Sports Reference Blog

Introducing Baseball’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 27, 2020

Today Baseball Reference is excited to announce the debut of most powerful set of publicly available research tools in the game. We're calling it Stathead and you can sign up for a free month of access here. These tools may be familiar to some of our users from the Play Index. If you're a current Play Index subscriber, your Play Index login will also work on Stathead. You can try it out here. For some background on this project, please see this blog post from Sports Reference president Sean Forman.

Stathead subscriptions provide access to a suite of tools that allow users to run customized searches through 100+ years of career statistics, season statistics, game statistics, splits and play-by-play. These tools are omnipresent in every press box, broadcast booth, agency and front office in Major League Baseball. We're happy to offer access to these professional tools for the low cost of $8/month. Even better, for a limited time we're offering the first month FREE. For more info on Stathead subscriptions, please click here.

Here's a rundown of some of the tools you'll have access to as a Stathead subscriber:

SEASON/CAREER FINDERS: The Season and Career Finders allow you to search through season stats for every player and team in Major League history (all the way back to the 1871 National Association). You can manipulate various statistical, biographical and status filters to run customized searches for any player or team in MLB history. Find out the greatest rookie season of all time or which batter hit the most home runs in his 30s. There's no limit to what kind of unique nuggets you might unearth with these tools.

GAME FINDERS: Powered by the incredible box score database provided by Retrosheet, the Game Finders allow users to run customized searches through every regular-season box score back to 1904 and and every postseason box score in MLB history. Find out who has the most multi-HR games or which pitcher struck out the most batters in a game on his birthday.

SPLIT FINDERS: The Split Finders allow Statheads to run customized searches on game-level splits (such as home/road, month, ballpark, etc) since 1904 or play-by-play level splits (such as platoon splits, runners on base, inning, etc) since 1918. Find out who hit the best vs lefthanded pitching or which starter was most dominant on the road.

STREAK FINDERS: With the Streak Finders Statheads can search for the longest streaks of games in our box score database, which covers over 100 years of regular-season history and all of postseason history. Find the longest postseason on-base streaks or regular-season winning streaks.

EVENT FINDERS: These tools allow Statheads to search for plate appearances (for batters or pitchers) meeting a given set of criteria and outcomes based on play-by-play that is 100% complete for regular-season games back to 1973 (mostly complete back to 1918) and playoff games all-time (back to 1903). For instance, you can run search for walk-off HRs, inside the park HRs, bases loaded walks, or even just find cumulative averages in a given situation. It's a touch more complicated than the other tools, but the payoff is massive for the Stathead who really wants to generate unique, compelling information.


  • Find matchup stats for any batter vs all pitchers he faced
  • Find matchup stats for any pitcher vs all batters he faced

NEUTRALIZED STAT FINDERS: Ever wondered what Babe Ruth's numbers would look like in Coors Field? Barry Bonds in the Deadball Era? With the Neutralized Stat Finders you can see what any player would look like when plugged into any given run scoring environment and see how they all stack up.

PLAYER COMPARISON FINDERS: Choose up to 6 players and compare their stats for their careers or a selection of seasons.

SITUATIONAL RECORDS: Find historical team records in a given situation, such as best record in 1-run games or most extra-inning losses.

STREAKS: Find the best or worst performances over a given set of games. Like best run-differential over a 50-game span or best record through 100 games played.

RECORDS THROUGH CALENDAR DAY: Choose a day on the calendar and find the best or worst record a team has had through that day in a given season.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORDS: Choose any team and see what their record is against every other MLB franchise.

HEAD-TO-HEAD GAMES: Choose any two teams and get an in-depth look at how they've performed against each other over time.

TEAM COMPARISON TOOL: See how every team in a given season received production in any given statistic from each part of their team.

AD-FREE BROWSING: Every Stathead subscription comes with ad-free browsing on the equivalent Sports-Reference site (so the Baseball Stathead subscription will come with ad-free browsing on Pages will load faster and cleaner this way. We would love if one day we can completely remove ads from the sites and focus entirely on providing users with the statistics, tools and experience they most desire.

This is just the first step of many. We hope to continue to build new tools to constantly make Stathead more powerful and user friendly. We are starting with baseball, but will be adding Stathead subscriptions for other sports in the future. If you notice any issues with Stathead, please let us know. We are keeping the Baseball Reference Play Index up and running (and free) until we have hammered out any issues with the Stathead tools.

Thank you, as always, for your support. It's only because of our loyal users that we're able to continue the labor of love that is maintaining the Sports Reference sites during these unpredictable times. Please be safe and be well.

13 Responses to “Introducing Baseball’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead”

  1. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky Says:

    I'm just curious when the basketball Stathead sites will be live, and whether you'll have NCAA women's stats.

  2. Victor T. Says:


    Does this mean that each sport will have it's own equivalent Stathead website (i.e, stathead equivalent for basketball, football, soccer etc); and EACH of those will have separate subscriptions?

    This doesn't seem like a good idea. Most sports fans are fans of more than one sport. Having to pay for a separate subscription for each sport will make me not subscribe to any, as I don't like choosing one over the other.

    Will there be an omnibus subscription offer that covers multiple sports? Also, I don't like the monthly subscription model. I would rather do an yearly omnibus subscription. Are you considering such an option?


  3. Mike Lynch Says:

    We'll be commencing work on Basketball stathead soon, but I'm guessing it will be after hockey and football. Adding NCAA women's stats would be a separate project. It's something we have considered, and will consider in the future, but NCAA data is generally messy and requires lots of time and resources to accurately maintain, so it's not a decision we take lightly

  4. Mike Lynch Says:

    Hi Victor,

    There will be separate subscriptions for Baseball, Pro Basketball, Pro Football, Hockey and a combo college sub for Football/Basketball. However, if you'd like to subscribe to all of them, the price will only be $16/month. Basically, $8/month for one sport or $16/month for all. We will eventually be adding a yearly subscription option, as well. Thank you for your interest

  5. Simon Says:

    Will subscriptions still work on the other Reference sites until they're switched over? I primarily use baseball but also use basketball a lot.

  6. Joe Schuster Says:

    I thought I had posted this question earlier but since it doesn't show up, perhaps I didn't actually submit it.

    My question was about the fact that it seems you can only submit a query using one statistical parameter (say home runs or batting average or RBIs). Previously Play Index allowed me to submit a query using multiple parameters (say, players with fewer than 100 career home runs but more than 1000 rbi, and with a batting average of .300 or better). But I don't see how I might submit such a query using Stathead. Or am I missing something?

  7. Mike Lynch Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Once you add a statistical filter, the form allows you to keep adding. Whereas on the old Play Index, you were limited to 4 criteria, you can now add up to 10. For instance, here's the search you mentioned as a hypothetical:

    Any further questions, please reach out to us at [email protected] any time

    Thanks for your interest!

  8. John VonBokel Says:

    We will eventually be adding a yearly subscription option, as well.

    Any projections on a timeline or cost for this yearly option?

  9. Mike Lynch Says:

    Sorry no estimates on that yet. Not in immediate plans

  10. Tim Collins Says:

    When will football be available?

  11. Rio McDohl Says:

    Is there an option to download all the query result pages at once instead of having to go through each page?

  12. Mike Lynch Says:

    Probably at some point in August

  13. Mike Lynch Says:

    Not right now, but perhaps in the future