Reading List

Most good things in this world (and even this website) have inspiration. Below are several of the projects and websites that inspired the creation of Un/Necessary Sports Research, or other projects that dovetail into it. If you like U/NSR, you'll probably like at least a few of these.

Sports-Reference: Sports Stats, Fast, Easy, And Up-To-Date
"A group of sites providing both basic and sabermetric statistics and resources for sports fans everywhere. Our aim is to be the easiest-to-use, fastest, most complete sources for sports statistics anywhere." Also the only collection of sites out there that would outrank the next two in my personal hierarchy.

Uni Watch: The Obsessive Study Of Athletics Aesthetics
"It’s not about fashion — it’s about documenting and maintaining the visual history of sports design, and about minutiae fetishism as its own reward ... For those who understand the pleasures of detail obsession, programmatic classification systems, information overload, and sports history, you’ve come to the right place."

506 Sports: TV Sports Listings And Broadcast Maps
You've probably seen the NFL broadcast maps that webmaster J.P. Kirby has produced for more than a decade showing who's getting which game each week. What you may not have seen are the forums attached to that site, which give rise to the most complete encyclopedia of historical sports broadcasting on the internet.

"This blog looks back at classic sports telecasts and announcers (primarily from the mid-1960s to present), provides DVR alerts for upcoming classic programming, and covers other historical aspects of sports media." Known for its shot charts of golf majors and lists of things like longest-running announcer duos. Editor Jeff Haggar posts as Jeff79 on the 506 forums linked above.

I was initially drawn to VORG because I think proprietor Diane Firstman spends even more time making sports puns on Twitter than I do, and while I hesitate to say that they're good (after all, the standard involves puns on Twitter) they make me laugh. But if you're going to make a site out of baseball crosswords, the fact that no one has ever hit exactly 55 home runs in an MLB season, giving Joe Mauer an award because five-eighths of the letters in his name are vowels, and this list of pitchers whose earned-run averages most closely approximate pi, you're getting linked to. What I'm saying is there's a lot of data there.

"This website presents graphical representations of every uniform that has been worn in the NFL since 1920. This project is the culmination of a lot of hard work by two men to chronicle the numerous combinations of uniforms that have been worn by players in the league in thousands of games over the past eighty years. Tim Brulia and Bill Schaefer have painstakingly worked on this research over the past few years."

Tracking Division I college football and basketball games on TV.

"The goal of this Committee is to provide research pertaining to the media’s coverage of Baseball both as news and as an event." Includes both the story of baseball journalism (its writers, outlets and phenomena) and of baseball as an event (game coverage itself). The original home of the MLB national TV database. Committee chair Chuck Hildebrandt won the Doug Pappas Research Award for best oral presentation at the 2015 SABR convention in Chicago for his work on the Little League Home Run.

Society for American Baseball Research; Pro Football Researchers Association; Society for International Hockey Research; Association for Professional Basketball Research

The Knowledge: theguardian.com's crack team of sleuths answer your cunning/inane questions on the world of (European) football
To quote a 2014 post: "You want us to trawl through every shootout in the history of the World Cup, European Championships, Copa América, Africa Cup of Nations, Asian Cup, Oceania Nations Cup and Confederations Cup and check which club each and every taker was playing for when they stepped up to the spot? Do you really think we have nothing better to do? Oh. Right then, back in a jiffy…"

The Playoff of Dreams: Expanding the MLB playoffs from 1901 forward.
POD is another one of my side gigs, but I'll put it here because it pre-dates U/NSR. What would happen if Major League Baseball had split into divisions and conducted League Championship Series from the first year of the 20th century?

Recondite Baseball: An Open Collection Of Baseball's Little-Known Facts And Curiosities
Defunct since 2009, but one of the first sites in this vein that I started reading that relied heavily on the Baseball-Reference Play Index.

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