The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Happy B-Ref to You!

Though the main banner I designed for the site has since been replaced to no great advantage, it's with no small amount of respect and admiration that I tip my cap to the sixth birthday of the mighty website. Congratulations to Sean Forman on the site's success.

Quite simply, there's virtually no chance you'd be reading this site without the advent of B-R, because that site, with its infinitely cross-linked database of player, team, and league stats helped to rejuvenate my own interest in baseball, one which led me to start FI back in 2001 (yes, we're rapidly coming up on five years here). Hardly a day goes by without me making at least one trip to the site. In fact, the contextual toolbar link which allows me to highlight a player's name in a random web page and instantly jump to his B-R page is about as essential as any of my ten fingers (if you're not running Firefox, the other bookmarklets are available here).

Some interesting tidbits from the Philadelphia Inquirier article linked above:
Traffic on the site is the best measure of its popularity. According to Forman, the site is visited by 30,000 to 40,000 users per day. On Jan. 10, the day Hall of Fame results were announced, there were 70,000 visitors.

If that's not enough to show you how much people like the site, dig up a copy of the July 2005 issue of GQ magazine. In a list of 75 reasons to love America, the magazine ranked the Web site No. 7, one behind "Pot delivery" and one ahead of "The wineries of the Pacific Northwest."

...As moves into its next year, Forman hopes to add features, like up-to-date daily stats and sortable stats, which would allow users to generate lists and comparisons.
One of the top 10 reasons to love America? I'm not so sure that's accurate, given the fact that B-R can be accessed worldwide via the Internet -- even by those damned Al Qaeda killjoys whose hatred for this country is tempered only by a hunger for the season-by season OBP and SLG numbers which don't make it onto the backs of the baseball cards distributed in the Middle East.

How about "One of the top 10 reason to love electricity?" That's more like it.

For a good history of B-R's genesis, see King Kaufman's Salon piece on Forman and his site, which oddly enough reminds me that the brief period when B-R went dark began the exact day this site started, April 9, 2001. Weird...

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