Magazine article Information Today

As Renee Zellweger Said

Magazine article Information Today

As Renee Zellweger Said

Article excerpt

Sometimes a Web site gives you that feeling made famous by Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire ... it gets you at hello.

Such is the case with a new baseball site called This Great Game (http :// that was scheduled to be formally launched on Opening Day. This Great Game, a chronicle of big-league history since 1900, actually was named in one of those fortuitous accidents, just like the time your Field Correspondent inherited his moniker at the Word Factory (the previous user of the title seemed to have moved on to greener fields).

While trying to come up with something meaningful or historical, Web site co-founder Ed Attanasio bought the domain name thinking "This Great Game" was a phrase commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis used in his letter to the eight players banned in the Black Sox scandal. Apparently, only after the hangover abated did Attanasio discover that the phrase was never uttered by Landis or anyone else who would have made it quote-worthy.

But like a good trouper--or a second baseman who just bobbled a routine grounder--Attanasio just kept on going, and the site was born anyway.

It's built around a decade-by-decade timeline of baseball history with links to individual years, standings, and notable moments. What sets it apart from other sites is the writing, which is clever and informative just about all the way through. Here's one example from the chapter on the 1934 season, which featured the St. Louis Cardinals and the inimitable Dean brothers, Dizzy and Paul:

   Dizzy's most memorable moment
   of the (World) Series came when he
   appeared as, of all things, a pinch
   runner in Game Four. Running
   from first on a ground ball, Dizzy
   was knocked--well, dizzy--when
   the throw from second nailed him
   square in the forehead. He was carried
   off on a stretcher and taken
   to a hospital where--as one newspaper
   headline screamed--X-rays
   of his head revealed nothing.

(The site then points out that the headline story might just have been another of Ol Diz's tall tales, since no headline could be found proclaiming the emptiness of Dean's head.)

The site also has team histories with listings of the team's records and best players, plus historical tidbits like the trailers-in-the-night move of the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee, where they became the Brewers in 1970. …

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