Sports Reference Blog

Biographical Updates and New Data for Negro Leagues Players

Posted by Jonah Gardner on April 4, 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

Postseason Stats & More Improvements to Baseball Season Finders!

Posted by Jonah Gardner on March 24, 2022

We're very excited to announce some updates to the Batting and Pitching Player Season Finders on Baseball Stathead, including a new feature that ranks as one of the most requested ones we've received over the years.

Watch this video to see these amazing new updates in action, or keep reading to learn what's new.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Postseason Stats & More Improvements to Baseball Season Finders!

A Plethora of Historical NFL Awards Data Added to PFR

Posted by Alex Bonilla on March 4, 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, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 2 Comments »

Football Stathead Adds New Search Filter Options

Posted by Jonah Gardner on February 25, 2022

As we did with Hockey Stathead a couple weeks ago, our team has rolled out some improvements to the Player Season Finder on Football Stathead. Whereas before, there were three search types, we've now doubled the number of options available to six!

The original options are still there on the top, allowing you to search for single season stats, multiple season or career stats, and players who achieved the search criteria in multiple seasons. However, there's also three new options

Find most players in a season matching criteria

This option shows the number of players in a given season who match the criteria you're searching. So, for example, say you're looking up players who threw for 4,000 passing yards in a season. With this criteria, you could see which season had the most players posting 4,000 or more yards.

Find most players on a team in a season matching criteria

This option will allow you to search for teams that had multiple players accomplish the same statistical feat in a single season. For example, this will let you see the seven teams that had multiple 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. Or you could utilize our historic sack data to see all the teams since 1960 with multiple 10-sack players in a season.

Find most players for a team in combined seasons or careers matching criteria

The final new option gives you the ability to look up which franchises had the most players achieve your given statistical thresholds. Unlike the other two new searches, which involve single seasons, this searches a span of years, whether you want that to encompass the entirety of NFL history or just a decade or era. For example, the Packers had the most 50-TD scorers of any NFL franchise with 15, while the Ravens have had the most Pro Bowlers since 2010, with 32.

If you're not a Stathead Football subscriber, you can have access these new improvements and all the other amazing tools for a month totally free by signing up for a free trial! Or check out our All Sports package to see the great tools available for Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey as well.

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

Rajeev Lekhwar Joins Sports Reference as SEO Specialist

Posted by sean on February 9, 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

Hockey Stathead Adds New Search Filter Option

Posted by Jonah Gardner on February 8, 2022

We have been hard at work on making structural improvements to our databases so that Stathead will run even more smoothly for our users and we will be able to add many of the most requested new features in the years ahead. Late last year, we kicked off the product improvements from this process with the addition of player filters to many tools and some standardization of filters. Today we’re thrilled to begin the process of standardizing the search types available in our Player Season Finders by rolling out an enhancement to our Hockey Player Season Finder. Read the rest of this entry

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

Seven New Hires for Sports Reference

Posted by sean on February 1, 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

Provisional 2021 Approximate Value Now on PFR

Posted by Alex Bonilla on January 13, 2022

With the season concluded, we're pleased to report that we've added 2021 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.

Update: All-Pro teams have since been announced so 2021 Approximate Value has since been finalized.

Josh Allen leads 2021 players with 19 AV, and Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Cooper Kupp and Micah Parsons close behind at 18. You can see all of the top players in this Stathead.com Player Season Finder search.

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, Data, Features, General, Leaders, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stathead | Comments Off on Provisional 2021 Approximate Value Now on PFR

Stathead Adds Player Filters to More Tools and Focuses on Filter Standardization

Posted by Adam Darowski on November 24, 2021

Today we released two fairly substantial updates for Stathead. These updates are early steps in our internal “Stathead Unification” project. While Stathead is the most powerful research tool in sports, we knew that spending some time on the organization and consistency of these amazing features would make it even better. This is the first of many updates related to this effort.

Filter by Player

For a long time, many of our Finders have allowed you to filter by player. For example, if you’d like to search for all multi-home run games in Barry Bonds’ career (sorted by date) or games in which Wilt Chamberlain did NOT score 20 points (sorted by minutes), you can.

Previously, you could only get to those filtered views from the player’s page on their respective Reference site.

Screenshot of Finder links on Reference site

Now you can filter by player right from Stathead.

Screenshot of new Stathead interface with Player Selector

This functionality is new for the following Finders:

  • Baseball
    • Player Game Finder
    • Player Split Finder
    • Player Streak Finder
    • Player Span Finder
  • Basketball
    • Player Game Finder
    • Player Streak Finder
    • Player Span Finder
    • Player Quarter Finder
    • Event Finder
    • Lineup Finder
    • Plus-Minus Finder
    • WNBA Player Game Finder
  • Football
    • Player Streak Finder
    • Touchdown Finder
    • Player Split Finder
    • Field Goal Finder
  • Hockey
    • Player Game Finder
    • Player Streak Finder
    • Player Advanced Stats Finder

Filter Movement

These filters all can be found in new locations. We reorganized these filters to be much more consistent from tool to tool but also from sport to sport. Now when you’re looking for the “Opponent” filter in any Finder, you’ll always go to “Game Filters”. Previously, it was sometimes a top-level filter. Sometimes it was a Team Filter. Sometimes it was a Player Filter. Now it’s always a Game Filter. There are many more examples below, itemized so you’ll know exactly where to find the filter you’re looking for.

This new organization also sets us up well for the next phase of this project—adding even more filters so our tools have more similar features across all sports.

Player Season Finder

  • Baseball
    • No. Franchises Played For: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Height: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Weight (lbs.): Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Year of Debut: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Final year: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Year of Birth: Combined with other filters into a new “Date of Birth/Death” filter and moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Month of Birth: Combined with other filters into a new “Date of Birth/Death” filter and moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Day of Birth: Combined with other filters into a new “Date of Birth/Death” filter and moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • Year of Death: Combined with other filters into a new “Date of Birth/Death” filter and moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
  • Basketball
    • Team: Moved from “Biographical Filters” to top-level
    • League: Moved from “Biographical Filters” to top-level
    • Position: Moved from “Biographical Filters” to top-level
    • Birth Country: Combined with “Birth State” into a new “Place of Birth” filter
    • Birth State: Combined with “Birth Country” into a new “Place of Birth” filter
    • Year (of Player’s Career): Moved from “Status Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • College: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Biographical Filters”
    • All Star Selection: Combined with “All Star Selections” (“Number of Years Selected” option appears when running a multiple season search)
    • All Star Selections: Combined with “All Star Selection” (“Number of Years Selected” option appears when running a multiple season search)
  • Football
    • Position: Moved from “Biographical Filters” to top-level
    • Draft Filters: Moved to “Biographical Filters”
    • Pro-Bowl: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Status Filters”
    • All-Pro: Moved from “Statistical Filters” to “Status Filters”

Player Game Finder

  • Baseball
    • Opponent: Moved from “Team Filters” to “Game Filters”
    • Opponent’s League: Moved from “Team Filters” to “Game Filters”
    • Game Result: Moved from “Team Filters” to “Game Filters”
  • Basketball
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Player Filters”
  • Football
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Player Filters”
    • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Status Filters: Moved to “Player Filters”
    • QB Credited With: Moved from “Game Filters” to “Player Filters”
  • Hockey
    • Playoff Round: Moved from “Game Filters” to only appear when “Playoffs” selected from “Game Type"
    • Opponent: Moved from “Player Filters” to “Game Filters”

Team Game Filter

  • Baseball
    • Opponent: Moved from “Player Filters” to “Game Filters”
    • Opponent’s League: Moved from “Player Filters” to “Game Filters”
  • Basketball
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • Game Number: Renamed “Span of Games” and moved from “Game Filters” to top-level
  • Football
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • All Opponent-based Filters: Moved from “Team Filters” to “Game Filters” (for example, Opponent, Opponent Conference, Opp was a playoff team, Opp played in Super Bowl, etc.
  • Hockey
    • Team: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • Opponent: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”
    • Playoffs: Moved from “Game Filters” to only appear when “Playoffs” selected from “Game Type"

Player Split Finder

  • Football
    • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to “Player Filters”

Player Streak Finder

  • Baseball
    • Streak Start or End: Moved from “Player Filters” to top level.
    • Opponent: Moved from “Player Filters” to “Game Filters”
    • Opponent’s League: Moved from “Player Filters” to “Game Filters”
  • Basketball
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Biographical Filters”
    • Had Double-Double: Moved from top-level to “Biographical Filters”
    • Had Triple-Double: Moved from top-level to “Biographical Filters”
    • Role: Moved from “Game Filters” to “Player Filters”
  • Football
    • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to “Player Filters”
  • Hockey
    • Position: Moved from top-level to “Player Filters”
    • Playoff Round: Moved from “Game Filters” to only appear when “Playoffs” selected from “Game Type"

Team Streak Finder

  • Baseball
    • Team: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • League: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • Opponent: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”
    • Opponent’s League: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”
    • Streak Won-Loss Events: Moved from “Streak Stat Events” to top-level.
  • Basketball
    • Game Type: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level
    • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”
    • Team: Moved from “Situation Filters” to “Team Filters”
    • League: Moved from “Situation Filters” to “Team Filters”
  • Football
    • Team: Moved from top-level to “Team Filters”
    • Opponent: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”
    • Overtime Game: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”
    • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”
  • Hockey
    • Playoff Round: Moved from “Game Filters” to only appear when “Playoffs” selected from “Game Type"
    • Situational Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”
    • Opponent: Moved from “Team Filters” to “Game Filters”

Player Span Finder

  • Baseball
    • Active: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Hall of Fame: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”
  • Basketball
    • Year (of Player’s Career): Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • College: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Active: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Hall of Fame: Moved from “Status Filters” to “Player Filters”
    • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”

Team Span Finder

  • Baseball
    • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”

Basketball Team Score Finder

  • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Basketball: Shot Finder

  • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Basketball: Lineup Finder

  • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Basketball: NBA Draft Finder

  • Biographical Filters: Renamed “Player Filters”

Football: Play Finder

  • Playoff Round: Now only appears when “Playoffs” is selected from “Game Type”
  • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Football: Drive Finder

  • Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Football: Field Goal Finder

  • Kicking Team: Moved from “Game Filters” to top-level

Football: Draft Finder

  • Round: Moved from “Pick Filters” to top-level
  • Pick: Moved from “Pick Filters” to top-level
  • Draft Type: Moved from “Pick Filters” to top-level
  • Draft League: Moved from “Pick Filters” to top-level
  • Draft Team: Moved from “Pick Filters” to “Player Filters”

Football: NFL Combine Results

  • Statistical Filters: Renamed “Result Filters”

Hockey: Goal Finder

  • Situation Filters: Renamed “Game Filters”
  • Opponent: Moved from top-level to “Game Filters”

Hockey: Player Advanced Stats Finder

  • Year (of player’s career): Moved from top-level to “Player Filters”

Hockey: NHL Draft Finder

  • Status Filters: Moved to “Player Filters”

In addition to moving filters, the order of filters is now much more consistent across different Finders and sports. For example, Status Filters will always be in the order “Rookie, Active, All Star (or All-Pro, Pro-Bowl, etc.), Hall of Fame” when those filters are available. Similarly, “Seasons” will always come before “Game Type”. There were many minor inconsistencies here that we rectified (too many to list).

Posted in Announcement, Features, General, Redesign, Stathead | 1 Comment »

Basketball Reference Adds Pages For All Draftees in NBA History

Posted by Alex Bonilla on November 9, 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, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Draft, Features, History, Trivia | Comments Off on Basketball Reference Adds Pages For All Draftees in NBA History