A Magical Infographical Tour Through Baseball

Image for article titled A Magical Infographical Tour Through Baseball

Englishman Craig Robinson runs the excellent Flip Flop Fly Ball site, which has, for some time, provided us with infographics much more stunning than those you'd find in USA Today. And now the powers that be have wisely published a collection of those infographics. You can find a few below, but you're better off buying Flip Flop Fly Ball.


I had come to a sport in my mid-thirties and was experiencing what it was like to listen to the World Series under the covers, except that it was in my bed in Berlin and I was watching games on a laptop. I had the Internet and Photoshop instead of a handful of baseball cards and crayons. And my mind wandered and wondered: What distance is covered by base runners in a season? How big is the Green Monster compared to the Statue of Liberty? Which player has played for the most organizations? How many teams have their home dugout on the first-base side? How many Native Americans live in Cleveland? Who the hell designed that Diamondbacks logo? Baseball, being a leisurely game full of lulls and lapses, affords its fans plenty of time to ponder the game's nearly infinite significant and insignificant elements. Who was the last player called Wright to play in right field? (It was George Wright for the Expos in 1986. And, incidentally, no player called Short has ever played shortstop.) Which team's players travel the greatest distance from rookie ball to single-A, double-A, triple-A, and then the majors? Has any player ever played in all the towns Steve Miller mentions in "Rock'n Me?" What was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 when Nolan Ryan made his debut and then when he played his last game? Which town in the contiguous United States is the farthest from a major league team?

Baseball is endlessly fascinating to me. And probably endlessly tedious to my European friends who have to put up with me talking about why Mariano Rivera is so awesome. But they can't throw a cut fastball at 90 mph with the accuracy of a sniper, and he can. I'm still relatively new to the sport; I still feel like an interloper in your wonderful world of baseball. Every day I learn something fascinating about the universe of baseball. As I sit here typing these words on a humid summer evening in Toronto, there's a Rawlings Official Major League Baseball next to the Tic Tacs on my desk. Every time I've paused to think about a bit of sentence construction, I've picked up the ball and gripped it like in the photos I've seen on Google Images. I exhale and close my eyes, and Joe Buck informs the audience about my ERA and how I'm getting a lot more movement on my curveball this season. Tim McCarver reexplains everything Joe Buck said. It's a 3-2 count. Robinson shakes off Posada, he wants to show his best heat. He checks the runner at first, then throws it straight past Howard. The umpire signals that Howard is out! Your 2012 World Series MVP... Craaaaaaaig Robinson! Seriously, it's ridiculous, a man hurtling toward his forties daydreaming about winning the World Series.

Craig Robinson writes and designs for Flip Flop Fly Ball. You can buy his book here.