Category Archives: Baseball

Original Trailers for Baseball Movies

The entire country is buried under a blanket of disheartening snow, but there is hope. Baseball is right around the corner. Pitchers and catchers are slowly making their way to Florida and Arizona for spring training. To help ward off the chill, here are the original trailers of some classic (and some not-so-classic) baseball movies. Continue reading

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Revolution in the Blink of an Eye: The St. Louis Cardinals Since 1995

The other day, I posted a graph that illustrated just how much of an organizational shift has happened for the St. Louis Cardinals in the last seven years. Today, I’ve expounded on that a little bit further. Rather than focusing on how the players were acquired, I’ve created scatterplots for each Cardinals squad since 1995. Listed in each scatterplot is each player’s individual WAR (wins above replacement), plotted along with their age. Each chart by itself is relatively benign. But if you see them all together at once, the organization’s shift towards youth and homegrown talent in the last few years becomes apparent. First, an animated .gif to show the shift. Continue reading

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Graph: St. Louis Cardinals: WAR by Acquisition Type (1995-2013)

While working on a separate project, I recently compiled a lot of data about my beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the value provided to their roster by individual players. My other project focuses on the Cardinals in the Walt Jocketty and John Mozeliak eras, the two General Managers that have helmed player procurement since 1995. Collecting that data allowed me to create today’s graph, which illustrates how much value was provided to the organization each season by players acquired via three primary means- draft, trade, and free agency. To show value, I’ve used Baseball Reference’s WAR statistic- Wins Above Replacement, explained here. Basically, a player’s WAR is the number of wins he provides to his team over and beyond what a readily available replacement player could be expected to provide. Continue reading

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Infographic: The Life of Ballparks

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I’ve always loved Major League ballparks. It’s easy to wax poetic about your first trip, when you can smell the grass, hear the crack of the bat, the sound of the beer vendors and the ballpark organist, the hum of the crowd, and take in the scent of ballpark fare wafting off of the grill. Every game, all 162 of them for your hometown nine, represents an unforgettable experience for a witness in the stadium, and it’s been happening since the middle of the 19th century. There’s nothing else like it, and each city’s baseball cathedral has its own special fingerprint. All of this is what inspired me to create today’s visualization. I’ve put together the history of MLB ballparks for active franchises into a single graph, going back as far as each franchise has existed, including a breakdown of ballparks opened by year.  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Infographic: Where are Baseball Movies Made?

unnamedTo commemorate baseball’s Opening Day (which really should be a national holiday), Todd at Forgotten Films is hosting the Big League Blogathon- a series of articles by multiple contributors, all themed around baseball in cinema. If you know me at all, then you know there’s no way I could pass up the opportunity to contribute. Since I used to work for a minor league baseball team that played where A League of Their Own (1992) was filmed, it seemed like a natural fit to focus on filming locations for baseball movies. Specifically, I’ve created a map visualization showing where baseball films have been made through the years. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Infographic: The Evolution of Offense in Baseball

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Bart Giamatti* once said, “[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.” It was at that point, when the chill rains came in early November, that I first started playing around with today’s infographic. Little did I know that it would take me more than three months to complete. The sheer fact that I kept working on it that long speaks volumes for the charm of Giamatti’s game. But now, with baseball beginning again just like everything else, I’ve finally completed it. What I’ve done is put together an infographic featuring the way offense in baseball has evolved since the dawn of the 20th century. The way teams score runs, and take their at-bats, has changed dramatically over the course of 114 years, and I’ve tried to find a way to visualize it. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Infographic: The History of the St. Louis Cardinals

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It’s October in St. Louis. In recent memory, that means that the whole city is alive thanks to a playoff run by the St. Louis Cardinals. This year is no different. To commemorate the run and, really, my fandom, I’ve created an infographic illustrating a great deal of the franchise’s history, legends, highlights, and stomping grounds. Enjoy! Continue reading

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You Down with OOTP? Yeah, You Know Me

OOTP_HeaderI recently read a review about Out of the Park Baseball over at The Warning Sign, a magic pocket of the internet where you can find movie discussion, beer reviews, and occasional forays into baseball talk. After I asked a few questions, Eric- the wizard who creates beer, baseball, and movie content- put me in touch with the OOTP people to give it a go. I’ve been a baseball replay game nerd since I was 10, but I’ve also been very brand loyal to Strat-O-Matic baseball. However, their refusal to create a Mac-friendly version of the game has left me without a baseball replay game for a few years now. In other words, the time was ripe to give OOTP a try. Continue reading

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Movie Director Baseball Jerseys

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There aren’t many opportunities to combine two of the greatest things on earth- baseball and movies. However, to quote Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams, “There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what’s possible.” The possibility today is that I’ve found a way to create baseball jerseys for 15 movie directors. Baseball fans will appreciate that almost all of these have a direct MLB jersey equivalent. There are even a few nods to baseball fans north of the border. Movie fans will enjoy the symbols and themes associated with each individual director. Continue reading

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Baseball at the Movies: A Timeline

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Spring is right around the corner. And that means that the best sport in the world, baseball, is right around the corner. Over the next few weeks, baseball movies will flood your TV. To enhance your enjoyment of those movies and to put it all in perspective, here’s a timeline of baseball movie events. Enjoy! Continue reading

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