Our Beta Season Yet…

logoOur first regular season has come and gone. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but an app that’s unique, fun and useful has been born. The process of creating an app is both exciting and frustrating, but I am happy with what has finally developed: A useful and fun tool that helps all fans locate the best foul ball locations in each of the 30 MLB stadiums, offers a chat at the game feature, trivia and the first and ONLY foul ball odds calculators on the web.

But it’s been an uphill battle, to be honest. Delays and glitches—common enemies of coders, developers and designers—plagued a couple versions and I had my people do a near complete overhaul of the app design to make it so you, the user, can order tickets from the app, shop the MLBShop, be active with others, check odds, and even check the FoulBallz website…yes, all from the app.

I’m especially happy about the initial partnership-type set up I have established with myGameBalls.com. I’ve intermittently followed ballhawks like Zack Hample for years, but never fully understood the activity until late in this season. It is fascinating. I don’t understand the abuse these fans endure by others. It is a fun, interesting, and entertaining hobby, one I wish I could participate in to some degree, but I’m stuck in a state with no MLB and in a city too far from any parks to do anything on a regular basis. Regardless, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed speaking and interacting with some great guys.

It’s been a true, unadulterated blast doing this first season, and I look forward to many, many more.

But without further ado, below is a synopsis of the data you, the FoulBallz family of users, reported for us. I’ve subtracted all test “hits” from the totals below. The data shows the number of confirmed fan clicks divided by the number of users if more than one, and the top three sections each stadium has registered. Some parks have no user hits (or none at all), so were skipped altogether. Remember that the data set is small and certainly not an accurate picture of where balls fly, but it is a start.

 

Let me start with the 2013 playoff teams:

Busch: The Cardinals had 12 user hits. Those attending the post-season games may want to look at sections 162 (2 registered fouls), 236 (1), and 147 (1).

Comerica: 14 hits, with sections 139, 131, and 116 all registering 2 balls.

Dodger Stadium: Only 1 non-test click, so no data.

Fenway: 20 hits for the old park. Section 17 having 5 and 23 and 25 both with 3.

Oakland Coliseum: 14 fan clicks with 127, 228 and 108 each getting 1.

PNC: 7 hits with 123 having 2 and sections 212 and 221 each having 1.

Progressive: 14 hits (the most official hits for the playoff teams). The Indians have a three way tie at the top: 176, 340 and 156 each with 1.

 

Of the non-playoff teams, the leaders are:

Chase: 48 hits. Sections 112 (5) and 122, 212 and 204, 4 each.

Great American Ballpark: 30 hits. Section 112 had 4, while sections 112, 113 and 117 had 3 each.

Camden Yards: 43. The leaders being: 12 (9), 14 (4), and 15 (3)

Rangers Park: 27 unique clicks. 217 (3), 322 (3) and 15 (2)

Turner Field: 28 hits. Top sections are: 107 (6), 119 (4) and 216 (3)

US Cellular: 19 clicks. There’s a three way tie between 136, 120 and 530, each with 2 registered. (A special thanks to a good friend for testing the very first version of FoulBallz at this park!)

Wrigley: 51 (the leader in unique visitor clicks for the entire MLB! Go Cubs fans!). These fans marked 200 with 5 fouls, 216 with 3, and 113 as having 3 as well.

 

A few caveats with these numbers:

First, they are not numbers from the entire season. As bugs were found I had to reset data, so the numbers here are based on ONLY August and September numbers. If you multiply the numbers by 3 (1/2 of the previous 6 months of baseball), you’ll get a very rough idea of the number of clicks that could have been registered.

Second, take the numbers for what they are. With a small amount of data there’s no guarantee that these numbers will be the same if 1000 balls get registered.

Regardless of the delays and bugs, this first regular season has been a blast for me, a great learning experience and I’ve “met” 100s of new Twitter fans. I hope that everyone will continue to support this app and site and that we can build a larger community—to include not only fans and uber-fans but players, coaches, owners, bloggers and commentators—and find out if there really is a pattern to the underappreciated foul ball. I look forward to the 2014 MLB Season and getting to connect with more fanatics!

Remember: Play outside the lines!