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The top 7 second-screen apps for supplementing your Major League Baseball experience

Michael Ansaldo | March 31, 2015
When Major League Baseball gets underway next week, don't limit your enjoyment to watching the game in person or on your living-room big screen. These days, apps running on a second screen--a smartphone or tablet--are becoming as integral to watching the game as cold beer and peanuts.

Designate your favorite team and you can receive alerts before games and get the latest news and videos about your club sent directly to your ESPN inbox. Best of all, you can use the app as a second screen for other sports after the Fall Classic. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Beyond the Box

Twitter has transformed the way we watch TV, particularly sports, helping us connect in real-time around our favorite teams and most hated rivals. A skillfully curated Twitter feed can make you feel like you're watching the game with your buddies at the neighborhood bar — but sifting through the dross to assemble one can be frustrating and time consuming.

Enter Beyond the Box. This one-dollar app provides a prefab timeline around your favorite sport. Powered by Twitter and Instagram, Beyond the Box pulls from thousands of sources — local and national media, fan blogs, team sites and the players themselves — to surround you with more baseball chatter than a little league ball field. In addition to the general feed for MLB (as well as the NFL, NBA, NHL, and more), you can create a custom news feed around your favorite team that will make their beat writers jealous.

A typical Beyond the Box feed will give you an aggregated stream of tweets, article links, images and videos. A Sunday afternoon snapshot of the MLB feed, for example featured commentary from writers Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark, an article from Baseball America, and a selfie of Toronto Blue Jays Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista driving to spring training in full uniform. All that's missing is the Cracker Jack. (iOS)

iScore Baseball

Scoring a game by hand is a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of baseball; but in our digital age, this pen-and-paper activity could easily go the way of flannel uniforms and Pullman cars.

Thankfully, there's iScore Baseball. This app turns your iPad into a digital scorebook, but you don't have to know any of the arcana of scorekeeping to use it. iScore employs interview prompts to help you track the on-field action. Say the batter grounds out to first base: To record that play, tap the Out button and iScore will ask what kind of out was made. Select Ground Out and the app will ask you to tap on the diamond where the ball was hit and the position that made the out. As you record each play in this manner, iScore translates it all into scorebook speak. After the game, you can generate or email a completed scoresheet, box score, or team stats.

And if the idea of scoring a game for posterity seems quaint now that the web can serve up play-by-play stats for just about any matchup in history, consider that its greater purpose may be keeping you focused on the game amid the distractions of home. (iOS, Android; $10)

 

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