Globall - Baseball Hack Day 2018
Platform: Desktop & Mobile Web Browser
Tools: react, next.js, node.js, lahmandb, Sketch, Illustrator, Photoshop
Scope: 6 hours
Roles: Frank Pinzin — Database Programmer / Specialist
Kevin LeClair — Web Applications Programmer
Jason Das — UI & UX Designer
Overview: Globall is a search web portal dedicated to locating past and present Major League Baseball players, where they were born.
Our team came together at this hackathon for the love of baseball. Baseball is not considered as much as a global sport to the levels of saying soccer or basketball. We wanted to showcase the talents of baseball are growing outside the United States, and that some of the greatest players have played for Major League Baseball.
What It Does
Using the Lahman Baseball Database, Globall maps out the birthplace of over 19,000 past and present players to ever play in Major League Baseball. It allows you to sweep across the globe and see active mapping hotspots of high concentration of birthplaces. Globall would allow you to filter by country, year of birth, key position played, and team.
Challenges We Ran Into
We wanted Globall to basically run as “The Google Maps of Baseball”, without the heavy statistics covered by every sports website that covers baseball.
We later ran into issues that Google Maps required latitude and longitude coordinates to accurately place markers, versus city names.
Due to time constraints and processing of data, we limited the search query of the database to process only Ontario, Canada for our prototype to run smoothly.
We didn’t take into account that there could be some duplicate name overlap as discovered during the early test of the web application.
We used Microsoft Bing Image Search to pull MLB headshots for our player profiles. However, the image search results were inconsistent in terms of sizing and image quality. We also overused the image pull results that was limited by Bing. It wasn’t until later from advice from another web developer to scrape the images from Baseball Fangraphs.
Accomplishments That We’re Proud Of
We felt we got a lot done in the allotted 6 hours for design and development. Upon presentation to the judges, we felt we created a great educational and awareness web application that can benefit Major League Baseball’s historical legacy.
What We Learned
The potential for Globall given more time and access to database resources could demonstrate a more robust amount of results. We also took notice of the application to scale Globall not just for Major League Baseball, but other baseball leagues in other countries. Such to the likes of Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and The Caribbean.
Depending on what databases are available to procure, we feel Globall could be a platform applied to other sports such as hockey, basketball and soccer.
What’s Next For Globall
We decided we had a good entry level of the web application, that we will continue to add more to the web application in our free time after the hackathon. We also brainstormed a possible consumer product design that would be great for die-hard and casual baseball fans to give a more interactive aspect to the love of baseball. Other additions we hope to add to Globall is a pop-up overlay on the baseball marker. Incorporation of filters into the top navigation, and a more expanded use of the heat mapping.
After The Hack
I decided to go over Globall with a more polished UI Design proposal. I wanted to capture some elements associated with the game of baseball. I wanted to mimic the aesthetics of old baseball cards. The hope, later on, depending on which country the user was searching, the background would switch to a different regional baseball diamond.