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2022 WAR Update and New Retrosheet Data

11th April 2022

As the 2022 season begins, we have made some updates to our Wins Above Replacement calculations. You may notice some small changes to figures as you browse the site. As always, you can find full details on how we calculate WAR here. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Sports Reference Promotes Three to Director Roles

7th April 2022

Since the start of the year, Sports Reference has promoted three team members into director roles.

Jaclyn Mahoney, Director of Operations and Strategic Planning, leads our work on internal operations including our policies, procedures and our strategic planning. She started with SR as a data developer in early 2018.

Adam Darowski, Product Director, will lead Sports Reference's product development and product team. Adam was previously our Head of User Experience joining SR in late 2020.

Mike Lynch, Data Director, will lead Sports Reference's data work. He will lead both our internal data team and also independent contractors and our data vendors. Mike was previously our Stathead product manager. He joined SR in 2014.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on Sports Reference Promotes Three to Director Roles

Biographical Updates and New Data for Negro Leagues Players

4th April 2022

Thanks to our partnership with the Seamheads Negro League database, we recently released the first update of Negro League data since the project first launched in June of 2021. This update includes many incremental improvements to player biographical information, including:

-Full names (For example, Mike Woolridge was corrected to Eddie Woolridge)

-Height/weight (For example, Perry Hall now has his height and weight listed)

-Handedness (For example, Curtis Hollingsworth was changed from a right-handed pitcher to left-handed)

-Birth information (For example. Ameal Brooks’ birth year was changed to 1907)

-Death/burial information (For example, added death date and burial information for Willie Nixon)

We’ll also be making additional biographical updates to player school (high school and college), photos, and nicknames).

Along with the biographical updates, many new box scores were uncovered and recorded with some players having significant additions to their player records. Some notable cases include:

-Kansas City Monarchs All-Star Herb Souell saw 186 plate appearances added to his record, the most of any player. Souell did quite well in the newly discovered games, raising his career slash line from .287/.334/.360 (102 OPS+) to .294/.341/.368 (106 OPS+).

-Hall of Famer Willard Brown had 119 plate appearances added, the second most after Souell. His career batting average rose from .347 to .350.

-New Hall of Famer Buck O’Neil was next with 114 new plate appearances. He added two points in batting average and three home runs to his career totals.

-Hilton Smith and Verdell Mathis tied for the most innings added to their records with 69⅓. Smith added four wins and four losses, but saw his ERA drop three points. Mathis, meanwhile, went 6-3 in the new games and shaved 0.13 off his ERA. The vast majority of Mathis’ new innings came from his 1944 All-Star campaign. Now instead of a 1-1 record and 3.78 ERA, he is listed as 7-2 with a 2.85 ERA.

-Jim LaMarque didn’t have as much success in his 65 newly discovered innings. He went 3-6 and saw his ERA climb from 3.17 to 3.37.

Perhaps no player better illustrates the evolution of Negro Leagues data quite like Neil Robinson. Robinson was a long-time outfielder for the Memphis Red Sox for the last dozen years of the Negro American League. Robinson was an All-Star in eight of those seasons. Memphis is one of the teams missing the most box scores, so Robinson’s career record has had relatively few games for someone with so many All-Star appearances.

Robinson was previously credited with 1,164 plate appearances. As part of this update, 243 of those were discovered to not actually be his. The first three years of his career (1930-32) have now been reassigned to Johnny Robinson. Several of Neil’s games were also found, however. 80 plate appearances were added to his record and his OPS+ shot up from 133 to 140 (as a result of both removing Johnny’s games and adding his own).

This update illustrates how we’re very much in the midst of the Golden Age of Negro Leagues research. If you’d like to learn more about the Negro Leagues, we recently published a Resource for Educators (but it’s really for anyone!) to share the incredible story of the Negro Leagues—from the pioneers of Black Baseball in the late 19th century through the formation of the Negro Major Leagues and into the impact of integration on the American and National Leagues. 

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | Comments Off on Biographical Updates and New Data for Negro Leagues Players

Rajeev Lekhwar Joins Sports Reference as SEO Specialist

9th February 2022

Rajeev Lekhwar, SEO Specialist, joined Sports Reference this week. Having worked for almost 2.5 years in the SEO Industry with brands like VWO, he moved to Sports Reference with a goal of keeping the upward trend moving. He is an avid cricket fan. You can find him on Twitter at @panditrajeev22.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | Comments Off on Rajeev Lekhwar Joins Sports Reference as SEO Specialist

Seven New Hires for Sports Reference

1st February 2022

Over the past three months the Sports Reference team has grown significantly. We have made seven new hires in a variety of roles.

​​Nicolas Westin, DevOps Engineer, joined Sports Reference towards the end of 2021. He previously worked at Redhorse Corporation as a front-end engineer. He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston. He is a big Wizards fan, and a casual Cubs fan.

Aidan Jackson-Evans, Customer Success, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. Originally from the UK, Aidan now lives in New England. He enjoys baseball history and trivia, and has written biographies for the SABR BioProject. He is a fan of the San Francisco Giants and the England national football team. Follow him on Twitter at @ajacksonevans.

Adela Armstrong-Spielberg, Engineering Support Coordinator, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. She was born and raised in the DC area, and now lives in Los Angeles after attending UCLA. She's growing into a Dodgers and Rams fan, but she would like to reassure her friends and family back east that she will always root for the Nats and Ravens first.

Ryan Walsh, Social Media Coordinator, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. Hailing from the great state of New Jersey, Ryan previously managed social media for Temple University and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, among others. He remains an ardent defender of the 76ers Process, and is also a fan of NASCAR and the WNBA. You can find him on Twitter at @RyanLWalsh.

Sara Halloran, Test Engineer, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. She attended Northwestern University and previously worked as a data scientist for the Milwaukee Brewers, during which time she became a casual Bucks and Brewers fan. Now Philadelphia-based, she is originally from New Jersey and also supports the Mets and NY/NJ Gotham FC, as well as Tottenham Hotspur and the United States women’s national soccer team.

Connor Zielinski, Social Media Coordinator, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. Growing up never more than 10 miles away from a Wawa, Connor grew up on the baseball fields with Taney Little League and Philly sports fandom. Connor previously worked for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Red Bull while down in Tampa for school. Catch up with him on Twitter: CTZee_.

Sam Nipatnantaporn, Digital Marketing Manager, joined Sports Reference at the start of 2022. She previously worked as a marketing manager at the Boston Red Sox and Worcester Red Sox. Originally from Nantucket Island, she now resides in Cambridge, MA and is a fan of all things Boston sports and mascots. Follow her on Instagram at @wsamnipat.

Join us in welcoming Nicolas, Aidan, Adela, Ryan, Sara, Connor, and Sam!

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com | Comments Off on Seven New Hires for Sports Reference

Sports Reference is Hiring for Six Positions

13th October 2021

We've created a page to describe our hiring process.

We post our jobs through our page on breezy. Visit https://sports-reference-llc.breezy.hr/ to apply.

Currently open positions

We will be starting the phone interview process October 25th through November 12th.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire40d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | Comments Off on Sports Reference is Hiring for Six Positions

August 2021 Park Factor Update

31st August 2021

Today we released an update to how we calculate one-year park factors for 2020 and three-year park factors that include 2020. In short, we are giving the observed effects of ballparks in 2020 less weight, impacting context-adjusted stats like ERA+, OPS+, Rbat+, and WAR for 2019 through 2021.

There are two reasons for this change. First, the shortened 60-game season decreases the sample of games we have data from, which naturally reduces the significance of the data collected. Second, since teams only played within their own divisions in 2020, comparing scoring in home games vs. scoring in away games does not tell an accurate story of how a park impacted scoring relative to league average, since most of the parks in the league are not included in either set of games (e.g. when computing the park factor for Wrigley Field, games played at Coors Field or Citizens Bank Park are not included in the calculation anywhere, since the Cubs did not play away games at those parks in 2020).

The issue with the way we had been handling 2020 park factors became more apparent as the 2021 season went on, particularly because the Cincinnati Reds’ 2020 park factor of 119 was raising the 2021 three-year park factor, resulting in worse-than-expected adjusted stats for hitters like Joey Votto, and better-than-expected adjusted stats for pitchers like Wade Miley.

Now, when you look at a 2020 team page, the one-year park factors have been diluted so that they include an average of 60 games’ worth of 2020 data, and 51 games each of 2019 and 2021 data. If there is no corresponding 2019 or 2021 data (e.g. new ballpark in Texas, different mix of parks for Toronto), those parts are replaced with a league-average park factor of 100. These new one-year park factors are used in the three-year averages like usual, so the effect is reflected there as well.

With this change, here are some of the most notable movers in Wins Above Replacement:

Zack Wheeler (+0.5) and Aaron Nola (+0.3) each saw a bump up in their 2021 pitching WAR as the 3-year park factor for Philadelphia rose from 96 to 98 (frequent opponent Washington also had their 3-year park factor increase from 93 to 96). Wheeler’s 0.5 is the largest change resulting from this update.

Wade Miley, Tyler Mahle, and Luis Castillo (-0.4 each) saw their 2021 pitching WAR fall. As mentioned above, Cincinnati saw some of the most anomalous park factors in 2020, and mitigating their impact here lowers the expected run environment for these and other Reds pitchers.

On the hitting side, the changes are more modest. Justin Upton and Isiah Kiner-Falefa each saw their 2021 batting WAR rise by 0.3, while Maikel Franco and J.T. Realmuto lost -0.3 from their 2021 WAR.

In 2021, Shohei Ohtani is notably untouched by this update, with changes to his batting WAR and pitching WAR canceling each other out and his 7.9 total WAR remaining the same.

Here is a full list of changes to park factors, rate stats, and Wins Above Replacement from before and after this change.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Statgeekery, WAR | Comments Off on August 2021 Park Factor Update

Sports Reference Welcomes Three Web Developers

28th July 2021

Sports Reference is pleased to announce the hiring of three web developers, Zoe Surma, Frankie Ottomanelli, and Chris Wong.

Zoe is a recent graduate of Notre Dame with a degree in computer engineering. She is a Cubs, Fighting Irish and Formula One fan.

Frankie joins Sports Reference from Rockstar Games. He was the creator of the sunsetted Baseball Reference Alexa app. He is a Mets, Jets, and Knicks fan.

Chris is a recent graduate from Brown University with multiple degrees in computer science. He is a St. Louis native and a Blues and Cardinals fan.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, expire21d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Ryan Passmore joins Sports Reference as VP of Engineering

27th July 2021

Ryan Passmore has joined Sports Reference as VP of Engineering. Ryan was previously the Sr. Director of Product Development at Cleo. He will manage the engineering team at Sports Reference. A Chicago-area native Ryan cheers for the Cubs, Bulls and Bears.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, expire21d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on Ryan Passmore joins Sports Reference as VP of Engineering

Home Run Derby and Futures Game Data Added to B-R

2nd July 2021

We've always had Home Run Derby and Futures Game information on the Bullpen, Baseball-Reference's user-managed wiki, but we have now added participation data for those events to the main Baseball-Reference site.

Home Run Derby champions, as evidenced by 3-time winner Ken Griffey Jr., now have that marked among their accomplishment "bling" at the top of their player page. In addition, if you scroll down to the Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards and Honors table, Home Run Derby participation is included as its own section now, with wins bolded. Because this is just participation data, you still have to go to the Bullpen if you want to see the actual scores of the Derbies.

Similarly, if a player participated in a Futures Game, using Joey Gallo as an example, that appears now in a new section of the Appearances on Leaderboards, Awards and Honors table. This data also appears on their minor league page in a column of the Prospect Rankings table. Each Futures Game is linked to the relevant Bullpen page if you want to see the full roster that year as well as the score and relevant events.

We thank intern Jeremy Frank for his work in collecting and preparing this data for this project. If you want to share any feedback or suggestions, please send us your thoughts via our feedback form.

Posted in All-Star, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Bullpen, Data, Features, History, Trivia | Comments Off on Home Run Derby and Futures Game Data Added to B-R