From SABR member Rob Neyer at FiveThirtyEight on May 1, 2017, with mention of SABR members Sean Forman, John Thorn, David Neft, and Bill James:
For diehard baseball fans, a world without Sean Forman’s Baseball-Reference.com is difficult to imagine. But the site is relatively new; it didn’t grace the Internet until 2000. Before that, for seamheads interested in baseball statistics there was only … print. Print? Yes, print. You remember print.
One of those print compendiums of baseball information was a 6.5-pound behemoth nicknamed “Big Mac,” and it changed how people think about the sport. A world without the Big Mac might not just mean a world without Baseball-Reference.com, it might also mean a world without Bill James, which might mean a world without sabermetrics, a world without “Moneyball,” a world without the analytics that have transformed so many other sports. As John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, says today, “It was a revolution. This was the ‘Moby-Dick’ of baseball statistics, not only for its size, but also for its place in baseball history.”
Read the full article here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/before-baseball-reference-statheads-relied-on-the-big-mac/
Originally published: May 1, 2017. Last Updated: May 1, 2017.