Opinions and Lists sections. So we have our ideas, but we encourage you to come up with some of your own and let us know about it.
Eric Gouldsberry is owner of Eric Gouldsberry Art Direction (EGAD), a graphic design firm operating out of Silicon Valley, California since 1987. Eric has specialized in art direction for both graphic design and advertising, creating and producing corporate brochures and collateral, logos/brand identity, ads, periodicals, web sites and annual reports. Eric’s creative writing background goes all the way back to the age of 12, when he wrote sports articles for the Saratoga News. His combined love for design, writing and baseball has led him to produce two books on the game: Major League Baseball—The Twentieth Century, the unpublished contents of which now live in This Great Game; and Ballpark Nouveau: The Modern Palaces of Baseball, a project currently in development which details the new wave of big league ballparks since the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. You can check out the work of EGAD at www.gouldsberry.com, and you can reach Eric via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Attanasio is a freelance advertising and editorial writer, standup comedian and baseball nut. He is a member of SABR and interviews retired ballplayers for their Oral History Committee; in July 2004 he received the David Paulson Oral History Award, awarded by SABR. Ed lives in San Francisco with his wife Angelina and his happy dogs. You can reach Ed via e-mail at email@example.com
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