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Friday, December 04, 2020

The Athletic: How FanGraphs catapulted from ‘super nerd’ site to the baseball mainstream [$]

In 2005, 23-year-old David Appelman was working for AOL culling dial-up data and making graphs for the company’s executives. It wasn’t exactly exciting work and he knew quickly evolving technology would soon make dial-up obsolete. So he had an idea.

“I just thought it would be better to spend my time helping my fantasy baseball league,” he said.

Fantasy baseball was a burgeoning business at the time, but there were few resources that delved deeply into advanced stats, offering explanations on how and why they could be useful for a team. Appelman drafted a contract to buy statistical data from Baseball Info Solutions and set up feeds on a new website he called The first post went live Aug. 15, 2005.

He planned to offer daily analysis of different players and slowly added more to the site, like batted ball data, comparison charts by age and then win probability. In short blog posts, he used graphs to explain the underlying reasons whether a player had seen success.

A few hundred views per day on the site turned into a few thousand and in 2006, Appelman quit his job at AOL.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave cameron, fangraphs

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   1. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 07:18 AM (#5992552)
"Say, Bill. Why did young David leave the company?"

"Said he felt his time was better spent on his fantasy league.

"Probably for the best.
   2. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 05, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5992616)
The Athletic: How FanGraphs catapulted from ‘super nerd’ site to the baseball mainstream [$]

tl;dr: everyone else just stopped caring.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 05, 2020 at 05:46 PM (#5992661)
It's amazing how many of their writers have been poached by MLB teams.
   4. McCoy Posted: December 06, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5992724)
I thought fangraphs was in financial trouble and was either going to end or go behind a paywall
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5992726)
I thought fangraphs was in financial trouble and was either going to end or go behind a paywall

Folding seems highly unlikely. Not like free lance journalists cost that much.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5992744)
The article pointed out about their financial troubles and actions that they made to combat it, but that they are still in dire straits. A advertiser based model, which is what they use, has been hit hard by the fact that there is lack of games being played, meaning very few people are accessing their site. I plan on going to their site daily just to up their hits, but not willing to spend $3 a month for another site (I just put $6.99 for Disney+ yesterday because I wanted to watch the Mandalorian---yes I can pirate it, but I wanted to watch it on my TV since my gf has the covid and I don't want her breathing over my shoulder to watch on my monitor)

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