Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Protoball Launch

Larry McCray sent out an email last week announcing the launch of the redesigned Protoball and I wanted to pass along the link to the site.

Among other things, Larry had this to say:

Our general view is that a website like ours may help the origins community by putting a range of relevant data where it can be easily found, and, more important, corrected, as fresh information from digitized sources comes to light.  David Block estimates that early writers on origins had only a small fraction of the data that we now have, so we need a way to test their early conjectures against our new stock of facts.

If you haven't visited Protoball recently, take a look at what wiki-type software can do for a clunky old Word-oriented facility.  Amazing. 

What's new.  There is a much better site-search capacity and ease of navigation.  That's thanks to our developer, Dave Anderson.

What's old are:

[] An 1150-item origins chronology at http://protoball.org/Chronologies, with about 30 "subtopic chronologies" for different locations, different games, etc. 

[] The Protoball Games Tabulation (version 1.0), built by Craig Waff, with data on almost 1700 games played through 1860, at http://protoball.org/Games_Tabulation.

[] A list of active researchers, and a big old bibliography of published sources.

[] A “Glossary” of over 200 baserunning games, some of which preceded base ball (the Massachusetts game, Philadelphia town ball) and some of which were later derived from base ball (softball, stickball, kickball, Finnish baseball).

What’s coming, we think, is a comprehensive data base on the spread of base ball, including club data, players, and maps.

I'd also like to point out some of the stuff that I worked on for the Glossary.  Larry and I are in the process of working through the list of games in the Glossary and analysing them in an attempt to discover what role some of these games played in the evolution and development of baseball.  It's a long process but the work is beginning to bear fruit.  You should take a look at the write ups we did for town ball and rounders to get an idea about where we're heading.  I also came up with a chart that divides the glossary into new classifications.  The links in the chart all lead back to the Glossary and, in the near future, I'm going to expand the thing outward, putting in more details about each game and linking that to the Chronology.

While I've done a bit of work for the new site and feel fortunate to be involved in the project, all of the credit for new Protoball has to go to Larry and Dave Anderson.  The two of them have done a fantastic job taking the best baseball research site online and making it better.  Great job by them.     

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