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Explaining the Honus Wagner Career Hits Discrepancy

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 29, 2014

As Derek Jeter continues his climb up baseball's all-time hits list, we have received several inquiries about Honus Wagner's career hit total. We list 3,420, while MLB lists him with 3,430 career hits. While the similarity of the numbers may imply a simple typo, it turns out that the reasons for the one-digit difference are not simple at all.

For an explanation of the history of this deviation, we spoke with Pete Palmer (the source for many of the statistics appearing on this site). Palmer explained that the 1969 Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia was the genesis of the difference. At the time, official NL statistics only went back to 1903. The encyclopedia created new statistics for years prior to that and the changes were approved by an MLB committee set up to rule on various statistics for inclusion in the encyclopedia. However, the Elias Sports Bureau, which is the official statistician for Major League Baseball, never accepted the committee ruling, which leads to some differing numbers between what you see on Baseball-Reference and what you see in official MLB records. Elias, instead, has always used data from the old Spalding Guides.

Pete Palmer (and by extension Baseball-Reference) has preferred to use the Macmillan data*, because daily figures exist to back the numbers up, which allows for the statistics to be proofed for greater accuracy. Here is a year-by-year look at the difference between our totals and the Spalding totals. These are all from Wagner's pre-1903 seasons (Baseball-Reference total listed first):

  • 1897: 81, 83
  • 1898: 176, 180
  • 1899: 196, 197
  • 1900: 201, 201
  • 1901: 194, 196
  • 1902: 176, 177

Another discrepancy that some of you may notice soon is that Baseball-Reference has Cap Anson with 3,435 career hits, while MLB has him with 3,011. While many discrepancies exist with that data, the bulk of the difference is the fact that we count Anson's 423 hits in the National Association, which we believe was clearly a major league.

TL;DR version: Our hit total for Honus Wagner is not a typo. We recognize it does not align with the official total, but we believe it is the most accurate number.

For further reading on some of the issues with official totals in baseball statistics, please read this excellent 2011 post by Retrosheet's Dave Smith.

*The Macmillan data excluded a few games that were protested and replayed in the 1890s. These statistics were included in the NL stats of the day (save for the wins and losses) and Palmer has added these statistics back into the Macmillan data to reflect this.

13 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, History, Leaders, Uncategorized

New Awards Added to Baseball-Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 22, 2014

We have rolled out a couple of new additions to our Awards Page:

The Edgar Martinez Award, recognizing the AL's top DH since 1973 & the Delivery Man of the Year, which recognized MLB's top reliever from 2005-13.

Beginning in 2014, the Delivery Man of the Year will be replaced by a pair of honors named for Mariano Rivera (AL) & Trevor Hoffman (NL).

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Awards, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, History

1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 21, 2014

Baseball-Reference has made the move to dissociate the New York Yankees franchise from the 1901 & 1902 Baltimore Orioles (not connected to the current Baltimore Orioles franchise). This adjustment allows us to fall in line with the Yankees franchise itself and most references including Total Baseball, edited by MLB's official historian, John Thorn, who authored an interesting history of the move. Additionally, Pete Palmer & Gary Gillette, the men behind the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, consider them separate franchises. A few years back, Gillette kindly shared his reasoning with us:

"We discussed this at length when we did the first edition of our new encyclopedia in 2004. IIRC, the deciding factor was that the Baltimore franchise went bust during the season and was turned over to the league. After the season, the league then sold a new franchise to investors in New York City. We felt that wasn't really a relocation or a transfer; it was simply filling the gap in the league that was opened when the Orioles' franchise disintegrated.

Of the 39 players who appeared for Baltimore in 1902, only five appeared for New York in 1903. Jimmy Williams was the regular second baseman for both clubs. Herm McFarland, a utility player in '02, became a regular outfielder in '03. Ernie Courtney played one game for Balto. in 1902, then 25 for NY in 1903. Harry Howell was the only pitcher of consequence to make the transition. Snake Wiltse (4 G in '03) also appeared for both."

 

This move was precipitated by the BAL/NYY joint record approaching the milestone of 10,000 wins, which caused a reassessment of how we approach this move. Some of the results in the play index may still reflect the two franchises as being one, but we will be working to fix that in the near future.

121 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, History

Stadium Histories Added

Posted by Mike on July 21, 2014

The addition of box score data back to 1922 has also helped us fill in our game location data back to 1922, so we have created an index of NFL/AAFC stadiums, from the Alamo Dome to Yankee Stadium. The stadium pages have links to first and last game box scores, as well as career, game, and playoff game leaders for a given stadium (since 1960, the first year for which we have player game stats). This covers nearly the entire history of Lambeau Field and every game played at every other stadium that's currently home to an NFL team (plus Wembley Stadium and the Rogers Centre). And it's fitting that with the park celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, we now have a record of every Bears and Cardinals game at Wrigley Field.

The stadium data has also been added to the player game finder and the team game finder, which will let you search for things like all players to throw 4 or more passing TDs at Gillette Stadium or all Chiefs' Monday night games at Arrowhead Stadium.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Free Baseball-Reference Play Index Access Through July 20th

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 15, 2014

To celebrate All-Star week, we are offering free access to Baseball-Reference's Play Index through July 20th. If you've been curious about purchasing access, but wanted to give the service a trial run first, this is a perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself. Just follow this link and in the coupon code field enter: ASG

Comments Off | Posted in Uncategorized

All-Star Features on Baseball-Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on July 14, 2014

Prepare for Tuesday's 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field with Baseball-Reference's All-Star features:

2 Comments | Posted in All-Star, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, expire21d, Features

Box scores now back to 1922

Posted by Mike on July 11, 2014

In what I can only assume is the biggest sports news of the day, we've added NFL/AAFC box scores with scoring summaries for (almost) every game back to 1922, the first year of the NFL as we know it. Thanks to the combined work of PFRA and our own research, this gives us complete scoring logs for hall of famers like Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, and Otto Graham as well as box scores for games like the first official NFL championship.


Why do I say almost every game? Well, we are still missing detailed summaries for the following games/teams - we know who scored TDs and who kicked XPs, but not when or which XPs were associated with which TDs. If you have any information on any of these games, please let us know!

1922-10-29 | Toledo
Tol - TD - Phelan, Annan, Gozdowski 2, Watson (all runs);
Rousch fumble recovery. XP - Watson, R. Stein, Myers
pass

1922-11-05 | Racine
Rac - TD - Gillo 2, Dressen, Elliott, Foster 2, Sieb 2, Langhoff
(all runs). XP - Gillo, Langhoff, Sieb pass from Langhoff

1923-10-07 | crd
ChiC - TD – Crangle, Driscoll 4, King, Mohardt, R. Horween
(all runs); Kiley pass from Driscoll. XP – Driscoll 3,
A. Horween 2, King

1924-10-26 | Cleveland
Cle - TD - Noble 3 (2 runs, pass from Workman); Jones run;
Wolf pass from Roberts; Chamberlin pass from Roberts;
Tanner run; Lyman fumble recovery. XP - Workman 3;
Roberts; Lyman. FG - Workman 2

1924-11-08 | Frankford and Kansas City
Fra - TD - Way run; Storer run; Haws pass from Storer; Doyle
pass from Hamer; Sullivan run; Hamer run. XP - Welsh 3. FG - Welsh
KC - TD - Corgan pass from Andrews. XP - Andrews

1926-11-20 | Frankford
Fra - TD - Jones 3 runs, Moran run, Bruder run. XP - Budd 3,
Bruder, Hogan

1929-10-13 | Boston
Bos – Wentworth 3 (2 passes from Stockton, 1 punt return);
Latone 2 (runs); Kittredge 1 (interception). XP - Wentworth 5.

1934-11-06 | Philadelphia
Phil – TD – Hanson 3 (2 run, 1 int), Storm (run), Matesic (rec),
Ellstrom (run), Kirkman (rec), Carter 3 (rec). XP – Weiner
3, Kirkman or Matesic. [TDP – Matesic 2, Ellstrom,
Weiner 2]

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Corrections to 1994 Pacers Playoff Statistics

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 20, 2014

It recently came to our attention that there are some conflicting scores listed by various sources for Game 6 of the 1994 Pacers/Hawks Eastern Conference Semifinals series. This prompted some digging here. As a result, we have changed our score, from 97-79, to a 98-79 final. The extra point has been awarded to Antonio Davis for making 1 of 2 FTA in the 4th quarter.

However, this also led to our discovery that some of the "official" playoff totals for the 1993-94 Pacers are not correct. They are "officially" credited with 1,444 points in the 1994 Playoffs, but if you add up all of their scores, you will get 1,445. Similarly, Antonio Davis is "officially" credited with 134 points in the 1994 Playoffs, but if you add up his game logs, you will get 135.

It is our belief that the 98th point we were missing from our Game 6 score has gone unaccounted for in NBA stat totals for the last 20 years. As such, we are adjusting the Playoff scoring totals for the 1994 Pacers. The team will now be credited with 1,445 Playoff points (rather than 1,444) and Antonio Davis with 135 Playoff points (rather than 134). Additionally, 1 FTM and 2 FTA have been added to the Pacers' total (all credited to Davis).

Thanks to this correction, Davis has moved past Larry Foust for sole possession of 219th place on our NBA all-time Playoff scoring list. Congratulations, Antonio!

 

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Playoffs, Statgeekery

Roster Status Added to 2014 Team Pages – Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on June 19, 2014

Per a user suggestion (keep the good ideas coming), we added some roster denotations to the current season team pages. Take a quick scan of this screen capture of the 2014 A's batting stats.

Screenshot 2014-06-19 09.26.59

We've always had this data on the 40-man roster pages, but this brings it to the main team pages. Bold players are on the current active roster (should be 25 per team), then for the inactive, we list whether they are on the DL or if not on the DL, we list if they are still on this team's 40-man roster. If they aren't DL'ed (by the team shown) or on the 40-man, they have nothing listed. This likely means that they've been released, waived or traded, or as in Daric Barton's case, they've been DFA'ed and sent to the minors.

2014 Oakland Athletics Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Uncategorized

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