By David W. Smith
It is with great pleasure that I announce the semiannual update to the Retrosheet website for Fall 2017. This is always a happy occasion for users of our data, but this fall we have something of a bonanza of new items. It is hard for me to decide which to list first!
1. Box scores for the 1908 and 1909 seasons have been completed and proofed. Tom Ruane led this effort as usual along with help from Jonathan Frankel, Dave Lamoureaux, Tom Bradley, Gary Frownfelter, Ron Weaver, Carl Schweisthal, Steve Vetere, Larry Defillipo and Bill Nowlin. Thanks to the efforts of this crew, we now have full box scores for the last 110 seasons. Go to http://www.retrosheet.org/game.htm and look for Regular Season Box Score Event Files.
2. In response to a request from a user of our site, Tom has added fielding splits for players along with our traditional batting and pitching splits. This was a large amount of work, but Tom accomplished it while updating all the player, coach, and umpire pages.
3. Tom has received help from the folks at Baseball-Reference.com as he updated the transaction portion of our site.
4. For several years, we have prepared play by play accounts of missing games by careful use of newspapers, especially the detailed games stories that were once so common. This time we release 1941, adding to the front of our contiguous block of play by play as usual so that we now have full play by play of every game for the last 77 seasons. Many people have contributed to this work with Tom Thress and Dick Cramer continuing to complete the most games although we also have major contributions from Jim Herdman, Jim Wohlenhaus, and John Gabcik. Of course, this work depends entirely on having the newspaper accounts in hand in a usable, digital format. For quite some time, this required me to obtain microfilmed newspapers and scan them, but I am delighted that we have an increasing amount of help. Tom Thress, Jim Herdman, Cliff Blau, Wayne Townsend, and Dick Cramer have donated a lot of time and downloaded game stories from newspapers.com, In addition, Rob Mains and Chuck Wessell have spent many hours in the library scanning images from microfilm. All of this work is greatly appreciated as it relieves a major burden from me and helps us to decentralize this crucial effort.
5. The 2017 data have been processed and proofed and have been released as well. Many people help with this current information, including Bill Arnold, Tom Thress, and Bill Carle. Proofing assistance was provided by Tom Tango and Pete Palmer. Many of the daily activities previously done by the late David Vincent, long-time Retrosheet Secretary and Board member, have been taken over by others. We are all grateful to them. Go to http://www.retrosheet.org/game.htm and look for Event Files (separate entries for Regular Season, All-Star Game, and Post-Season).
6. We have also completed the proofing of play by play files from 1926 and 1929 with an enormous effort from Wayne Townsend who also did the bulk of the work on 1925. Although these seasons are still missing some games which will eventually be deduced, I think it is valuable to get the information we have available as soon as possible. The 1926 release covers 1,008 of the 1,234 games played that season (81.7%) and for 1929 we have 942 of the 1,229 games (76.6%). David Vincent helped verify the earned run decisions for these games, which can be somewhat problematic. With these additions, we now provide play by play data for the last 93 seasons.
7. We also continue to input play by play accounts from earlier seasons that will be released as soon as we can get them proofed. Cliff Blau has done the lion’s share of these early games in recent years.
8. Our webmaster, Mark Pankin, has done a fine job of maintain the site, keeping up the posting of replay data as well as features such as umpire changes during games, batting out of turn, etc. With the passing of David Vincent, Mark has expanded his portfolio of responsibility and I am grateful to him for his steady help.
I am always concerned that I have forgotten to include someone and I apologize in advance if I have done so!
DAVID W. SMITH is the founder and president of Retrosheet. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published: November 27, 2017. Last Updated: November 27, 2017.