Thursday, February 17, 2011

Steve Varga releases Pennant for the iPad, an interactive history of baseball, just in time for spring training

Winter is just too damn long in the Midwest, and Opening Day still feels like a long way off. But pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training and for millions of baseball fans, hope springs eternal that their boys might win the World Series this year. (I know, my team, impossibly, hysterically, ridiculously, won last year. I'm still giddy.)
Just in time for the new season comes this wonderful new app from Steve Varga who calls himself a "Freelance Creative Technologist". Pennant is one of those apps for the iPad that really shows the potential of the form.

Pennant was created, Varga tells us on the app's supporting website, using open-source records from Retrosheet, then worked into a database, sprinkled with data from The Baseball Databank. (I think its great that Varga gives us these details.)
The app allows you to view every teams performance from 1952 through the 2010 season. (Of course, it would start in 1952. After all, the Giants last World Series win before this year was in 1951. Varga must be a Yankees fan, or worse, a Dodgers fan!)

The data covers over 115,000 games, and as any baseball fan will tell, the sport is all about statistics. Users can see the results of every game in that time span, replay each play within the game, and compare statistics. (Someone has to tell Nate Silver about this app.)

The app will cost you $4.99, but I noticed that bleacher seats for the Giants spring training games are now over twenty bucks, $4.99 seems like a bargain to me.

Pennant Preview from Steve Varga on Vimeo.