Sean Forman has always put his faith in numbers, believed in them the same way Crash Davis believed that the sweet spot, good Scotch and hanging curveballs could soothe the soul in the movie “Bull Durham.”
But that didn’t stop Forman from going against the odds and securing his dream job as a caretaker of baseball history.
...Forman is the founder and sole engineer of baseball-reference.com, the catchall Web site that puts the national pastime into real time, and supplies game telecasts, radio broadcasts, highlight shows, bloggers, reporters, even drunks trying to settle trivia disputes, with detailed accounts of Saturday’s games and those of decades gone by.
...How good is business? Forman is poised to start making hires, and in the near future he hopes to add college football and college basketball, auto racing, golf, and “anything out there with a compelling data set.” He’s turned down offers to be bought out by large media companies, which he called “the usual suspects that you would expect to be interested in a sports statistics Web site.”
Accepting an offer, he says, would have allowed him to retire.
“The question for any small company is: Are you going to sell and go with a big group, or are you going to try and stay independent?” says Forman. “Right now we’ve decided to try and stay independent.”
...“When I take a look at the script for a piece, if I have any questions I say, ‘Well, wait a minute, was that ‘65 or ‘66?’” says Bob Costas, vouching for the site’s legitimacy. “Boom, baseball-reference.com, it’s automatic. You have complete faith in it.”