Happy Birthday And Merry Christmas, Sean Forman

If you don't know who Sean Forman is, you should. And if you've ever used baseball-reference.com, you've used his creation, perhaps without knowing who was behind it all.

In just a few short years, Sean Forman's site has made all the printed encyclopedias museum pieces. Since he started updating the site on a daily basis last year, it's been my go-to site for both current and past statistics. Since it now has complete play-by-play game accounts (thanks to Retrosheet, and we should also thank Dave Smith and his Retrosheet volunteers for all their hard work in compiling this data), you can now put together historic comparisons between present-day players and just about anyone who's played in the last half-century.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Sean and his site; I simply wouldn't have as much access to baseball statistics without it.

Naturally, a site like that doesn't run for free. Sean doesn't know I'm doing this, and I wasn't solicited for this plug (although we have been discussing this among the SBN baseball bloggers on our in-house email list), but I'm posting this to say that if you, too, find bb-ref useful, that you find a page or two to sponsor. The sponsorships start as low as $2. I personally (with BCB as the link) sponsor six pages, including three player pages:

Angel Guzman

Sean Marshall

Carlos Marmol

Two Cub team pages: 1967 and 1984. (1984 may not show up for a day or so because I just signed up for that page yesterday.)

And, the page for major leaguers who went to my alma mater, Colgate University. Yes, there were some -- 13 in all, actually, which is a significant number to a Colgate student or graduate, since there were 13 men who founded the school -- although none since 1963 (and Colgate doesn't even have a baseball team any more). Ebba St. Claire was the best of them, catching parts of four seasons in the 1950's; if the name sounds familiar, his son is Randy St. Claire, who pitched (mostly) for the Montreal Expos in the 1980's and who is now the pitching coach for the Washington Nationals.

In any case, 'tis the season. Buy Sean and his site a small birthday (today happens to be his birthday, according to Facebook) or Christmas gift, a token of all of our appreciation for his fantastic site.

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