From SABR member Jeff Polman at Full Spectrum Baseball on July 31, 2012, with mention of SABR member David W. Smith:
Take a trip back to July 18, 1958. It’s a Friday night in Los Angeles, and 10-year-old David Smith is at the Memorial Coliseum to attend his very first game, between the Phillies and Dodgers. His hero is Sandy Koufax, years before he became a great pitcher, and this is far from Sandy’s best performance. In the first inning, he strikes out two but walks four and gets yanked from the action. Maybe he is just under the weather, because he starts the next night and goes seven and a third innings.
The Dodgers won that Friday night 8-6, lost the next night, and for a long time, David Smith thirsted for the actual accounts of those games.
It was undoubtedly his inspiration for the birth of Retrosheet.
Fifty-four years later, Dave Smith’s non-profit Web site has researched and catalogued over 120,000 major league baseball games for our pleasure and historical use. In some cases you’ll just find box scores, in many others, detailed play-by-play. Because of Retrosheet, in less than a minute you can learn that the first batter Smith saw Koufax face was Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn; that there were 24, 532 other people at the Coliseum and the game took two hours and fifty-five minutes; that Chico Fernandez’s fifth inning homer off Johnny Klippstein went over the short left field screen; and that Shag Crawford and Jocko Conlan were two of the umpires.
Read the full article here: http://www.fullspectrumbaseball.com/2012/07/31/guest-post-retrosheet-is-still-retro-cool/
Originally published: July 31, 2012. Last Updated: July 31, 2012.