Spreadsheets – As If Ballhawking Weren’t Nerdy Enough…

Like many baseball aficionados, I like stats.  I also like cataloging things and organizing them – given that the subject/object piques my interest.  Not only do I keep all of my baseballs organized in bins – I have given up, for the time being, placing each one in a ball cube – but I also catalog them in one of my favorite Microsoft Office products, an Excel spreadsheet!

Cataloging all of my mini-trophies in this detailed spreadsheet not only serves my compulsive side, but it acts as a back-up to the powerful and very reliable myGameBalls website.  I have never known this site to crash or lose data, but heaven forbid anything should happen, I have a powerful and extensive backup for my records.

Many of the fields used on my spreadsheet can easily correspond with a field on the myGameBalls site, while a few are purely added for my pleasure and analytic needs.  I figured, since I have a goal of 100,000 words on this blog during 2013, I would go ahead and give you a glimpse into my database.

***If you want a copy of this spreadsheet for your very own, feel free to: a) create your own or b) ask me for a blank copy if you don’t want to start from scratch.***

Tab 1 – Ball Log:

Ball Log Tab

You may want to click on the picture and zoom in.  This is obviously does not show the entire log of baseballs, as I scrolled down to the end, but it does give you a good look at what type of information I record.  The first few columns are very standard fields, detailing the game info, where in the stadium the ball was snagged, and who was the last person to touch the ball before it landed in your glove.  In addition to the standard info, I also include a bit of game details, like who won the game and what the score was; not to mention “Additional Game Notes” which is used when I receive a gamer (detailing the circumstances/play of that ball) or a notes about a special ball (like a commemorative, etc.).

I find that having all of this data matches up very nicely to the myGameBalls site.  While the website is great to compare yourself against other ballhawks, it is limited by pre-selected options to dice your own stats.  As I find it helpful to look at my past history in order to plan out future endeavors, I created…

Tab 2 – Pivots:

Pivot Tab

While the log is helpful to track the past, the pivot tab shows all the data in a nice (and somewhat neat) visual that can be applied for future games.  If I am planning on going to a Twins/White Sox game at Target Field, I can look at the different pivots and find out how I have done in the past, see who has provided me with a ball or two, and even go back to the first tab and filter further if needed.

The Results:

I don’t know how much this has actually improved my ballhawking, but it definitely makes me feel like I have a competitive edge.  Plus, when I get to the end of the year, it’ll be simple to filter, slice and dice, and hand out my awards/favorites due to the ease of my handy spreadsheet.

Important: As I do not wish to jinx myself – and I never COUNT on receiving another ball – I NEVER (EVER!) enter the number of the next ball on my “Ball Log” tab.  As confident as I may be that I will never get shutout in the future, I do not count my eggs before they are hatched… and out of harm’s way… and fully protected from foxes and other predators.

Anybody else out there that has a spreadsheet/database for their collections?  I have been pondering switching over to an Access database, but my limited knowledge/comfort with Access has hindered any progress.  Maybe during the 2013-14 offseason…

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4 thoughts on “Spreadsheets – As If Ballhawking Weren’t Nerdy Enough…

    • I had to do a separate one for the 394 ball… it’s such a unique ball that I HAD to make a separate bucket in order for it to stick out from the regular “BP/Outside of Park” crowd.
      I kind of figured I wasn’t the only one that had a love for spreadsheets AND a ballhawk. I’d love to see how similar Greg and Erik’s sheets are someday.

      PS: I heard a low rumble at Target Field and I could have swore that it was the stadium saying, “I miss Mateo.”

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