David W. Smith (1948- ) founded Retrosheet in 1989 and has been its leader ever since. A prolific researcher in his own right, Smith’s dream of collecting the play-by-play for thousands of games has been surpassed: as of 2012, more than 120,000 play-by-play accounts are available on Retrosheet’s website, comprising about 60 percent of the major league games in history. Retrosheet is the backbone of so much historical and statistical research, and Smith’s vision and generosity have greatly influenced the research community over the past 20 years. In 2005, Smith was the recipient of the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest honor. In 2001, he received the SABR Salute and also won the convention award for best research presentation with “Play by Play Analysis of the 1951 National League Pennant Race”. A longtime professor of microbiology at the University of Delaware, Smith is a lifelong Dodgers fan who can frequently be found sporting his Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys at the SABR convention.
- Read Lyle Spatz’s profile of David W. Smith in the Spring 2012 SABR Baseball Research Journal
- Check out 120,000+ major league box scores and more at Retrosheet.org
- Listen to a 2022 SABR Oral History interview with David W. Smith, by Brian Hall
- Read the introduction of David W. Smith as the Bob Davids Award winner at SABR 35 in 2005
- In 2001, David W. Smith was honored with the SABR Salute