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Baseball is the ultimate sport for stat junkies, and Topps Pennant is designed to feed into that obsessive curiosity, serving up 60 years worth of Major League Baseball game and team stats and breaking down box scores into a wickedly attractive little tool. Previously released for the iPad sans the Topps branding, Pennant is back in a brand new universal release that shines no matter which iOS device(s) you rely upon.
Topps Pennant takes the complicated history of six decades' worth of professional hardball and compresses it all down into a slick, intuitive app. Starting up, you'll choose a team -- with separate listings for rebranded squads like the Angels (California, Anaheim, and Los Angeles) -- which then unveils individual seasons, followed by single games and finally a customizable look into each and every play and out from that matchup. It's impressive how much info is packed into such a simple, clean layout, and you can even press play to cycle through the innings' happenings automatically.
On the iPad, the layout is largely similar to what was seen in the now-discontinued original version, with circular representations of games that let you swipe through the plays, as well as a beautiful animated chart that gives each team in the league and division a ball that changes in size depending on win/loss record. The iPhone side of this universal app shakes things up a bit with a portrait-oriented layout and a smaller set of viewing options, but it's just as easy to get to the info you want in a breeze.
Pennant does require an Internet connection, which can be a drag on an iPad or iPod touch, especially if you're sitting at the ballpark without Wi-Fi. Also, it's a shame that the original iPad app has been abandoned and is no longer updated, leaving longtime fans to purchase a second iteration to add iPhone support and the latest seasons' stats. But two dollars is a small price to pay for such breezy access to an ever-updated vault of MLB history.
The bottom line. Topps Pennant stands tall as a triumph of minimalist design with maximum baseball stat nerdery held within.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Packs in a wealth of baseball stats within a tiny, attractive app. Sleek interface tweaked to best utilize both iPad and iPhone. Useful in a pinch for trivia needs.
Requires an Internet connection. Previous iPad-only version is now unavailable, leaving original owners without latest stats or iPhone compatibility.