DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
May 5 2008

Relive Your Baseball!

by Nolan R

My cousin George is not a librarian, but when it comes to sports in general and baseball in particular, he’s always the one educating me about the best websites. One of these is Retrosheet. The folks who manage the website tell us that “Retrosheet was founded in 1989 for the purpose of computerizing play-by-play accounts of as many pre-1984 major league games as possible.” This function alone makes it a great website to visit for the nostalgic fan. The first search I performed let me look up the play-by-play and results of the first major league game I attended with my Grandmother and some of her friends back in 1966 (Pirates 9 Cubs 1). The next let me look at the results of the Pirates vs. Reds game that my Dad took me to the next year. It was Cap Day and we actually got to walk on the perimeter of Forbes Field until we exited the centerfield gate. I still have the cap.

Obviously I have already described my favorite part of this website, but Retrosheet is a gold mine for any baseball trivia wonk or statistics geek. For example, they chronicle every instance of a player losing a home run in a game (due, usually, to umpire mistake, a game being cancelled by weather, or a base running gaffe.) and the homepage tells the reader if a new occurrence has been added. Unheard of franchises are represented here. Did you know that the Cincinnati Porkers won 43 games, lost 57 and tied 2 games in 1891? I KNOW! Neither did I! There is just too much in this website to convey in words but, if you have any curiosity about baseball, Retrosheet.org is the place to visit. You’ll learn about things about the game that you didn’t know even ardent fans paid attention to.

George would not forgive me if I didn’t also mention what is probably his favorite website/blog at Uni Watch. Their slogan is “The Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics.” In other words, if a sports team wears it, Uni Watch knows everything about it. They keep track of any change in any team’s uniforms (or those of the team’s cheerleaders, if they have them) and the writers are not stingy with their opinions, good or bad. One current feature that I like is a preview of all of the changes that fans will be seeing for the 2008 baseball season. Many, many entries discuss the pockets, hosiery, caps, and warm-up outfits and there are fans who write in about things they’ve noticed, like an upside down “i” on a player’s jersey or some other error. All of the major, and a few of the minor, sports are represented. As with Retrosheet, very few fans will be interested in everything offered but there is so much there that the digging around will be part of the fun.

Greg H.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: