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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 | 3 Comments »

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 | Comments Off on Katie Sharp joins Sports Reference

Sports Reference adds a DevOps Engineer

10th November 2020

Nick Pazoles has joined Sports Reference as a DevOps engineer. Nick previously worked for Cleo in the Chicagoland area and is the first White Sox and University of Michigan football fan on staff.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Expire30d, FBref, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on Sports Reference adds a DevOps Engineer

Sports Reference Adds Two

3rd November 2020

I'm pleased to announce that Charlotte Eisenberg and Adam Darowski have joined Sports Reference in full-time roles.

Charlotte is joining us as a Data Developer working on baseball, basketball and hockey. She was an intern with Sports Reference previously and also spent a year with the Texas Rangers front office.

Adam is our new Head of User Experience. He has been a long-time consultant for Sports Reference and is responsible for the responsive redesign we undertook in 2016-17 and the design of our new Stathead service. You can follow him on twitter @baseballtwit.

In another move, Jaclyn Mahoney has been promoted from Data Developer and will now manage our Business Intelligence efforts.

About Sports Reference.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, General, Hockey-Reference.com, Stathead | Comments Off on Sports Reference Adds Two

Annual Stathead Subscriptions Now Available!

29th October 2020

By popular demand, we're thrilled to announce that annual Stathead subscriptions are now available at Stathead.com. Stathead is the premier set of sports research tools available to the public and is available for Baseball, Basketball, Football & Hockey. Monthly subscriptions, which are $8/month for a single sport and $16/month for all sports also remain available. The new annual subscriptions are priced to give users who choose them two months for free: $80/year for a single sport or $160/year for all sports. If you're a current subscriber and wish to change from monthly to annual, you may do so here. To learn more about Stathead, please visit here.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | 2 Comments »

Announcing Hockey Stathead

25th June 2020

A couple months ago, Sports-Reference introduced Stathead and debuted the first set of tools, focused on baseball. Today we're proud to announce that Stathead service is expanding to hockey!

If you are unfamiliar with Stathead, it is the most powerful set of sports research tools on the Internet. With a subscription to Stathead, you can dig through Hockey Reference's massive database of statistics, box scores, and individual goals to answer complex questions in a matter of seconds. Best of all, your first month is free!

The tools that comprise Stathead are already used widely by researchers, broadcasters, journalists, influencers, gamblers, and more. Now, we want to put the power of Stathead in your hands. Here's a rundown of the tools that will be available with a Hockey Stathead subscription: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Hockey-Reference.com, Stathead | 2 Comments »

Play Index Tools are Moving to Stathead.com

13th May 2020

The Play Index first launched on Baseball-Reference.com over thirteen years ago and has been one of the most used research tools for baseball ever since. Many of these tools have been recreated on our Basketball, Football, Hockey and College sites over the last twelve years, and, likewise, they have earned a dedicated user base of their own. Our Baseball Play Index was always a subscription product, but we never applied that model to the other sports' tools. It was always our intention to charge for these products, but for a variety of reasons that never happened.

The Sports Reference sites have continued to grow in traffic and advertising revenue over that time to the extent that the Play Index and our ad-free options are a very, very small portion of our revenue. Most of that is on us, as we have not done a great job of promoting and marketing tools that are highly valued by a dedicated group of users. The Basketball, Football, Hockey, and College Play Indexes represent well under 1% of our revenue. In addition, the Play Index tools are complicated to maintain and manage, and quite frankly are a money-loser for us at this time. It's well past time for us to re-think how these tools are positioned within our constellation of sites.

While Sports Reference is doing well overall, I'm not comfortable with having so much of our revenue dependent on advertising. We are very beholden to search engines continuing to send us traffic, and likewise the ad market can be fickle and difficult for a small to medium size operator to navigate. With the economic downturn currently taking place, our ad revenue is down significantly as well.

In addition, advertising on the sites does not make it easier for you to answer the questions you have. This is our primary mission. We maintain a relatively low level of advertising on the sites (at least compared to your regional newspaper), and we are loathe to add additional advertising units or more intrusive units. Some of you may use an ad blocker, in which case we are making no money from your use of the site at all, and the audience for our ad-free product has proven to be very small as well.

A subscription model aligns our interests much better with our users' interests as well. I realize that users are being asked to sign up for lots of subscriptions these days, but we feel the tools within the Play Index are so specialized and useful that they warrant a paywall.

So we are making some changes. The Play Index for each site will be moving to Stathead.com. Stathead.com will become the center for all of our subscription products. We expect these products to include tools and information beyond just a redesigned set of Play Index tools. This won't happen all at once, but we've started with baseball and are proceeding through the remainder of our sports over the next two months. Also, we have ended our dedicated ad-free product and instead Stathead memberships will have ad-free built-in. There just aren't enough users to justify a separate ad-free product. These changes will began in April for baseball and will be followed by Hockey in May, Basketball and probably Football in June and then College over the summer.

You can try out Stathead Baseball now. If you do a little digging, you will see that we are charging $8/month for a single sport and subscribing to all sports will cost $16/month. We realize moving from free to $8/month is a big ask, but we feel the tools provide a great deal of value and also believe that we can't continue to support the products without a viable revenue stream.

During the deployment of these changes, the existing Play Indexes will remain free.

--sean forman

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

Row Isolation Added to Sports-Reference Sites

16th October 2019

Sports-Reference has added a feature to tables that will make it a lot easier to compare teams and players in an easily scannable fashion. Now, when you select a row on a table, a popup will appear with a button: "Show Only Selected Rows". Highlight the rows you want to isolate, and once you're ready, click the button. The site will then fade out the unselected rows so the only rows displayed are the ones you highlighted. If you want to return to viewing the full table, just click on the "Show All Rows" button.

This feature applies to any tables that don't have row summing capabilities. This will work on both desktop and mobile. You can see a video of the feature in action at Baseball-Reference's Twitter account. You can contact us through our feedback form if you have any questions or suggestions.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, FBref, Features, General, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Tips and Tricks | 2 Comments »

Preseason Over/Unders and Stanley Cup Odds Added to Hockey Reference

18th July 2019

Hockey Reference has added preseason Stanley Cup odds back to 1985 and over/unders on point totals back to 2011. Looking at the 2018-19 preseason, the eventual champion St. Louis Blues had +3000 odds to win the Stanley Cup, 10th-best in the league. The New York Islanders were tied for 2nd-longest odds to win the Stanley Cup at +20000, and would go on to make the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Islanders finished the regular season with 103 points, safely exceeding their preseason over/under set at 82.5.

We again thank SportsOddsHistory.com for providing us with the historical data for this addition, as well as similar preseason odds additions on Basketball Reference, Pro Football Reference, and our college sites. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, Hockey-Reference.com | 3 Comments »

Team Analytics Added to Hockey-Reference Season Pages

26th February 2019

Hockey-Reference has added a Team Analytics table to the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 season pages. This table shows Corsi on the team level in 5-on-5 situations, as well as possession quality and scoring chance data. We are also including this information on team pages so you can quickly see how the team compared to the league average in those measurements. We thank War on Ice for defining expected goals, scoring chances and high danger scoring chances, and you can read more about those definitions in our Hockey-Reference Advanced Statistic Glossary.

Looking at the 2018-19 table, we can see that the Washington Capitals are currently leading in Actual Goal Differential minus Expected Goal Differential, at +36. A positive differential would indicate a team is converting or stopping a larger amount of good chances compared to league average. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild find themselves at -27, currently the lowest differential. A negative differential would indicate a team is getting more good chances, but not converting or is allowing more than league norms. When looking at high-danger scoring chances, the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers have done the best at converting those into goals, while the Arizona Coyotes are the only team who has converted less than 10% of high-danger scoring chances into goals so far.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Hockey-Reference.com | Comments Off on Team Analytics Added to Hockey-Reference Season Pages