Sunday, February 25, 2018
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FSScover4x6dpi72Fantastic Sports Stuff

by Bob Henige

Introduction to FSS


One of the first steps to identifying and resolving a character flaw is to admit to the problem.  Well, here goes.  I am a statistical junkie.  Perhaps that is why I loved the movie, Moneyball; a film that gave Hollywood star status to a relatively obscure baseball stat called On-Base-Percentage.


I have spent hours online in pursuit of an idea or statistical angle.  FSS entries simulate someone surfing the net, searching for an answer to a sports question. When the answer is found, another link catches the eye and it's off in the hunt for more information.  An FSS entry can start with the amazing 1961 season in Major League Baseball and pretty soon you're reading about the 1899 Cleveland Spiders' abysmal 20-134 record that resulted in baseball's banishment of syndicate ownership.  Another entry can discuss baseball's first bidding war that occurred in the early 1900s when the American League became a major professional baseball league and end up with a short bio of Nap Lajoie and the origination of the baseball sani.  FSS takes a simple sports statement and blends it into several related stories.  I hope you find the format entertaining.


What would a true sports book be without sports trivia questions?  There are questions labeled FSS Trivia throughout with a section near the back called "FSS Trivia Answers" with the answers.


In my research for FSS, I came across so many informative, interesting, and unique sports-related websites.  There were certain websites I relied on for statistical research, some for specific articles, and some for pictures.


If you are looking for any stats regarding the four major sports, the following websites have everything you need:



There are similar websites for college sports:


Here are some search examples for using these 'reference' websites:

  • To find Barry Sanders NFL player page, Search “Barry Sanders football reference.”
  • To find the team page for the Detroit Red Wings, Search “Detroit Red Wings franchise index hockey reference.”
  • To find the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Search “2012 MLB baseball reference.”
  • To find Justin Verlander’s page, Search “Justin Verlander baseball reference.”
  • To find the all-time season and career NHL leaders, Search "Career Leaders Hockey Reference."


I love the MLB player pages.  You can select the player’s minor league stats.  You can select the "Splits" option and display a player’s stats for a particular season, split by each month during the season or by each half of the season.  There is a Game Log option to display the games of the player for a particular season, including the box score of each game.  I have used these options many times to compile FSS facts.  There is a link to a detailed biography of most retired baseball player's at the Society for Baseball Research website under the SABR Baseball Biography Project.  A lot of the current player pages have their Twitter page name displayed.  (Geez!)


It doesn’t matter if you are looking for statistics related to a league, team, or individual; the aforementioned 'reference' websites have it all.  Each page contains links to leave you immersed for long periods of time.  For instance, if you are on the Barry Sanders player page, you can click on "1996" to switch to the 1996 NFL standings or you can move down the page and click on "1990 NFL" below "Rushing Yds" and display the rushing leaders for the 1990 season.


There is another feature at the 'baseball-reference' website that I have found very useful.  To compute a player's statistics for a specific period of time, double click on the year you want to start the computation.  When the line turns blue, double-click on the line where you want to end the computation.  For example, it was easy to compute Rocky Colavito's batting statistics for the period of 1960-1964.  I double-clicked on the 1960 line, and then double-clicked on the 1964 line.  The totals for those five years appeared.  Real nice.


Here are a few links that contain some off-the-grid information I found unique and informational.

  • The Detroit Athletic Company has a blog website containing a ton of stories and pictures about Detroit-related subjects.  This is a superb site for the Detroit sports enthusiast with some classic stories.  There is a Search function available on the top of the page.

  • The following link contains a ton of NHL box scores that the hockey-reference website doesn't have.

  • The following link contains some unique NFL data regarding Super Bowls, Playoff Bowls, Chicago Classic All-Star Games, and more.  There are tons of examples of unique artwork honoring the various events.  Terrific sight.

  • The Hickok Sports website lists the history in a ton of popular obscure events, awards, and records.  I used Hickok to find information related to AAU events in tennis and other sports.

  • For hockey history enthusiasts, the AZ Hockey website has it all.  There is an alphabetized index for everything about hockey (players, teams, leagues, etc.) on the upper left of the home page.  Some player informational pages even include data regarding USSR and European teams, Canadian minor league squads, as well as professional hockey teams.  There is also a corresponding entry for these obscure teams and hockey organizations.  An example is Sergei Fedorov, former forward of the Detroit Red Wings.  AZ Hockey lists Sergei Fedorov's Russian junior and minor league teams while he was in his fatherland as well as his time in the NHL.  I am not sure how current the information is, but if you are researching hockey information from years ago, this is an amazing website.

  • Another hockey website that is full of statistics is the Internet Hockey Database.  This website has a Search function with detailed filters if you want to obtain information regarding specific players, teams, or leagues.  Real nice.

  • For boxing career records, I used the BoxRec or the FightsRec websites.

  • The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Baseball Biography Project contains detailed biographies of many baseball players.  You can use the Search function at the bottom of the page to find a specific player or subject.

  • The following site can be used for information on professional golfers.  There is a Search function on the top of the page that not only displays biographical information, but quite a few other articles.

  • I used a couple websites to obtain hockey biographies.  They are the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Legends of Hockey websites.  The Search function can display some real rare bios.


These are just a few of the websites I used in my research.  The full listing of my website sources can be found in "Appendix C Bibliography - Websites and Other Sources" in the back of the book.

Interview with Bob Henige from the Warren Public Library




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