Thursday, January 15, 2009

Past Products: Franklin Fantasy Baseball Analyst

Looking through an old preview guide from 1994 that I just recently acquired, I came across this excellent two-page advertisement for the Franklin Fantasy Baseball Analyst. Franklin is probably best known for those pocket electronic dictionaries that all of us geeky kids thought were way-too-cool in the sixth grade (like calculator watches, for some reason), but apparently they started branching out into "digital books" around this time, and this Fantasy Baseball Analyst was one of their "books" (or "software") available.

(click on image to see full-size)

With the Franklin Fantasy Baseball Analyst, you can: (remember, this is 1994)
  • View career stats for all current major league players
  • Query the data for specific stats, such as "What middle infielders in 1993 had at least a .250 average, 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases?"
  • Rank players by any combination or ratio of two dozen performance categories
  • and more...
In all seriousness, I think this was a pretty cool product for its time. If I had had the means (and if I hadn't been 13 years old), it would've been a tempting buy. The price is a little steep, though. If it were merely $49.95 , then I wouldn't be complaining, but $49.95 a month for five months does push it pretty far. It does come with a free All-Star break data update, though, and that "charter renewal rate" of $49.95 per year does seem enticing...

I wouldn't mind finding one of these on ebay, though, and playing around with it. The closest I can find right now are this baseball encyclopedia and this Digital Book System (without the Fantasy Baseball Analyst). I wonder how many of these they even sold.

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