Retrosheet announces December 2014 update

By David W. Smith

I am happy to announce that semiannual update of the Retrosheet website (Retrosheet.org). Here is a summary of what is new:

  • The 2014 season with all postseason games and the All-Star game
  • 1936 (both leagues), a total of 678 of the 1,238 games played (55%).
  • 1925 (both leagues), a total of 999 of the 1,228 games played (81%)
  • Deduced games to complete the 1948 season
  • Many new games have been added to previously released seasons
  • All related player pages have been updated as well, including transactions, ejections, and replays.

The 2014 season saw the initiation of the challenge system in the Major Leagues. David Vincent monitored these on a daily basis and all of them are in the new event files (see http://www.retrosheet.org/ReplayHR.htm and http://www.retrosheet.org/Replay.htm for complete listings). A detailed description of the codes has been written by David and is part of the webpage describing our file structure (http://www.retrosheet.org/eventfile.htm) which he has recently updated. Also included are details on ejection codes and other recently implemented modifiers that provide extra information in play strings.

The 1936 season is the last one that the late Clem Comly worked on. He did a great amount of work in documenting precise differences between our files and the official records, making many edits and improvements to our files. I took his comments and created appropriate discrepancies which appear on the site.

Wayne Townsend completed a project of many years on the 1925 season. He consulted an amazing number of newspapers and other sources and produced one of the most thoroughly documented sets of data we have ever released. The differences he found number over 1,500 and I have incorporated them into the updated discrepancy files.

The ongoing project to deduce plausible play-by-play accounts from newspaper stories for games lacking true play-by-play coverage continues in a robust fashion.

Several people have contributed this year: Tom Thress, Richard Weston, John Gabcik, Mark Pankin, Stew Thornley, Jim Wohlenhaus, Javier Anderson, and Christopher Phillips. Richard Weston has been doing this for over six years and has completed several hundred games from 1954 and earlier. Tom Thress began in earnest this year and has created excellent accounts for well over 400 games, usually completing one a day! This is extraordinary given the amount of work and special care that must be taken in the deduction process.

The entire 1948 season has now been completed, giving us complete play by play coverage of the past 67 consecutive seasons. Of course, these deductions require scans/downloads of newspaper stories to work from. I obtain many from Interlibrary Loan, but three others have made major contributions. Mark Pankin regularly visits the Library of Congress where he avails himself of their vast holdings which he scans. Walter LeConte downloaded the Boston Globe accounts for many, many seasons. Rob Mains has visited the New York Historical Society and the New York Public Library as well as getting microfilmed papers via Interlibrary Loan and has been a great boon to this effort.

Many people have worked to enter game accounts from scorebooks and newspapers for our previously released seasons. The two biggest acquisitions for this year were the scorebooks of James Isaminger (Philadelphia 1907-40) and Tom Swope (Cincinnati 1914-48, plus more recent seasons we have not yet obtained). David Vincent and Dick Cramer have done the lion’s share of these game entries, with many also entered by Wayne Townsend, Cliff Blau, Jim Herdman, Mark Pankin, Pete Cottrell, Howard Johnson, Doug Burks, Bob Kapla, Sheldon Miller, and Gary Frownfelter. Many thanks to these gentlemen for continuing to improve our already released seasons.

Tom Ruane continues to do an immense amount of work in preparing our wonderfully cross-referenced box score files, along with the detailed transaction data and the gamelog files. Our website simply would not exist without Tom’s work. Webmaster Mark Pankin continues to maintain the site and process the many queries that users send in.

I apologize if I left anyone out and I refer interested to parties to my annual report for other information.

SABR member DAVID W. SMITH is the founder and president of Retrosheet. He is a 2012 recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award and a 2005 recipient of the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest honor. Learn more at Retrosheet.org.



Originally published: December 14, 2014. Last Updated: December 14, 2014.

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