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Hardball Passport Tracks Every Baseball Game a Fan Has Ever Attended

By Justin Breen | April 29, 2014 6:46am
 Logan Square resident Kyle Whelliston is a co-founder of Hardball Passport, a website that lets baseball fans track the stadiums they attend.
Hardball Passport
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LOGAN SQUARE — Kyle Whelliston's first baseball memory was of his father buying him a hot dog at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park in 1981.

With the website he helped create, the Logan Square resident now has the ability to digitize the experience.

Whelliston, 40, is the co-founder of Hardball Passport. The site lets users track every baseball game they've ever attended, plus create a Bucket List for stadiums they'd like to visit. It also has stored the box scores from every Major League Baseball game since 1975.

"When you first go to a game, you're kind of overwhelmed by the experience," Whelliston said. "You kind of forget who's playing, what the score was. That's what's so neat about this site: You can find that information."

 Logan Square resident Kyle Whelliston is the co-founder of Hardball Passport.
Logan Square resident Kyle Whelliston is the co-founder of Hardball Passport.
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Kyle Whelliston

Justin Breen talks with DNAinfo Radio about Hardball Passport:

Hardball Passport features Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field and other MLB parks, but also every minor league stadium. There's even a trip planner that, after users input two dates and two points on a map, shows what games are being played during those days and locations.

"We're trying to give reasons for people to get off the couch and go to the game," said Whelliston, who moved to Chicago five years ago.

Co-founder Peter Robert Casey said Hardball Passport launched April 1, and fans have logged in more than 56,000 games.

"It's still a baby, but it's doing well so far," Casey said.

The aim is for the site to eventually make money.

"We're looking to make this a sustainable business by working with an exclusive sponsor and ultimately adding another [serious] layer of personalized stats, where users pay a nominal annual fee," Casey said.

Casey, a Brooklyn native who lives in the Bronx, teamed with Whelliston last year to create the similar Basketball Passport. Casey, who has a master's degree from Columbia University, said similar websites for football and hockey will be released in August and October, respectively, with a site encompassing the four major sports potentially coming next year. Whelliston said an app for iPhones and Androids is in the works as well.

Deadspin founding editor Will Leitch, who served as a consultant for the site, called Hardball Passport "an absolute must for every baseball fan."

Whelliston also is a DJ on CHIRP Radio, hosting the Foxbase Gamma show that discusses music made in Chicago. In addition, he has blog about global pop music called popbomb.

He has known Casey for several years, when Whelliston was a journalist covering basketball and Casey was employed by the New York Knicks. Last year, Casey presented the "Sports Passport" idea to Whelliston, who has two decades of website development experience. For the last seven years, he also has owned The National Statistical Concern LLC, which packages statistics in a user-friendly form.

"Peter chose me for this because I have Web development experience and the stats background," Whelliston said. "It's so great because the site is your fan experience: past, present and future."