Retrosheet announces semiannual update of website

From SABR member David W. Smith on June 23, 2012:

It is with great pleasure that I announce the semiannual update of the Retrosheet website.  The quick summary of additions is:

  • Play by play event files for 1927 and 1947
  • Box score event files for 1916 and 1917
  • Ejection details for 1990 to 2011
  • Discrepancy files for 1916 and 1917
  • Deduced games for 1951

New play by play accounts were added to several previously released seasons, so the number of missing games from 1950 to the present continues to shrink. The most wanted lists were updated to reflect the inclusion of these games.

In addition, there were enhancements and corrections to many event and box score files, thanks to information sent in by users of our site; we are grateful to everyone for helping us improve our offerings; it is always impressive to see how carefully our files are scrutinized! The discrepancy files were update for many years, especially 1927 and 1947, since the detailed proofing of those seasons identified many discrepancy issues. Tom Ruane continued the generation of box score files for older seasons, and we now have a continuous run back to 1916. This is an extraordinarily time-consuming task and everyone is grateful to Tom for managing this effort and working out the details so tirelessly.

There are three of the additions that deserve special attention.

The addition of ejection data into the event files was done singlehandedly by David Vincent who painstakingly inserted the details into the appropriate place. He devised a systematic coding system so that users can easily search for these banishments and also added comments with more complete explanations. These comments appear in bold face in the narrative play by play text. For example, in (Giants at Pirates, 6-21-1995), Jay Bell of the Pirates was ejected in the bottom of the 9th inning, which appears in the narrative account. Also, Bell’s career player page: has a list of all his ejections at the bottom, just before his transaction history. He was ejected six times as a player and once as a coach. An abbreviated description of the reason appears for each and each is linked to the box score/play by play account for that game. This is excellent information that we are pleased to be able to present and David is continuing to work backward in typical Retro-style so we can look forward to the documentation of more ejections in subsequent releases.

The 1947 event files are not complete as we are still missing the details for over 400 games from that season; the released files contain 782 games that have been rigorously proofed by day by day comparison to the official totals. Hopefully more games will be added to these files in the future, but in the meantime we decided it was valuable to get what we have into the hands of researchers now. One team for which we do have complete coverage in 1947 is the Dodgers and we now have available on the website complete play by play coverage for the careers of Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider.

The release of the 1927 event files is very exciting. We have coverage for 923 games, which means that we still need a little over 300 more. These games were also proofed via day by day comparison to the official totals. Of particular note to many people will be the fact that we have complete play by play for all but 3 of the games played by the 1927 Yankees, thanks to some accounts copied at the Hall of Fame library in 2011. For those last three games, multiple newspapers were examined (between 6 and 8) and accounts were deduced. Of course, fielding credit is missing for most plays, but the resultant files check out perfectly for totals for each player and we have great confidence in the reliability of these three games.

In the fall we update the site with data from 2012 and hopefully play by play files for one or two additional older seasons.

Dave Smith

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Originally published: July 5, 2012. Last Updated: July 5, 2012.