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Span of Games Searches Enhanced in Play Index Game Finders

Posted by Mike Lynch on September 12, 2014

Just a quick post to announce that we've rolled out an enhancement to the Play Index Game Finders (comprised of Player Batting, Playing Pitching, Team Batting & Team Pitching Game Finders).

Previously, subscribers could customize their searches by a team's first "x" games. Now, you can also select a player's first "x" career games or a span of career games from "x" to "y." Additionally, team games can also be searched using any span from "x" to "y" within a season.

If the above made little sense, here's a few concrete examples of searches that can now be completed:

We hope you enjoy these new tools as much as we do. If you're not already a subscriber, but are interested in the Play Index, you can subscribe here for less than a dime per day.

8 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, Play Index, Uncategorized

Your One-Stop Resource for 2014 College Football Data

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 29, 2014

With the 2014 college football season upon, just a few reminders on where to find info for this season:

If you have any questions about where to find something or if you encounter any issues, please let us know here.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, Data, Play Index, Uncategorized

Dive Into Our Stats with the Play Index This Season

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 29, 2014
The Play Index is the name we use to refer to PFR's collection of top-notch research tools. Read below for more information on some of the applications we have made available to you.

Search all plays from 1998 to today to find performances that match your criteria. Answer questions like…

Player Season Finder

Search through player season stats spanning from 1920 to today for single seasons or combined seasons that match your criteria. Answer questions like…

The answers to these questions and many, many more are at your fingertips using the Player Season Finder.

Player Game Finder

Search through player game logs spanning from 1960 to today for games that match your criteria. You can find…

With the Player Game Finder, the possibilities are almost endless.

Player Touchdown Finder

Search through every touchdown scored from 1920 to today for scores that match your criteria. Did you know…

Impress your friends and come up with your own "Did You Know" with a little help from the Player Touchdown Finder.

Team Game Finder

Find team games or seasons matching certain criteria. Did you know…

Player Streak Finder

Find the longest player streaks matching certain criteria. Did you know...

Team Streak Finder

Find the longest team streaks matching certain criteria. Did you know...

Super Bowl Play Finder

Search through every play in Super Bowl History.

Draft Finder

Search through every NFL and AFL draft pick.

Find head-to-head results and also find games matching a particular score.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized

New Football Features for 2014

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 29, 2014

With football season once again upon us, we figured users that have been away from the sites in the offseason could use a refresher on some changes/updates. We remained hard at work in the offseason rolling out a series of new features & improvements for users to enjoy this season:

We hope everyone finds these new features useful this season.

 

15 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized

The Complicated History of RBI

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 6, 2014

If you have spent an extended amount of time on Baseball-Reference, you have likely noticed that some of our RBI totals do not match what you will see on some other sites. A notable example would be none other than George Herman Ruth. We list him with 2,214 career RBI, with a career high of 168 in 1921. Many sources, however, credit him with 2,213 career RBI and a season high of 171 in 1921.

How can there be any dispute over how many runs the most iconic player in the history of baseball drove in?

We're glad you asked.

It might come as a surprise to some, but RBI was not an official statistic until 1920, which was Ruth's first season with the Yankees. And even then, Rule 86, Section 8 was remarkably vague from 1920-30, instructing official scorers only that:

"The summary shall contain: The number of runs batted in by each batsman."

That left plenty of room for interpretation of the scoring rule. In the absence of a strict definition, official scorers across the league were inconsistent in what they considered an RBI. This inconsistency polluted numbers for a decade, despite the fact that the statistic was finally "official."

It wasn't until 1931, when Rule 70, Section 13 made the definition more explicit, that a uniform policy for counting RBI existed:

"Runs Batted In are runs scored on safe hits (including home runs), sacrifice hits, outfield put-outs, infield put-outs, and when the run is forced over by reason of the batsman becoming a base-runner. With less than two outs, if an error is made on a play on which a runner from third would ordinarily score, credit the batsman with a Run Batted In."

While this definition has seen some tweaks over time, for the first time official scorers had a clear definition of what should count as an RBI (though tabulation errors were still an issue in a pre-computerized era).

With RBI not tracked by official scorers, where do the pre-1920 RBI numbers come from? Here is a breakdown of the history of various RBI sources.

These RBI numbers have been used in various encyclopedias over the years and have served as the basis for further research done by SABR members. This research, where 5-7 newspaper accounts are looked at for each game in order to deduce RBI, often proves earlier reconstructions (and official totals) wrong. This leads to the volatile nature of early RBI numbers. A well-detailed account of this process by SABR's Herm Krabbenhoft can be found here, showing how he meticulously worked through Ruth's career RBI totals.

These thoroughly researched corrections eventually make their way to Baseball-Reference via Pete Palmer's data after they have been sufficiently vetted, which is why you will see discrepancies between our numbers and what you see in some other places. We have full confidence that when such alterations are made, that we are putting forward the best possible data generated by countless hours of expert research.

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

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.

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

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

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

Search for Walkoff Wins/Loss in Game Finders – Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on May 23, 2014

I'm not sure why it took me 8 years to do this, but you can now search for walkoffs in the game finder play index tools.

Using the game finder you can find all of the walkoff wins and losses for your team. Using the controls at the top you can even see who's had the most walkoff wins or losses in a season. Please keep in mind that this is 100% complete back to 1974 and then will get progressively less complete back to 1940, though still pretty good. You can always check our coverage page to figure out what might be missing. When searching for walkoffs, we will also print out the type of play and the batter and pitcher involved, since we know that's what you want to see.

Screenshot 2014-05-23 16.51.01

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Play Index, Statgeekery, Uncategorized

Pitchers in the Field and At the Plate added to Batting Game Finder– Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by admin on May 21, 2014

Folks seemed to like the hitter's pitching option, so I've added a pitcher's in the field option. Check the box shown below and then click the set of positions you want above to see an output. For instance, get a list of PH home runs by pitchers.

Screenshot 2014-05-21 17.04.12

Batting Game Finder -- - Baseball-Reference.com.

Time to complete: 5 minutes

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

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