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Sports Reference Purchases the Databases of Pete Palmer, Ken Pullis, and Gary Gillette

24th February 2021

February 25, 2021

Sports Reference LLC is pleased to announce that they have purchased the historical, statistical databases of Pete Palmer, Ken Pullis and Gary Gillette. This includes full historical databases for

Major League Baseball,
the National Basketball Association,
the National Hockey League, and
the National Football League.

Since their launch in 2000, the Sports Reference sites have presented and relied upon the groundbreaking and painstaking work of Palmer, Pullis and Gillette. Palmer’s pioneering work in baseball statistics has made his database the gold standard in the field, and his work with John Thorn on the Hidden Game of Baseball and Total Baseball is legendary. Pullis’s award-winning work in the field of pro football statistics formed the basis for the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia--the last pro football encyclopedia ever printed. Gillette created and edited the ESPN Baseball and Pro Football Encyclopedias and compiled a set of unique MLB databases for subjects like the Disabled/Injured List that previously had never been covered.

We are excited that we will now be the stewards of these databases. We intend to build upon Ken, Pete and Gary's extraordinary work. At Sports Reference, our purpose is to answer questions, so our users can grow their appreciation, understanding, and love of the game. Owning these databases will allow us to continue doing that, but also open up potential new opportunities such as making free databases available for researchers and publishing new products incorporating these datasets.

We are honored that Pete Palmer and Ken Pullis will continue the work on their databases as consultants to Sports Reference and look forward to expanding the scope of what is known about the history of North American sports. We will also be working with Gary Gillette on several special baseball projects in the future.

Sports Reference LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA and serves millions of users a month through its websites: Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Hockey-Reference.com and others.

Pete Palmer is a titan in the field of baseball research and history and has been one of the foremost chroniclers of the National Pastime for the past five decades. He has edited or contributed to virtually every baseball encyclopedia that has been published in the last 50 years. Along with John Thorn, Palmer served as co-editor for seven editions of Total Baseball. Along with Gary Gillette, Palmer served as co-editor for five editions of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Palmer was also the co-author with Thorn of the seminal 1984 analytics book The Hidden Game of Baseball—a landmark work republished by the University of Chicago Press in 2015. Along with Gillette and Pullis, he served as co-editor of the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia. Palmer is also known as co-author of The Hidden Game of Pro Football and as a contributor to Total Football. He lives in Hollis, New Hampshire.

Gary Gillette is the founder and current chair of the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, a nonprofit that is working to restore the former Negro League ballpark near his home in Detroit. Gillette also served for a decade on the Tiger Stadium Conservancy’s board of directors. He has four decades of baseball research, writing, and editing experience, beginning with his work with Bill James and Project Scoresheet in the mid-1980s. A contributor to six editions of Total Baseball, Gillette later designed and co-edited with Pete Palmer the five editions of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Gillette also designed the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia and served as executive editor for both editions of that reference work. A former member of the Society for American Baseball Research’s (SABR) board of directors, Gillette is a past co-chair of two of SABR’s major research committees—the Business of Baseball Committee and the Ballparks Committee. He was the founder and president of SABR’s Detroit Chapter and is now the chair of SABR’s new Southern Michigan Chapter.

Ken Pullis is a retired air traffic controller and former US Air Force pilot. He has had a lifelong interest in pro football statistics and began doing original research in the late 1980s. Pullis is the 2002 PFRA Ralph Hay Award winner for Pro Football Research and Historiography and was co-editor with Gillette and Palmer of the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, volumes 1 and 2. He currently resides in Vermilion, Ohio.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Expire30d, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Statgeekery, Stathead | No Comments »

Player Span Finder Added to Stathead Basketball

17th February 2021

We've been listening to requests for new features from our users and we're happy to announce that we have launched a new tool for Stathead Basketball subscribers: The Player Span Finder.

The Player Span Finder is a powerful research tool that allows you to search and compare player stats based on spans of seasons, games, and days. You can further refine the search to specify the starting or ending point of the span (season, career, or stint with franchise). Finally, with this new tool you can win every debate about the fastest/slowest players to a milestone stat, based on the number of games or age.

Here's a few examples of each type of search to get you started (please note that some searches may take up to 30 seconds):

Most Assists in a Two-Season Span
Most 3-pt Field Goals Made in a 10-Game Span
Most Points in a 30-Day Span
Youngest to 1,000 Rebounds among Active Players

We hope you enjoy this addition to Stathead. If you're interested in a subscription to the service, you can sign up for a free trial here!

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Stathead, Tips and Tricks | No Comments »

Team Splits By Referee Now Available on Basketball Reference

16th February 2021

We have added some new tables to Basketball Reference that will let you see how a particular team performs by referee assigned for their games. This information is available on both referee pages as well as team season pages in their More Pages tab.

Using Haywoode Workman as an example, if you scroll down to the Teams table, you can see different stats being tracked include win-loss record, pace, free throw attempts and fouls called. Here's a link to the 2019-20 Philadelphia 76ers Referees page for an example of how this looks for a full team season.

We are able to display this referee data back to the 1996-97 season. So find your favorite team, or scroll through the list of referees, and check out this new feature! If you have any questions or suggestions for future additions to the site, feel free to contact us via our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features | No Comments »

FBref Scouting Reports and Similar Players Launched

10th February 2021

FBref is happy to announce the release of a feature we've been excited about for a while, player Scouting Reports that give you a quick look at how players compare in various statistics to other players at their position. This is currently available for players in the Big Five men's European leagues (example: Mohamed Salah), Major League Soccer (example: Diego Rossi) and the Women's Super League (example: Sam Kerr). We show 20 categories on the main Scouting Report at the top of a player's page, selected based on feedback from user research and industry experts, but you can also click through to a Complete Scouting Report which shows many more categories to compare the players by.

In addition, we have added a Similar Players table which locates the players that have the most similar percentiles in the stats used in the Scouting Reports. That table also offers Compare links which takes you to our Player Comparison tool so you can see the players' statistics side-by-side.

For more information on how the Scouting Report works, we have a longer explainer on FBref. This would not be possible without the wide array of advanced stats provided by Statsbomb, so thanks to them.

Depending on how people react, we could even adapt this feature for our other Sports-Reference sites in the future. Because of that, we are eager to hear people's thoughts on this new feature, so feel free to contact us via our feedback form.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, FBref, Features, Statgeekery | No Comments »

Stathead Football Adds Player Split Finder

12th January 2021

Following the introduction of the Team Split Finder last November, we are now proud to announce the addition of another new tool for Stathead Football subscribers: the Player Split Finder.

This powerful tool allows users to search through our splits database to compare players across various situations, with most stats going back to the 1994 season. Here's a quick look at the different splits available and some examples to help you get started.

QUARTER: Most 4th Quarter TD Passes Thrown This Season

LOCATION: Highest Passer Rating on the Road in a Single Season (min. 100 attempts)

DOWN: Most Times Sacked on Third Down This Season

YARDS TO GO: Most Rushing First Downs on Plays with 10+ Yards To Go This Season

DOWN & YARDS TO GO: Best Completion Percentage on 3rd Down and 10+ Yards to Go in 2017

FIELD POSITION: Most Red Zone Targets This Season

SCORE DIFFERENTIAL: Most Pass Attempts When Trailing in 2019

GAME SITUATION: Most Passes Intercepted While Tied with Less Than 4 Minutes Remaining Since 1994

SNAP TYPE & HUDDLE (since 1998): Most Passes Completed Under Center This Season

PASS RUSH TYPE (since 2018): Best Passer Rating Against the Blitz This Season

We hope you enjoy this addition to Stathead. If you're interested in a subscription to the service, you can sign up for a free trial here. We built this tool thanks to feedback from users like you. Should you have any questions or other feedback, please reach out to us.

Posted in Announcement, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | 5 Comments »

Provisional 2020 Approximate Value Now on PFR

7th January 2021

With the season concluded, we're pleased to report that we've added 2020 Approximate Value (AV) numbers to the site for all NFL players. Note that these numbers are just provisional right now; the final numbers will be released after the All-Pro teams are announced.

As of now, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are tied for the league AV lead at 18, with Derrick Henry and Aaron Donald the two non-QBs to make the top 10. You can see the top players in this Stathead.com Player Season Finder search. Washington rookie Chase Young had an especially strong year, finishing at 13 AV. Only Ndamukong Suh and Jevon Kearse had as high an AV among rookie defensive linemen in the post-merger era.

Not sure what AV is? To learn more about PFR's attempt to put a single number on each player-season since 1960 (for the purposes of comparing players across position and era), check out this link. Feel free to send us feedback via our site's form.

Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Katie Sharp joins Sports Reference

7th January 2021

Katie Sharp has joined Sports Reference and will be working both on social media and customer success for our Stathead subscription service. Katie spent seven years as a researcher with ESPN's Stats and Info Group, and since then has worked as a writer, editor and researcher on dozens of articles and books. Most recently, she has been a recurring guest on Jomboy Media's Talkin' Yanks podcast. Katie graduated from Williams College and also has an MBA from the University of Oregon. She's on twitter at @ktsharp.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index, Play Index 101, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead, Uncategorized | No Comments »

December 2020 WAR Update

14th December 2020

We recently fixed an issue where, because of the abbreviated 2020 season, we were not allocating enough wins to position players when calculating Wins Above Replacement. We have fixed this issue across Baseball-Reference. With this change, no position player gained more than 0.3 WAR, and no position player lost WAR. All pitcher WAR remained the same.

You can review the changes for each player here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18WY53wSt0GrBMMijLiIFMhVtvbmjuhbYNOaTvHfs-gE/edit?usp=sharing

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Statgeekery, WAR | No Comments »

FBref Adds Head-To-Head Records

25th November 2020

A frequent suggestion we've received since launching FBref is a way to see head-to-head records between two teams and who's performed the best in those particular matchups. Well, we've heard you and released Records vs. Opponents pages and Historical Head-to-Head pages.

The Records vs. Opponents page quickly gives you a view of the teams they've played most frequently against, as well as their win-loss-draw records and goal differential with each opponent. For teams that play in both domestic and international competitions that we cover, we include results from those different competitions combined.

Once you go into the Historical Head-to-Head page for a particular series, you can see the different competitions we have record of the teams meeting in. For example, looking at El Clásico, you can see the results of Barcelona and Real Madrid facing off in La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España and Champions League. The Head-to-Head Matches table has toggles at the top that allows you to filter victories by one team or the other, or draws. Further down, we have statistical leaderboards for the series, as well as overall player and goalkeeper statistics for the matches we have coverage for. These new features are also available for national teams, in case you want to see which teams have given the U.S. Women's National Team the hardest time.

You can see the full list of competitions and years we have coverage for on our site's Competitions index. Links to teams' Records vs. Opponents are available from their history page, and links to Historical Head-to-Head pages will also be available from upcoming fixtures tables. If you go to our daily Matches page, you can see Head-to-Head links for each of the upcoming day's matchups. If you have any suggestions or feedback on this feature or something else you want to see on FBref, you can contact us via our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, FBref, Features, History | Comments Off on FBref Adds Head-To-Head Records

Stathead Football Adds Team Split Finder

24th November 2020

We've been listening to requests for new features from our users and we're happy to announce that we have launched a new tool for Stathead Football subscribers: The Team Split Finder

The Team Split Finder allows users to unleash the power of our splits database to run searches to compare how teams have fared in various situations. The splits are built off of our play-by-play data, which dates back to 1994.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | Comments Off on Stathead Football Adds Team Split Finder