Miller: All of baseball stats converge in St. Paul with Hans Van Slooten

From Phil Miller at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on May 24, 2015, on SABR member Hans Van Slooten:

When he was in high school, Hans van Slooten had a part-time job operating the control board at the Little Falls, Minn., radio station his father managed, mostly during network programming that required little technical expertise. So van Slooten sat in a radio booth night after night, paying close attention to Twins games and waiting to hit “play” on local commercials whenever Herb Carneal and John Gordon went to a between-innings break.

“I was a fan of Chili Davis,” van Slooten recalls. “I sat there and listened every night, and I just really got into baseball.”

Now he is immersed in baseball like few others. The game and its history lend themselves to statistical quantification that no other sport can match, and if those millions of numbers have an epicenter, these days it’s in the small office of his St. Paul home. Or maybe his couch, if the Twins are on TV.

“People talk about their dream job — this is one of those things where you fall into something and I can’t imagine wanting to do something else,” van Slooten said. “It’s not something I planned.”

But this spring, it became his reality. In the Internet age, there is no more credible and ubiquitous website in baseball than, the go-to encyclopedia for fans, researchers and media members. And van Slooten, a 39-year-old native Minnesotan and Twins partial season-ticket holder, is now in charge of the site’s day-to-day operations.

“Maintaining the site is a huge responsibility, because we have millions of users, people that rely on it on a daily basis,” van Slooten said. “It’s our biggest site, our best-known site, and it’s the sport that I truly love.”

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Originally published: May 26, 2015. Last Updated: May 26, 2015.