SABR

Additional Corrections in the Official Records (1920–44) of Runs Scored for Detroit Tigers Players

By Herm Krabbenhoft

This article was published in the Fall 2013 Baseball Research Journal.

In a previous article I provided the corrections of the run-scored errors I discovered in the official records for Detroit Tigers players during the 1920–44 seasons.1 A total of 35 games involving 37 players—including Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Heinie Manush, Charlie Gehringer, and Hank Greenberg—had run-scored errors. Each of the changes I suggested to correct the run-scored errors was approved by the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician for Major League Baseball.

Rudy York: His season totals in runs scored for both 1938 and 1944 are in need of updating, according to the author.Rudy York: His season totals in runs scored for both 1938 and 1944 are in need of updating, according to the author.The research procedure I employed at that time consisted of comparing the run-scored information provided in the box scores in The New York Times with the run-scored information provided in the official Day-By-Day (DBD) records, then resolving any discrepancies by reviewing the text accounts of the games in all of the relevant newspapers. I used the three major daily newspapers published in Detroit (Free Press, News, and Times) as well as at least one newspaper published in the city of the team opposing the Tigers. That method left one type of error that would not be caught, as I wrote, “If there is a run-scored error in both the newspaper box score and the official DBD record.”

In my subsequent R/RBI research, I have followed a more rigorous research procedure—first ascertaining the complete details for each and every run scored in a game during a season and then comparing these R/RBI results with the R/RBI stats in baseball‘s official DBD records.2, 3, 4, 5 In the course of ascertaining the accurate RBI record of Hank Greenberg I have discovered—and corrected—three additional games with run-scored errors for Detroit Tigers players during the 1931–46 seasons.

The corrections of these additional run-scored errors in the official baseball records are presented in this Addendum—See Table 1.

Table 1: Additional Run-Scored Errors and Corrections for Detroit Tigers Players in Individual Games (1931–44)Table 1: Additional Run-Scored Errors and Corrections for Detroit Tigers Players in Individual Games (1931–44)

Table 1 shows that the three additional run-scored error games involve five players, including Hall of Famers Greenberg and Goose Goslin.
Implementation of these single-game corrections results in changes to the runs scored totals the players achieved in the given seasons as well as in their Detroit Tigers careers—See Table 2.

Table 2: Single-Season and Career Consequences of Correcting Run-Scored Errors for Detroit Tigers PlayersTable 2: Single-Season and Career Consequences of Correcting Run-Scored Errors for Detroit Tigers Players

The most significant consequence of implementing the corrections to the run-scored errors described here is that Greenberg’s 1938 AL-leading total is now 143 runs (not 144).

Goose Goslin: is one Hall of Famer whose career totals need adjustment, according to Herm Krabbenhoft.Goose Goslin: is one Hall of Famer whose career totals need adjustment, according to Herm Krabbenhoft.The full appendix of my documentation for this paper is available for examination on the SABR website. The documentation was also provided to the Elias Sports Bureau (Seymour Siwoff and Steve Hirdt), Pete Palmer (whose statistical database is utilized in the SABR Encyclopedia), and Retrosheet (Dave Smith and Tom Ruane) for their review. Hirdt stated that he “would take a look at the evidence.”6 Palmer wrote, “Herm has gone far beyond my work in verifying baseball stats. I have no reason to doubt his research, which is thorough and accurate.”7 And, for each of the three games (Table 1), Ruane wrote, “I agree with your findings.”8

HERM KRABBENHOFT, a SABR member since 1981, is a retired research chemist. His baseball research has focused on ultimate grand slam home runs, leadoff batters, triple plays, the uniform numbers of Detroit Tigers, and consecutive games streaks for scoring runs and batting in runs—which requires having accurate game-by-game runs and RBI statistics—which requires correcting the runs and RBI errors in baseball’s official records.

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