Posted by Mike Lynch on February 16, 2018
Thanks to the efforts of our friends at Retrosheet, we have added box scores back to the 1908 season to Baseball Reference (previously, our coverage went back to 1913). Additionally, we have added play-by-play coverage for games games as far back as 1925. Previously, our oldest play-by-plays were from 1930. In addition to the boxes and PBPs themselves, this update allows for a variety of new information searchable in the play index, as well as new rows of information in team/player/league statistics tables.
Here are some examples of the new information/searches available on the site.
- We now have Play-by-Play for much of Babe Ruth's final 11 seasons. This means we now have (incomplete) data on how Ruth fared against pitchers from 1925-35.
- With box scores back to 1908, we now have game logs for the entirety of Shoeless Joe Jackson's career.
- Additionally, incomplete splits have been generated for player seasons from 1925 to 1929. So you can now see that Ruth had a 1.304 OPS in his 161 PA with RISP that we have PBP for in 1928.
- Curious for perspective on those splits? The Split Finder tool now includes splits generated by the new Play-by-Play, as well. We have 27(!) seasons in the database where someone had a higher OPS w/ RISP than Ruth's 1.304. So splits determined by Play-by-Play are searchable back to 1925 and more basic split data (home/away, month, etc) are searchable back to 1908.
- League-wide batting splits and pitching splits have been fleshed out with the new play-by-play data back for the years 1925-29.
- Batting Game Finder and Pitching Game Finder searches are now opened up back to 1908. 1908 featured a grand total of two multi-HR player games. Rube Waddell led pitchers with six double-digit strikeout games in 1908.
- Batting and Pitching Event Finder searches have also been opened up back to 1925. Here's all the walk-off hits in 1925 for which we have PBP, for instance.
- Searches in the player and team streak finders now go back to 1908
- Team Inning summary pages have been fleshed out (as much as PBP allows) back to 1925. Same with Batting Order Position statistics.
- Win Probability, Baserunning Situational and Batting Against tables are all available back to 1925 now, as well (though please bear with us as some of these pages are still generating themselves).
One interesting thing to note with the addition of the new box scores is that we now have boxes on the site from before Earned Runs were an official statistic (1913 in AL, 1912 in NL). We're still wrestling a bit with how to present this data. Some of the games from the pre-official era have earned runs listed thanks to Retrosheet research, but most do not. This could lead to some wonky Play Index searches for ER and UER from 1908-12. As such, we will likely restrict those years for those searches, but will keep them intact in box scores.
If you have any questions about our data coverage, you can always see it here.
We're very excited about these new additions and hope you enjoy them, as well. Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns
And thanks again to Retrosheet!