Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pennant: Another Great Baseball-Related iPad Diversion

I don't have an iPad. Yet. But for all of you early adopters who jumped on the iPad bandwagon already, check out this find from SoSG Dusty Baker, who tipped me off to a new app called Pennant, which basically uses Retrosheet and a nifty graphical interface to recap every play of every game since 1951.

The app looks pretty sharp, especially for only $5. But rather than me try to describe the app and its functionality, let me let the video tell the story:

I was so impressed by this app, I reached out to the inventor, Steve Varga, for some commentary on how it was created. I had also asked him a question about why individual statistics aren't also included in the app. Here's what he was kind enough to write me back:

The app was originally created as my Masters' thesis project at Parsons the New School for Design [in New York City]. I love baseball and I need a year-long project, so I decided to make something that I would want for myself.

The development of the app initially took about 6 months of non-stop work, and then I recently took 2 more months to rewrite it. This was not continuous time per say, but on average probably about 5 hours a day. I also juggle a number of other projects so this has been more on the side.

It isn't sortable by player, with good reason. I don't know that it ever will be. What sets Pennant apart is that it is a history of the teams and games, not of any one person. Baseball has become extremely player-oriented, which was no more apparent then during the steroids era. There is enough stuff out there about players, so I wanted to make something about the teams that people follow year after year and how they performed as a unit.

I assume that Dusty is already all over this app. For the rest of you, what do you think? Steve asked for feedback, so fire away!


Bobby Crosby said...

That's awesome. Makes me want to get an iPad even more.

Nostradamus said...


John G said...

Mar 2 is my birthday, and i was already planning on getting an iPad2. Now its a done deal.

Kyle Baker said...

Yep. I've had the app for over a week now. Love it. Played with it a lot (the app, folks) on the plane coming back from DC, which allowed me a lot of time to go through the app's features and look up key games and such, if one was born during the baseball season, one can look up whether the Dodgers won on that day. For me, Dodgers beat Braves 6-3 on May 21, 1970. The app of course is good for more than just that type of thing...lots of good research and trivia possibilities.

Cool stuff. Thanks to the developer!