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Heartbreak never looked so good, Red Sox fans. (Click to embiggen.)
If MLB At-Bat and Baseball Superstars haven’t lured every die-hard baseball fan to the iPad, Pennant is almost certain to rein in any stragglers.
As any fantasy team owner will tell you, baseball is the rare sport that’s as beautiful off the field as on; web gems aside, a scorecard can be extrapolated into a veritable portrait of numbers and letters. With exhaustive thoroughness, Pennant collects some 50 years of these stats with such elegance and simplicity, you’ll never look at a box score the same way again.
There’s nary a picture or video clip to be found inside Pennant, as all emphasis is placed on a circular representation of every play on the field. Outs, hits and runs -- which can be filtered by batter or pitcher -- are portrayed by little more than varying lines that correlate to their respective plays (i.e., outs are short and home runs are long). Even standings are beefed up here -- along with traditional rankings, multisized animated balls are used to show degrees of superiority throughout the season.
25-year-old American League division standings? There’s an app for that. (Click to embiggen.)
Despite its understated appearance, Pennant is not for the casual fan. Without a search field, a working knowledge of baseball history is an absolute necessity, as there’s nothing to indicate a record-setting performance or milestone; for example, the historical significance of the October 8, 1956, World Series game between the Yankees and Dodgers is only distinguishable by the 27 stubby lines revealed when Don Larsen’s name is pressed.
But Pennant’s target audience will have little to quibble about -- save for an annoying bug that always takes you back to July when browsing a season, and its inability to work offline.
The bottom line. Not since Ken Burns has something so great happened to baseball.
iPad running iOS 4.2 or later
Incredible library of games and stats. Exquisite interface.
No offline access. No searching. Doesn’t retain last position when browsing.