Sports Reference Blog

Why a Major League Player Disappeared from Our Count

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 19, 2023

You may have noticed that, as of the end of the 2023 MLB season, the counter on the front page of Baseball-Reference indicated that there had been 23,115 players in major league history and that that number now says 23,114.

This change is due to the hard work and dedication of the SABR Biographical Research Committee, which continually makes new discoveries about players in the early days of the game, in particular. In this case, a mistaken identity involving a player who caught one inning for the 1900 St. Louis Cardinals has been resolved. Previously, it was thought that this catching appearance was made by Henry Edward Stein. However, it has been discovered via the Sporting News archives (which all SABR members get complementary access to as a membership perk) that the appearance was actually made by Tom Stanton. Stanton also appeared in one game for the 1904 Chicago Cubs, and thus already had a player record. This is why we now show 23,114 all-time major league players instead of 23,115.

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