Sports fans often judge their fandom based on the amount of random facts they know about their team. With Pennant, a new iPad app, baseball fans can get their info fix with a seemingly endless amount of information displayed beautifully and interactively.
Pennant’s depth is awe-inspiring. The app has information about every MLB team, player, and game that’s been played since 1951. Doing some simple math, that’s almost 150,000 MLB games. You can see play-by-play replays of games, track the standings of teams throughout a given season, and view stats and information about a team in any year you happen to feel like. You might think that this much data would be clumsy to display and hard to sort through, but Pennant does it with ease. Between beautiful circular bar graphs and “cloud” style circle graphs, the data displayed looks sharp and is very easy to understand.
The Four Viewing Modes
Pennant allows you to get information through four different display modes with increasing depth: Team, Season, Game, and Game View. The Team selection screen allows you to start by selecting a team. You can swipe through cards with the teams’ names on them, or select your team from a map, complete with pinch-to-zoom control of the map. You can zoom in and out, and tap your team to select them.
With the Season view, you can see a given team’s success (or lack thereof) since 1951. Each season is displayed with a bar graph showing number of wins, and you can swipe through the seasons and tap one you’d like to see team statistics for that season in particular. You can see both how a team did in statistical categories like batting average and ERA, and also how that team’s stats compared to the rest of the league in that year. These graphs come in two flavors: a standard bar graph and a unique “radar” view, which makes visualizing the data even easier.
Finally, there are the two Game views, giving you data on final scores of games, standings in the league throughout a given season, and even a play-by-play of individual games. The play-by-play is presented in a cool circular graph, showing each at-bat and the resulting hit or out. There’s also a “Game Replay” mode, that slowly plays back each at-bat and allows you to see how the game played out, at-bat by at-bat. It’s really staggering how much information is available in this app.
For $5, this app is essential for any baseball fan. It makes it easy, and fun to explore your team’s history and to learn more about other teams and how the league played itself out in other years. I’ve never seen so much information displayed so eloquently, and I really hope that Pennant’s developers seriously consider making similar apps for other sports, especially NFL football. Stats and data are like candy to sports fans, and Pennant delivers it by the truckload.