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A Play Index Subscription is the Ultimate Baseball Fan’s Stocking-Stuffer!

Posted by Neil on December 21, 2012

With the holidays upon us, it might be time to consider making the Baseball-Reference Play Index a stocking-stuffer for the baseball fan in your life.

What's the Play Index? It's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. Using the PI, you can:

  • Search full-season or multi-year totals to find your own custom leaderboards - Look at the entire history of baseball from 1871-2012 with every year, team, and position available, or filter the results in a vast number of ways: by specific years, by age, by first six seasons or last ten seasons, by American League only, by Cubs only, by switch-hitters, by catchers, by outfielder or infielder, by year of debut, but active or retired, by Hall of Famer, by height and weight, by living or deceased, or by a range of common statistical categories. Then sort the results by any common statistic, by the teams with the most players matching that category, by players with the most seasons matching that category, or by most recent, youngest, oldest, final year, or year of debut, and others.
  • Search player game totals - Filtering on any of a dozen or more choices, search for games on a single player level, or on any batter from 1916-2012, or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Totals.
  • Search player games looking for the most consecutive games matching a particular set of criteria - This can be done either on a single player level or on any batter in the last 97 years or on any pitcher. The same can be done for Team Batting or Team Pitching Streaks.
  • Search the records of a specific player - Output a detailed summary and play-by-play list of all events of a specific type from a single year or an entire career. For example, you can see all of Harmon Killebrew's triples or even his outs to the second baseman.
  • Search Batter vs. Pitcher Matchups - This tool presents a complete sortable list of batter or pitcher with totals for every opponent they faced by career or by year. Clicking on the player's name will lead you to a detailed output of their head-to-head plate appearances.
  • ...And more!

Personal Subscriptions to the Play Index still cost just $36 for a year, $6 for a month, or $2 for 24 hours. Subscriptions may only be used by a single user, and there are discounts for users sponsoring at least $35 in pages.

Organizational Subscriptions can be set up for either an unlimited number of users ($600/year), or for up to five users ($125/year).

There are Two Steps to Subscribe to the Play Index:

  1. Login to or create a Sports-Reference.com account (the same account used to sponsor pages).
  2. Already logged in (or just created an account)? Go to our subscription page to sign up.

Our Always-Available Free Trial: Non-subscribers can use the PI's features as much as you like. However, your outputs will be restricted to a limited number of results.

The Play Index comes with a money back guarantee. We will gladly return the unused portion of any Play Index Subscription should you be dissatisfied with the Play Index.

So go ahead, give the Play Index a try -- we're confident that once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, expire21d, Features, Play Index

New Baseball Salary Data 1915-1969 w/ in-place CPI Conversions

Posted by admin on December 20, 2012

We already have some salary data from 1915-1969 period thanks to SABR and Doug Pappas's research, but we are now pleased to add the work of Dr. Michael Haupert. Dr. Haupert is a professor of economics at UW-LaCrosse and he has painstakingly gone through the Hall of Fame's records to find player contract information for nearly 7,000 player seasons.

The next question is always, "Well, Lou Gehrig made $416,000 in his career, what is that worth in 2012 dollars?" So in addition to the added data, we have added a form control to the salary output on player and team pages that quickly converts the player or team's salaries to the equivalent amount in a different decade using the Consumer Price Index (via the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Board). Just select a year and all salaries will be converted to the equivalent amount for that year. For example, in 2012 dollars, Lou Gehrig made $6.6m for his career, or just tad more than the $6.5m Marlon Byrd made last year.

Try it with 1927 Yankees or with Ty Cobb

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Uncategorized

CFB Rivalry Finder

Posted by Neil on December 18, 2012

At the SR/College Football Play Index, we have a feature called the Rivalry Finder that you may not have seen before. Simply put, it will find the complete* history of head-to-games between any two schools.

(* = Within years both schools were classified as "major". To learn more about what that means, click here.)

So if you ever wanted to know how many times, say, Notre Dame and Alabama have faced off (and who won), just run this search in the Rivalry Finder:

Alabama versus Notre Dame

Alabama won 1 game and Notre Dame won 5 games.
Longest winning streak by Alabama: 1 game
Longest winning streak by Notre Dame: 4 games
Most points scored by Alabama: 28 (Oct 4, 1986)
Most points scored by Notre Dame: 37 (Nov 14, 1987)
Largest margin of victory by Alabama: +18 (Oct 4, 1986)
Largest margin of victory by Notre Dame: +31 (Nov 14, 1987)


G Date Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp Diff W L T Streak Notes
1 Dec 31, 1973 Mon Alabama N Notre Dame Ind L 23 24 -1 0 1 0 L 1 Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
2 Jan 1, 1975 Wed Alabama N Notre Dame Ind L 11 13 -2 0 2 0 L 2 Orange Bowl (Miami, FL)
3 Nov 13, 1976 Sat Alabama @ Notre Dame Ind L 18 21 -3 0 3 0 L 3
4 Nov 15, 1980 Sat Alabama Notre Dame Ind L 0 7 -7 0 4 0 L 4 Birmingham, AL
5 Oct 4, 1986 Sat Alabama Notre Dame Ind W 28 10 18 1 4 0 W 1 Birmingham, AL
6 Nov 14, 1987 Sat Alabama @ Notre Dame Ind L 6 37 -31 1 5 0 L 1
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2012.

Check it out as Bowl Season gets started!

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, Features, History, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Tips and Tricks

New Play Index Data: 1916, 1917 and more 1940′s PBP

Posted by admin on December 18, 2012

Thanks to the great folks at RetroSheet we are now able to launch box scores and game logs for 1916 and 1917 and additional play-by-play for 1945-1947 along with additional games found here and there for 1948-1973.

For a full list of our data coverage, check out our Data Coverage page.

I have yet to re-run the full site, so the 1916 A's and 1917 retirees will not yet have links to splits or gamelogs, but that should happen later today or tomorrow.

Box Score Directory (1916-2012)

Note: RetroSheet also has 1915 AL and NL box scores, but not yet Federal League boxes. Given our setup we require a full set to be available before we can publish a year's worth of box scores.

3 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, expire120d, History

Elo Rater Fixed

Posted by Neil on December 13, 2012

Just a quick note that our MLB Elo Rater feature is functional once again. Some users had been reporting a little trouble with it recently, but it should be working now. Feel free to vote once again for the greatest players of all time (and be sure to read up on the way we turn votes into rankings). Enjoy!

UPDATE: We believe we have finally found the error and fixed Elo for good. Let us know in the comments or via email if you have any other problems with it.

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Elo Rater, expire7d, Features

News and Notes

Posted by Justin Kubatko on December 12, 2012

There have been several updates to Basketball-Reference.com over the last few weeks, so I thought I should take some time to summarize them here:

  • I have added partial box scores for the 1981-82 season. We now have complete box scores (box scores with rebounds, assists, etc.) dating back to the 1985-86 season and partial box scores (box scores with field goals, free throws, and points) dating back to the 1981-82 season.
  • Related to the above, I also added partial player game logs and splits for the 1981-82 season.
  • Also related to the first item, I added partial composite box scores for the 1982 playoffs.
  • Thanks to a lot of assistance from Neil Paine, detailed positions (i.e., PG, SG, SF, PF, C) have been added to the team pages. Assigning positions is more art than science, so we've done the best we could with players who did not have an obvious fit. The positions have been "proofed" back to the 1977-78 season, meaning that Neil and I have gone though the data and made sure that each position for each team has no less than 8 percent of the team's total minutes and no more than 32 percent of the team's total minutes. We'll continue to work on this, but for obvious reasons it becomes much more difficult as we go back in time. The detailed positional data will be added to other pages (e.g., the player pages) in the coming weeks.
  • Thanks in part to Pete Palmer, I have added composite box scores for all NBA Finals dating back to 1950. There are some holes in the data: minutes played are missing for the 1952-1954 and 1956 Finals; field goal attempts are missing for the 1950 Finals; rebounds are missing for the 1953 and 1954 Finals; and assists are missing for the 1950, 1953, 1954, and 1957-1959 Finals. If you can help us fill in any of these missing values we would love to hear from you.
  • Finally, we have received many, many complaints about the Elo Player Rater. While we have done our best to block automated voting and other nefarious techniques, there are still some really wacky results (e.g., as I type this Kobe Bryant is ranked outside the top 200). Over the next few weeks I am going to think about the best way to address this, and my hope is to implement some sort of "patch" early in 2013.

Well, that should do it for now. I don't know if I'll be posting again in 2012, so let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy Hairston Jrue Holiday.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com

Automatic Player Linker and Newsfeeds

Posted by Neil on December 11, 2012

This is a reminder about Basketball-Reference's automatic linking tool, which makes it very easy for you to add links to a player's BBR page from your blog posts or news stories. The BBR Linker is a javascript bookmarklet that has a couple of interesting applications:

  1. If you are composing your posts in supported blogging or bulletin board software, clicking the bookmarklet will take the text you have typed and wrap every active player's name with a link to their BBR page. We are happy to add more options if the software you use is not currently supported; just let us know.
  2. If you are on a web page with player names in the text, select the text with your mouse and click the bookmarklet. After a few seconds, links to BBR pages for the player names that appear in the selected text will be automatically added.

Please see the linker page for full instructions and some areas to test the bookmarklet.

By itself this feature is pretty handy, but if you are a site owner you may want something in return for linking to Tim Duncan's or LaMarcus Aldridge's BBR page from your blog posts. We agree, so we have added a feature to return the link back to you.

Those stories are used to populate the "Player News" section just above the player's stats. If you are a blog owner or author, you can use our linker to automatically have your articles added to relevant player pages. If you tag your player names with links to our site — and we can find those links in your RSS feed — we will add a link to your article on the player's page. For example, this Hickory-High post is currently the first link in Derrick Rose's newsfeed.

Please read this description of the service for complete details, including the information that we need from you before you can start to see your content linked from the BBR player pages.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Features, HowTo, Linker

Team Game Finder

Posted by Neil on December 10, 2012

The BBR Team Game Finder is a powerful Play Index tool. Here are some of the things you can do with it:

Single Game mode - Use this to get a list of specific games the meet certain criteria. Clicking the game date will take you to the game's box score.
Example: Biggest single-game scoring margin since 1985-86.

Cumulative Season Games mode - This adds up all the games (within the chosen criteria) for each team-season. Cumulative Season mode basically turns this tool into a "Team Season Finder".
Example: Fewest FG allowed in December games, 1985-86 to 2010-11.

Cumulative Multi-Season Games mode - This totals all the stats (meeting the specified criteria) across all years for each team. You can use it to build franchise leaderboards.
Example: Most points in home wins over the past five seasons.

Season Games mode - Use this to find teams that had the most total games matching a certain criteria in a single season.
Example: Which 1990s single-season team had the most games with 100+ points?

Total Games mode - Use this to find teams that had the most total games matching a certain criteria across multiple seasons.
Example: In the 2000s, which team has the most games where they allowed 85 or fewer points?

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, HowTo, Play Index

Support Basketball-Reference.com, Sponsor a Page

Posted by Neil on December 7, 2012

Sponsoring a page is fun, fast, and easy way to support what we're doing here at Basketball-Reference. With a sponsorship, you can:

  • Show your support for your favorite player or team.
  • Drum up traffic for your own site & draw in fans with a common interest.
  • Get some well-deserved recognition for your support of BBR.
  • Make your voice heard by the tens of thousands of people who visit Basketball-Reference every day.

Here's all you have to do to get involved:

  1. Create a membership account.
  2. Find the page(s) you'd like to support, and click "sponsor" (available pages).
  3. If the page you want is already sponsored, click "Alert Me!" to be informed when the current sponsorship expires.
  4. Follow the instructions to create your message and make your payment.
  5. Your message and links will be visible on the page after we approve them (usually in less than 24 hours).

And who knows, if you're clever enough, your message might end up on lists like these.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Sponsors

Onside Kicks Updated in Play Finder

Posted by Mike on December 7, 2012

Since there's been talk lately of eliminating kickoffs altogether and moving to a "4th and 15"-style play I've updated the Play Finder tool to include onside kick success and percentage in the kicker table. For instance, from 2000-2012 we show 757 onside kicks, with 149 of those recovered by the kicking team for a 19.7% success rate. Contrast that to all 4th and 15 plays since 2000, where we show 21 out of 93 plays converted to either first downs or touchdowns at a 22.6% success rate. Since 4th and 15 attempts are generally a desperation situation against a team that may be playing in a prevent defense (and thus willing to give up the 15 yards in order to keep the offense out of the end zone at all costs), let's look at conversion rates on 3rd and 15: we show a 15.7% success rate in converting those.

Of course one of the primary benefits of the onside kick is the "surprise" onside kick. Broadly defining that as any onside kick NOT in the 4th quarter we see those recovered by the kicking team at a 47.5% rate (though only attempted 158 times in 3381 total games, roughly once every 21.4 games).

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

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