Tag Archives: flip flop fly ball

For-Real Interviews: Craig Robinson

In America, baseball is, sadly, often seen as the brussels sprouts of sports: something that must be consumed because it’s good for you. Many people view the sport as obligation rather than entertainment, something you are required to take your kids to during the summer because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Those who wax poetic about the game’s virtues can sound a bit like enthusiasts of quaint hobbies, like scrimshaw or silhouetting. The game is so fraught history and tradition and baggage that it seems impossible to say anything new about it.

Or maybe it just someone with a fresh perspective to say them. Enter Craig Robinson, an English illustrator whose love affair with the game was kindled by a trip to Yankee Stadium while in New York on business back in 2005. Not long after that, as his baseball fandom grew, he began to ponder questions that may not have occurred to someone who grew up with the game. Like, what is the actual monetary value of all the bases “stolen” during a major league season? Or how would A-Rod’s salary look if dispensed in pennies and stacked on top of one another? Or how long did it take to assemble, then disassemble, the 1986 Mets? Or what would the box score look like in a playoff game between the Wu Tang Clan and the E Street Band?

Robinson decided to answer these questions and many more at his site, Flip Flop Fly Ball, in gorgeously streamlined infographics. They are elegantly simple, packing enormous amounts of information into their space while not appearing remotely cluttered. They are works of art that beg to be seen write large, and that’s just what’s happened with the release of Flip Flop Fly Ball, a fantastic book that collects some of Robinson’s best work from the site, along with new items and essays on his evolution as an unlikely baseball fan. It is the kind of book that justifies the invention of the coffee table.

The author was kind enough to answer a few of my queries about his path to baseball fandom, the Mexican League, and what he would do with his favorite team. Answers to those questions and more after the jump.

Continue reading For-Real Interviews: Craig Robinson

Warm Thoughts for a Cold Winter: Flip Flop Fly Ball

I wrote about Flip Flop Fly Ball last June, but in case you missed it the first time ’round, why not check it out? Flip Flop Fly Ball is a site where artist Craig Robinson creates baseball-centric infographics. The latest: a visual representation of how Alex Rodriguez’s annual salary would look if converted to pennies and stacked on on top of the other. So simple, and yet, so profound.

But I think my favorite feature of the site remains its 8-bit header, a Nintendo-esque graphic that contains many references to famous baseball icons past and present, real and fictional. The Shea Stadium home run apple, the old Yankee Stadium Schaefer Beer sign, the White Sox emerging from the corn field…it’s amazing that someone can evoke these things with such a limited palette. Kudos, sir.

Your Math Teacher Was Right: Graphs Can Be Fun!

I have no idea how this escaped my notice up until this point. But I’ve seen several people post and/or tweet about it in the past few days, so allow me to jump on the bandwagon way too late.

This thing is a site called Flip Flop Fly Ball, wherein artist Craig Robinson has created a whole slew of awesome baseball-related infographics. These graphs answer such questions as, how long did it take to assemble (and disassemble) the 1986 Mets? If bases were literally stolen, how much would it cost each team? How do the Indians reflect the Native American population of Cleveland? (As you might guess, not very much.)

And the best one of all: a complete box score for “an Eastern Division Tiebreaker Game that Exists in My Head” between the Wu-Tang Clan and the E-Street Band. As you might expect, the starting pitchers were RZA and The Boss.

This just scratches the surface. There’s a buffet of awesomeness here–including an 8-bit page header with many subtle nods to baseball touchstones both real and fictional (see if you can figure out what “game” is referenced on the scoreboard). So click and enjoy.