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Noted ballhawk Zack Hample's attempt at a world record earlier this month.

Three weeks ago, on a mild Monday morning in Lowell, Massachusetts, a group of people entered LeLacheur Park, home of the Lowell Spinners. Their goal? To set a world record.

Zack Hample is a well-known name among a certain population of baseball fans. Most famous for "ballhawking" - those guys who go to baseball games with a singular focus of catching as many baseballs as possible, be they home run ball, batting practice ball, or whatever - Hample has collected nearly 6,100 baseballs from major league stadiums. In 2011 alone, he collected 1,157 baseballs from all 30 stadiums. He has written three books about baseball as well. Hample also holds world records in a number of classic video games and plays Scrabble competitively on occasion. Obviously, when Hample sets his mind on something, he goes all out.

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We've been busy since our last State of the Prospectus, so it's time to bring you up to date on all of the exciting additions to our roster.

Steven Goldman wrote something in his preface to Baseball Prospectus 2011 that has stuck with me since. I quoted it in my own preface to the Best Of Baseball Prospectus books, and I’m about to quote it again. Someday, I’ll feel inspired and find another line to use in my introductions. For now, though, Steven’s sentiments will suffice, since they explain how we’ve managed to remain true to our roots even as many of our founding members and longtime contributors have moved on to other challenges.

True institutions do not survive due to the efforts of any one or two people, but because a collective of believers holds true to their animating principle, thus forming an unbroken chain from founders to inheritors. In our case, we continue to focus on cutting through baseball’s homilies—stomping the dead, whenever possible, along the way—in favor of realism and hard truths.

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The Mets' decision to revoke Howard Megdal's press credentials is yet another worrisome misstep for the franchise.

Over the past few weeks, two relatively prominent writers have had their voices silenced for making disparaging comments about their respective teams’ owners. First, it was Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose accidental tweet about Browns owner Randy Lerner resulted in his removal from the beat. Yesterday, LoHud Mets blogger Howard Megdal learned that his book Wilpon’s Folly had put his press credentials in limbo.

Despite these parallels, there are important differences between the two cases.

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Twitter's built-in online community has made being a baseball fan even more rewarding.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Maiya Gessling is the co-founder and co-author of Snow Woulda Had It, an SF Giants blog. She's currently in college, where she takes Japanese classes and gets rained on a lot. She has a twitter, @maiyasplash, full of baseball and Doctor Who. 

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Rather than rushing to judgment when a team makes a move, take a moment to consider what you might be missing.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Jason Wojciechowski is the founder and sole author of Beaneball, a blog about the A’s. He also contributes to The Platoon Advantage on more general baseball topics. His college thesis was in computational number theory but he is now a labor lawyer with a Twitter addiction (@jlwoj).

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The two Davids conduct a humorous dialogue on all the hot stove happenings.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

David Raposa writes about music for Pitchfork and other places. He used to write about baseball for the blog formerly known as Yard Work. He occasionally blogs for himself, and he also tweets way too much.


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You might not know it from watching the World Series, but it often makes sense for a manager to pinch hit for his starter before the late innings.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Mitchel Lichtman, or MGL, has been doing sabermetric research and writing for over 20 years. He is one of the authors of The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, and co-hosts The Book blog, www.insidethebook.com. He consulted for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2004 to 2006, as well as other major-league teams. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Nevada Boyd School of Law. Most of the time these days you can find him on the golf course.


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Exploring the connections between baseball and Scrabble, naming an all-time Scrabble team, and coming up with a baseball variant of the famous board game.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Diane Firstman wanted to be the first female general manager in the Majors, but a degree in Athletic Administration and an internship with the Elias Sports Bureau didn’t bear fruit. So, she toils by day as a data analyst for the City of New York. She was the first “fan” to start a blog over at MLB.COM in 2005, and her “Diamonds are for Humor” was voted “Best Comedic Blog” that year. More recently, she contributed quirky stories and analysis to the “Humbug Journal” blog at Baseball Toaster, had an essay included in the “Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories” anthology, and offered game recaps and offbeat statistical analysis at the “Bronx Banter” site. Her latest venture is her own “Value Over Replacement Grit” blog, which features unusual statistical analysis of everything from player name lengths to players’ Body Mass Indexes. 

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August 19, 2011 9:00 am

Divide and Conquer, AL East: The Simileast

8

Dustin Parkes

How can you compare the AL East teams using nothing but similes?

Humblebrag alert: you don’t really make a lot of money writing about baseball for a living.

I earn my livelihood as the editor of a baseball blog on the website of a national sports network in Toronto, Canada. And while my earnings will never win me a date with the type of woman whose level of desire for a man parallels the amount of money in his bank account, it does occasionally have its perks.

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A look at our article aging curve and the most prolific authors of BP's past and present.

Baseball Prospectus rests on a foundation laid in large part by dissecting baseball numbers, but we’ve rarely turned the same inquisitive statistical eye inward. That’s as it should be, since despite our occasional delusions of grandeur, we know that you come here to consume the sausage, not to see it made (the sausage, in this case, being baseball writing). Still, in light of our recent roster additions and ongoing Wayback Machine series, I thought it might be fun to see how far we—and by "we," I mean the site, since I haven’t been around all that long—have come by looking back at our article publication trends and most prolific authors since our online incarnation went live in 1997.

All told, we’ve published 12,500 pieces of writing on the site—a number that will have been eclipsed by the time you read this sentence. The discrepancy between that total and the recent article ID numbers that show up in our URLs can be attributed almost entirely to unpublished drafts. (For those of you hoping for a Great Lost BP Album, forget it—most of them are blank.) At last count, 195 souls have gone far enough wrong somewhere in life to receive their own Baseball Prospectus bylines (most recently Alan M. Nathan, who by all accounts is quite a respectable fellow in other respects).

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What's a baseball writer to think when watching games starts to assume secondary importance?

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Craig Calcaterra writes the HardballTalk blog at NBC Sports.com. Before that he was the proprietor of Shysterball, a baseball blog of moderate renown. He was a civil litigator for 11 years, but he's feeling much better now.

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April 16, 2010 6:48 pm

Fantasy Beat: The New Fantasy Main Page

9

Marc Normandin

For your convenience, fantasy content is now in one place.

We have been hard at work on redesigning aspects of Baseball Prospectus, from the content to the way we present it to you, and I'm happy to announce one of these items is now available for your use.

Remember the old Fantasy page for BP.com, where you had a listing of the offerings (such as the Fantasy Focus column) as well as links to the Depth Charts and the Player Forecast Manager? That has been combined with the Fantasy Beat blog to give fantasy subscribers a one-stop shop for all of their content and fantasy tool needs. When you now visit baseballprospectus.com/fantasy, you will be greeted by 12 blog entries, which will be much easier than navigating through all of the various blogs on the front page. On the right sidebar, the archives go even further back (notice that, right now, the 12 articles displayed go back to April 9, but the sidebar goes back to March 30).

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