Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Wikipedia Signpost report: Bats and gloves

This was a draft for a blog post that has since been published at

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  • ...Wikipedia Signpost report: Bats and gloves
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Photo of Maury Wills, Milton Berle, Jimmy Piersall and Willie Mays in a salute to baseball on the television program The Hollywood Palace.

Last month on Wikipedia Signpost, the English Wikipedia community-written newsletter, talked with three members of WikiProject Baseball: users Go Phightins!, Wizardman and isaacl. A WikiProject is a team of contributors who aim to improve Wikipedia articles on a specific topic. Every WikiProject has a special focus area (for example, American history) or a particular task (such as, proofreading recently created pages). In this case, the subject is baseball.

Like most Wikipedia editors, WikiProject contributors are motivated by a great passion for a given topic. Perhaps user Go Phightins embodies this devotion best. “Baseball is a sport that I really enjoy and is the namesake of my username, as a matter of fact ,the Philadelphia Phillies are known colloquially as the Phightin Phils.” For contributors, WikiProject baseball is not just a way to contribute to baseball-related articles, it’s also a place to talk all things baseball with other liked-minded individuals, explains user issacl. “Discussions on the project talk page are generally constructive and embody a cooperative spirit, which keeps editors interested.”

Wrigley Field April 13, 2005
As you can most likely tell baseball at Wrigley Field is a truly awesome experience.

Every WikiProject has its own peculiarities specific to that topic. For example, WikiProject cities has to keep a constant watch for changing factors within a city like population or transportation. WikiProject Baseball is no different in its constant efforts to maintain baseball articles as up-to-date as possible - especially during the active season. “One of the most crucial aspects of the project is stat updates and vandalism watches to articles, especially on current players,” explains Go Phightins. Maintenance gets particularly busy during times of great commotion, like the trade deadline midway through the season. “There is rampant speculation within the media about baseball players and transactions between teams, so upholding the principle of Wikipedia by refuting speculative edits while at the same time remaining committed to being an encyclopedia anyone can edit is a time-consuming, but ultimately worthwhile task.”

Though this may all seem like a lot of work, rewards come in the form of knowing that you’ve contributed to the collective knowledge on a topic that is important to you - and occasionally you might get a featured article out of it too. Wizardman and go Phightins both have enjoyed having some of their articles featured. Go Phightins explains, “Jim Thome, my one and only featured article, played Major League Baseball for 20+ years and reached featured status after more than a year of work. I thoroughly enjoyed working on his article, as he was one of my favorite players back when he was a member of the Phillies and really is a ‘good guy.’” Wizardman adds, “I've contributed several ‘Featured Articles' and ‘Good Articles’ over my time. Greatest is tough to say, but it would be between Bob Feller, which was already a ‘Good Article’ that I completely modified to get through to ‘Featured Article’ status and Harmon Killebrew, which was a stub I suggested as a collaboration that eventually progressed from ‘Good’ to ‘Featured.’”

When asked what else they wanted to share Go Phightins wanted to stress the good natured environment of WikiProject Baseball. “The editors at WikiProject Baseball are an awesome group of folks with whom to collaborate on articles, but perhaps more importantly, are dedicated to enforcing Wikipedia policy with tact and excellence in dealing with new and clueless contributors (a group of which I was once a member).” Wizardman jokingly adds, It's both a great and easy project to get involved in, even if you like the [rival team] you're still welcome!” If you find yourself fond of baseball, interested in sports stats and looking for a great community to share mutual interests, then WikiProject baseball might be for you. User isaacl puts it simply, “With the state of baseball analysis ever-improving, competition in MLB continues to be fierce, and we are the beneficiaries—enjoy the season!"

For more info on WikiProject Baseball, read the full interview on the Signpost, or go to the WikiProject’s overview page.

Report by Carlos Monterrey, communications associate for the Wikimedia Foundation

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