For some, the arrival of spring signifies the return of warmer weather, budding trees, and blooming flowers. For millions of others, it’s a return to hard plastic seats, overpriced concession-stand hot dogs, and the sharp crack of wood hitting leather — or, in layman’s terms, the beginning of baseball season! If you’re a Major League obsessive, check out these apps for tracking your favorite teams and managing your own fantasy roster.
1. MLB At Bat 2013 ($19.99 for the season, or $2.99 monthly)
Despite the hefty price tag, the official Major League Baseball app is a must-have for true baseball fanatics. The app allows anyone to listen to live games, watch video highlights, track schedules, standings, rosters and stats, and get push notifications to remind you when your favorite team is playing. If you’re an MLB.tv Premium subscriber, the app also includes the option to watch every out-of-market game and access video archives of every game from the current season on demand.
2. ESPN Fantasy Baseball (Free)
You may never realize your dream of managing a Major League team, but ESPN’s free Fantasy Baseball app is the next best thing, allowing you to easily juggle multiple fantasy teams and leagues. Start or bench players, manage trades, track real-time stats and scores, and trash-talk your opponents on your league forum, all from your iPhone or iPad. ESPN Insiders have access to additional features, including push notifications to warn you if you have an eligible player benched and spring training reports and expert advice to help you pick a winning team.
3. MLB At The Ballpark (Free)
This free app is an essential companion if you attend games often. A journal section allows you to track and share your ballpark visits — including photos you’ve taken — as far back as 2005. Check schedules, purchase tickets (with Passbook integration for select clubs), and get maps, directions, and parking information for every ballpark. The app integrates with your social media accounts, with check-in rewards offered in some locations. Select parks even allow you to order food and drinks directly from the app, without leaving your seat.
4. Team Stream (Free)
You’ll never be out of the loop with Team Stream, a free sports news aggregator app from Bleacher Report that delivers a personalized news feed for your favorite teams. Push notifications alert you to breaking news as soon as it happens, and with a tap you can share stories with friends via Facebook, Twitter or SMS.
5. Ballpark Envi ($0.99)
Many hardcore fans dream of touring the stadium of every MLB team, but it requires more time and money than most of us have to spare. Ballpark Envi is an inexpensive way to satisfy that yearning, offering a virtual tour of every park for less than a dollar. Gorgeous photos give you a glimpse of the past and present glory of all Major League stadiums coupled with in-depth information on the parks, including seating charts and historical information.