MLB web sites: A look back

I got to playing around with the Internet Wayback Machine tonight and wondered what some of the MLB web sites I go to on a regular basis looked liked in the olden days.  And by “olden days”, I mean at the beginning of this decade. 

MLB teams at that point, were still responsible for maintaining their own websites; they weren’t under the MLB.com umbrella like they are now. 

Let’s get started.  All thumbnails of the web sites from 2000 click to a larger image:

 

cubs.com on May 20, 2000

 

Welcome to the Official Website of the Chicago Cubs!_1232687226721I don’t know why I chose this particular date for the Cubs.  They were dead last in the NL Central and they had just gotten beat by the Cardinals 4-2.  But it’s a good sample nonetheless. 

Vivid blues and reds.  And hey, they have a Multimedia section complete with a “Cubs Cam”.  Back then, folks could bid on a Ernie Banks flag or a VIP tour of Wrigley. 

I noticed a link to the Trib’s sister organization (or were they back then?) ChicagoSports.com.  Also in the sidebar a link for Yahoo Broadcast (??).

 

whitesox.com June 20, 2000

 

cws

The Sox’ slogan was ‘The Kids can Play’. On this date, the Sox were holding on to first place in the AL Central.  James Baldwin was off to a 5-0 start. 

They had a pretty decent web site too, in my opinion.  Of course, it’s easy when your colors are black and white. 

To follow the Sox games live, you could listen to the Live Audio or choose DiamondCast whatever that was. 

Hey! Wllie Wonka Kids’ Day is (was) May 14th.

 

But the kicker for me was…

 

majorleaguebaseball.com on June 20, 2000

 

Yes, I went to mlb.com.  At the turn of millennium, that domain name belonged to the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius L.L.P.  Sometime in the month of October 2000, the domain changed hands and mlb.com began redirecting to Major League Baseball’s web site. 

redirect

Most likely tired of fielding requests of “where’s the baseball?”, Morgan Lewis did offer the above image link at the bottom of their site.

mlb

For the time being though, majorleaguebaseball.com was where folks would go to get their baseball info. 

Suggested bandwidth speeds for video downloads were in the modem range i.e. 56.6, 28.8, oh yeah ISDN too). 

I noticed that Jonathan Mayo (who I think heads up mlb.com’s minor league coverage now) was doing the Fantasy Baseball bit back then. 

One that should make Teddy Ballgame happy:  their poll at the time was “How far will the White Sox go this year?” 

The year 2000 was Summer Olympic time and the idea of ridding baseball and softball was probably just being discussed in the boardrooms.  Meanwhile, majorleaguebaseball.com was covering that year’s manager Tommy Lasorda and his preparations. 

Despite team’s having autonomy over their own web content, majorleaguebaseball.com did provide a drop down link to all team’s websites.

mlbStats
A quick snippet of the 2000 stats page…
Standingsmlb … and the standings page.

 

Nine years doesn’t seem like a long time but in Internet time it’s forever.  With the advent of the MLB Advanced Media, the web presence of professional baseball has come a long way… mostly in the right direction. 

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