This Great Game Links: Because We Know What You’ll Like
There are endless baseball web sites out in Cyberspace. Endless. They range in nature from mlb.com to something like Stacey’s Tampa Bay Rays fan page. We consider the short list below as the most visible, valuable and curious baseball resources for fans and researchers of all ages.
Major League Baseball
Not surprisingly, this is where you will find the official (and sometimes sanitized) gospel on just about anything major league. Use it as a portal to enter any of the 30 official MLB team sites, the content and aesthetics of which are all centralized within mlb.com. It’s also the home of mlb.tv, which for a decent fee allows you to watch all “out-of-market” major league games online—though there’s been much controversy over what’s actually defined as out-of-market. (In Las Vegas, for example, there’s six teams you won’t be able to see on mlb.tv. Go figure.)
Founded in 1989, Retrosheet is a non-profit group that has actively sought play-by-play accounts of all major league games, and currently has every major league box score online going back to the 1910s. If you had baseball nuts for relatives and they have bequeathed to you, who knows what they may have left in the way of old scoresheets, gold in the eyes of Retrosheet. This Great Game is proud to use Retrosheet as its primary source for statistics accrual.
Whereas Retrosheet focuses on statistical intensity, voluminous Baseball Reference spreads the wealth a bit to include facts and figures from areas such as salaries, awards voting and the minor leagues. And it’s all kept vigorously up-to-the-minute. So while Baseball Reference frequently overlaps Retrosheet, it’s certainly a worthy resource in its own right.
Society of American Baseball Research
It you want to get deep—we mean, really deep—into baseball history, take a good look at SABR. Looking for something highly obscure in the annals of the game? Chances are, someone at SABR has done the research. To truly experience SABR, becoming an active member will get you much farther than a visit to their web site, but it’s a good start.
For you baseball pop culturists, this may be your site. Sure, it contains the usual statistics and data found on many of the other sites listed here, but Baseball Almanac’s strength lies in some of its more trivial information banks: Sections on humor and jokes, poetry and song, quotations, movies and baseball families. It’s also the closest thing to an online baseball record book.
Ballparks by Munsey and Suppes
The most reliable source of information related to major league ballparks of the past, present and the future. The site includes images and content detailing the facts and history of every ballpark ever built. Also includes information on facilities for other major sports.
Cot's Baseball Contracts
A terrific, in-depth source of major league player salaries, as well as clauses, perks and performance bonuses that are part of the contracts. Cot’s also looks at salaries for managers, executives and impending free agents. The information is said to be unofficial, but based on the amount of detail put into it, we’ll trust that the site has done its homework.
What makes the baseball pages of ESPN and Yahoo! stand apart from those of the other media giants is the tireless work of their columnists and bloggers who provide human interest stories and hard-driven opinions that go beyond the simple facts and figures.
John Skilton’s Baseball Links
Upset that we haven’t given you a link to every baseball site imaginable? We present you with Mr. John Skilton. One of the first of all baseball-related sites, baseball-links.com categorizes over 10,000 baseball-related sites into sections such as high school baseball, cards and collectables, camps and clinics and audio broadcasts. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you’re on your own, brother.
The Baseball Cube
This detailed site doesn’t just give you stats on major leaguers once they reached The Show, but also how they did in the minors, college and even spring training. If you really want to dig deep on your research and discover how a player developed over the years even before he made it to the bigs, here’s a fine place to go.
Baseball with Matt
Of all the blogs we’ve run across, Matt’s has special appeal because he’s a young kid and very passionate about the game and its history in a very mature manner (maybe we should check his ID). Matt’s topics are hardly boring in nature, and it seems like every week he’s interviewing a Hall of Famer.
Flip Flop Fly Ball
We have a particular fondness for art and design, and few baseball sites have caught our attention more than this quirky and thoroughly enjoyable collection of infographics, illustrations and other fun stuff created by Craig Robinson, an Englishman currently residing in Mexico City. Our favorite is his monthly calendar graphics showing what caps he wore on what days.
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