Sports Reference Blog

Archive for the 'History' Category

New Punting Stats Added to Pro Football Reference

29th November 2022

Thanks to some research from Pete Palmer and Ken Pullis, we've been able to add several new categories of punting statistics all the way back to when they were first officially tracked in 1976 to Pro Football Reference. The addition of this new data is substantial enough that we have also decided to split out a separate punting stats table from the kicking stats. This means that these statistics will now be in separate tables (rather than merged together) on player, team, league, season, etc pages. A good example of the change is Craig Hentrich, an NFL punter from 1994-2009, who also spent many seasons of his career handling kickoff duties (and occasionally kicking field goals and extra points). His statistics will not only now be more detailed, but hopefully more digestible, as well.

To complement the punt stats we've always carried (punts, punt yards, yards per punt, long punt and punts blocked), we've added return yards against, net punt yards, net yards per punt, touchbacks, touchback percentage, punts inside the 20 and percentage of punts inside the 20.

In addition to appearing on a seasonal level, these new statistics are also presented on a game-by-game level. For instance, here are Hall of Famer Ray Guy's game-by-game punting statistics in 1976.

We hope you enjoy these new additions.

Posted in Announcement, History, | No Comments »

NFL Point Spread Data Added Back to 1952

18th November 2022

Thanks to our friends at SportsOddsHistory, we've added NFL point spread data that is 100% complete back to 1969 and nearly complete back to 1952*. This data includes AFL games and allows us to expand our point spread searches in the Stathead Team Game Finder all the way back to 1952.

This new data produces some of the largest point spreads we've seen in NFL games. The largest regular season point spread in our dB is now November 13, 1966 when the Baltimore Colts were favored by 28 over the Atlanta Falcons (they did not cover).

The 1960s also included a pair of 20-point dogs that won outright (Vikings over Packers in 1967 and Dolphins over Oilers in 1966).

Additionally, we have added point spread data for a smattering of games between 1941 and 1951, including every championship game (including AAFC) from 1941-51. However, these pre-1952 games are not searchable in Stathead and will just be presented in the box scores for now.

We'd also like to add that while this data expansion gives us point spreads back to 1952, our over/under data is still only complete back to 1978 (except for Super Bowls).

*The data is nearly complete (as opposed to fully complete), because we are missing lines for the following number of games: 1968 (4), 1967 (1), 1965 (2), 1964 (3), 1963 (4), 1962 (3), 1961 (2), 1960 (4), 1953 (2), 1952 (9).

Below is a list of these missing point spreads:

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, History,, Stathead | Comments Off on NFL Point Spread Data Added Back to 1952

New Sack Data Added for Quarterbacks

11th November 2022

Entering the 2022 NFL season, the NFL Record and Fact Book (the official record book of the National Football League) listed Ben Roethlisberger as the all-time leader in 'Most Time Sacked, Career' (as it is listed in the guide) with 554. Tom Brady was listed second with 543. Above this list is the note 'Times Sacked has been compiled since 1963."

Subsequently, Brady made a bit of news when he recently passed Big Ben to become the 'all-time' leader in Times Sacked.

Entering the season, Pro-Football-Reference would have listed the same leaderboard as the Record and Fact Book, though our statistics for this category went back to only 1969. However, thanks to the expert research of T.J. Troup, and some consultation with the great John Turney, our updated all-time 'Times Sacked' leaderboard also has a new leader. But it's not Tom Brady. It is Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, History,, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

A Plethora of Historical NFL Awards Data Added to PFR

4th March 2022

Thanks to the research of John Turney, we have made a big addition in our coverage of historical awards given to the NFL's top players. With this addition, more context can be given to which players were considered the best in various categories. Here follows a list of the latest additions we have made:

Again, a big thanks to John Turney for collecting and providing this data. Turney's name may be familiar as we have also credited him in our addition of AP award voting breakdown data as well as pre-1982 sacks. If you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to contact us directly via our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, Features, History, | 2 Comments »

Basketball Reference Adds Pages For All Draftees in NBA History

9th November 2021

While Basketball Reference has been creating unique player pages for everyone selected in the NBA draft for the past couple of years, many people who never played in the NBA but were selected in the draft could only find their names in our draft tables. We have decided to rectify this by creating player pages for every draftee in NBA history, dating back to the inaugural 1947 BAA Draft. Due to historical drafts being much longer than the current two-round format, this has led to almost 4000 new player pages. These player pages include biographical information, links to relevant college/international pages and family connections where available.

Some notable people that are getting pages as a result of this addition:

- Len Bias, 2nd overall pick in the 1986 draft who tragically passed away days later
- Lusia Harris, 137th overall pick in the 1977 draft and the first woman ever selected
- Terry Stotts, 38th overall pick in the 1980 draft who went on to coach the Portland Trail Blazers
- Carl Lewis, 208th overall pick in the 1984 draft who had set Olympic track and field records
- Phil Elderkin, 205th overall pick in the 1973 draft who was a reporter selected as a joke by the Cavaliers' Bill Fitch
- Dave Winfield, 79th overall pick in the 1973 draft who went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Major League Baseball.
- Jay Bilas, 108th overall pick in the 1986 draft who went on to be a successful college basketball broadcaster

We give big thanks to data developer Charlotte Eisenberg for her time organizing and collecting data for this project.

Please let us know via our feedback form if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Announcement,, Data, Draft, Features, History, Trivia | Comments Off on Basketball Reference Adds Pages For All Draftees in NBA History

Hockey-Reference Adds NHL Game Logs Back to 1917-18

20th July 2021

In a huge addition, we at Hockey-Reference are glad to announce that we now have all NHL regular season box scores available back to the beginning of the NHL, the 1917-18 season. With this, we can now fill out the gamelogs section of many great players' careers. For example, you could now find Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito's excellent 1970-71 seasons when Orr finished with a career high 139 points and Esposito set the then-record of 76 goals in one season. Bernie Parent's 1973-74 season of 12 shutouts can now be examined easily. Gordie Howe's extensive NHL career, beginning with his rookie season in 1946-47, has game logs now.

All of these game logs are also searchable on Stathead now, which is also a great new asset to have. Looking for most goals by a player in a game will now lead you to Joe Malone's record day in 1920, when he scored seven for Quebec in what ended up being a 10-6 victory over the Toronto St. Patricks. While the top of the list of most saves in a shutout doesn't change, Jacques Plante's 52-save shutout in 1955 now properly appears in the top 5 thanks to this addition. We should put a reminder that there are some categories, such as saves and shots against, that were not recorded in the earlier days of the league.

So now there's a lot more history to dig through, and we hope you enjoy our presentation of the "new" box scores! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, General, History,, Leaders, Stathead | Comments Off on Hockey-Reference Adds NHL Game Logs Back to 1917-18

AP Award Voting Breakdowns and Award Shares Now on PFR

15th July 2021

One important piece to interpreting a sport's history is looking at who the media of the time selected as the top players to award, but you can also get some important context by looking at the other players who were in serious consideration for those awards. With that in mind, we're happy to announce the addition of voting breakdown data for the Associated Press' Most Valuable Player, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year awards. You can find this information in the Football Award Voting Summaries section of our Awards index. Just taking a random example of 1982, you can see Mark Moseley's narrow win over Dan Fouts in the MVP race, as well as Marcus Allen's unanimous OROY win and the runners-up to Lawrence Taylor in the DPOY race.

Having this data also allows us to calculate career Award Shares. For those unfamiliar with the concept, this is the sum of the percentage of maximum votes they received over the course of their career. For example, a unanimous MVP like Lamar Jackson in 2019 gets 1.0 Award Share for that award, while 2016 Matt Ryan got 25 out of the possible 50 votes, so that's 0.5 Award Shares for that win. We have links to the career MVP, OPOY and DPOY award shares leaderboards on our Leaders index. Award shares and rank for each season they received votes will also be available in the Awards and Honors table on player pages, so you can more quickly see that in addition to Aaron Donald's 3 DPOY awards so far, he's also received at least a vote in every DPOY ballot since his sophomore season.

Some coverage notes:

  • MVP voting breakdowns available since 1957. 100% complete back to 1986. 1961 and 1975 MVP vote totals still missing. AP did not give out awards in 1960.
  • OPOY voting breakdowns available since 1972. 100% complete back to 1986. 1975 and 1985 OPOY vote totals still missing.
  • DPOY voting breakdowns available since 1971. 100% complete back to 1988. 1985 DPOY vote totals still missing.

We want to give a big thanks to John Turney who compiled this historical voting data. Turney was also a contributor on the pre-1982 sacks data we announced recently.

If you have any questions, suggestions or even a lead on some of the still-waiting-to-be-discovered vote totals, feel free to contact us via our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, Features, History, Leaders, | 3 Comments »

Pre-1982 Sacks Added To Pro Football Reference

12th July 2021

The NFL has only officially counted player sacks since 1982, which means sack records and leaderboards present an incomplete history of pass rushing. In many cases we accept these holes in the official record and move on. After all, we don't know how many rushing yards Jim Thorpe had, passing yards Paddy Driscoll had or even how many blocked shots Wilt Chamberlain had. Heck, we don't even "officially" know how many tackles anyone had in 2020 (or any other season). However, thanks to Official Gamebooks, 'unofficial' tackle totals get published in many places (including here). In the case of sacks, thanks to decades of research by John Turney and Nick Webster, we have a very thorough accounting of the statistic all the way back to 1960. Given that accounting for these 'unofficial' statistics allows us to paint a richer picture of the history of the game, we think it is a no-brainer to present them on Pro Football Reference, allowing fans to gain a deeper appreciation of some of football's biggest stars in the 1960s and 1970s. This isn't terribly different from presenting RBI totals for baseball players from before 1920 (the first season the statistic was "official"). These additions allow us to print year-by-year and career sacks totals for not just legends such as Deacon Jones (173.5), Jack Youngblood (151.5), Alan Page (148.5), Carl Eller (133.5) and Joe Greene (77.5), but also for less recognized stars like Coy Bacon (130.5), Cedrick Hardman (122.5) and Jack Gregory (106.0) whose greatness and impact can now be more readily quantified.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, History, | 15 Comments »

Major Improvements to Historical NBA Box Scores

7th July 2021

We are thrilled to announce that we have added thousands of data points to our collection of historical NBA box scores (which includes at least a partial box score for every game in NBA history). The new data is courtesy web developer and statistician Justin Kubatko, who once upon a time built Basketball Reference.

For an overview of how complete our box score data now is, please visit our Data Coverage Summaries for the regular season and postseason.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Data, History | 5 Comments »

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,, Bullpen, Data, Features, History, Trivia | Comments Off on Home Run Derby and Futures Game Data Added to B-R