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Best Baseball Apps

Set up your phone or tablet with these useful and fun baseball apps

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Your smart phone or tablet is getting smarter, with more and more applications (or "apps") developed for it seemingly every day. There are apps that provide news and stats, apps that try to augment your experience, apps that are useful to coaches and umpires, and apps that are just plain fun.

A look at the best in each category, with knowledge that there are new apps coming out every day.

Note: iPhone and iPod Touch apps work on iPad. If an app here is listed for iPad, it has a specific iPad app.

For another take on iPhone/iPad app reviews in the baseball category, check out iPod/iPhone guide Tanya Menoni's review.

Best MLB App: MLB.com At Bat

Joe Strupek/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

The 2011 version isn't quite out yet as of late January, but the 2010 version is still available for free at Apple's App Store. It's easily the gold standard, with one live game per day in video, audio play-by-play, in-game highlights, stats, news, pitch-by-pitch updates, etc.

It was $14.99 in 2010, but you get a lot for the money. There's also a stripped-down Lite version for free.

Available for: iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Blackberry

Similar apps: ESPN Scorecenter (free), Pro Baseball Live (free), Sporting News Baseball (free)

Best MLB Stats/News App: FanGraphs Baseball

For you sabermetrics followers, this one is great. It has the game updates, just like the ones above, but adds another layer of stats for those of you who love numbers. If you're a fan of the FanGraphs site, it's worth the download.

Available for: iPhone/iPod Touch ($2.99)

Similar apps: Baseball Trade Rumors ($2.99), Fan Misery Index ($2.99)

Best Game: Home Run Battle 3D

There's no definitive great game yet, and they're mostly targeted toward kids.

You likely don't want or need the deep realism or simulation you'd expect on a computer or console, so my favorite is Home Run Battle 3D (iPhone/iPod Touch, $4.99), which is a home run derby type of game you can play against friends in real time. It's the most fun.

The only one with the MLB license is the MLB World Series franchise, with the latest being 2010 (iPhone/iPod, $1.99). So if it's important to have real teams and players, try it.

A Japanese game with better graphics is Baseball Superstars 2010 (iPhone, iPod, $2.99), which is the best seller. It's also available for Android. It's more cartoony than the rest.

 

Best Scorekeeping App: ESPN iScore Baseball Scorekeeper

Time to put away the pencil and paper for you scorekeepers? Maybe not for most of us, but this is a beautiful product (especially on the iPad) that will likely only get better. You little league scorers can have real-time stats with no go-home-to-compute time. It can even be integrated with Twitter and a webcast. There is a learning curve that goes with it, however. Don't just show up at the opener and download the app that day.

Available for: iPhone/iPod Touch ($9.99), iPad ($9.99)

Similar apps: Gamechanger (free, and definitely worth checking out if you're a league scorekeeper), Pointstreak K-ForCE ($9.99, and a free version), iScoreboard (99 cents), There's no Android scoring app as of Jan. 2010; Gamechanger says one is in development.

Best Umpiring App: Strikeout

Not sure I'd want to be using my expensive iPhone or iPod in my pocket while umpiring a game, but they've developed an app that does essentially the same thing as the ball-strike-out clicker.

Available for: iPhone/iPod Touch ($1.99)

Similar apps: Pitch Count ($1.99), Little League Baseball Pitch Counter (Android, $1.29), Baseball & Softball Rule Books (free)

Best Training App: Baseball Gameplan with Jason Giambi

Yes, it seems odd that a guy on this infamous list has an app designed to help kids learn baseball. But Jason Giambi's name is on the best of a pretty limited selection, at least for now.

Available for: iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad (free)

Similar apps: Baseball Bullpen (iPhone/iPod, $1.99), Baseball Speed (iPhone/iPod, 99 cents)

Other Fun Diversions

Baseball Road Trip: If you're a ballpark-touring type, it's a nice guide. ($1.99, iPhone, iPod Touch)

Ballpark Envi: Basically the same as above, with photos. (99 cents, iPhone, iPod Touch)

D-Crypto Baseball: Fun word puzzles with baseball. ($1.99, iPhone/iPod Touch)

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