By David W. Smith
It is with great pleasure that I announce the semiannual update to the Retrosheet website for Summer 2020.
1. One of Retrosheet’s greatest contributions has been the construction and publication of box score files. These files provide uniformity and reliability that has been groundbreaking. With this release, we are now complete back to 1901, meaning that we now cover the past 119 seasons.
This huge effort has been led for many years by Retrosheet Vice-President Tom Ruane, who is quick to acknowledge the help of several people in checking out RBI data among other things: Dave Lamoureaux, Jonathan Frankel, Javier Anderson, Mike Grahek, Tom Bradley, Bill Nowlin, Tom Stillman, Gary Pearce, Rob Wood, J.G. Preston, Pete Palmer, Herm Krabbenhoft, Don Zminda, Charlie O’Reilly, Paul Wendt, Sheldon Miller, Bob Boehme, Chuck Hildebrandt, Mark Armour, Ron Weaver, Bob LeMoine, Ian Orr, Terry Small, Dave Newman and Dixie Tourangeau.
2. Deduced games have been completed for four more seasons, 1928 to 1931. This essential work, which can be very challenging, results from the continued great work of Tom Thress, Rob Wood, Dick Cramer, Jim Herdman, Cliff Blau, and Mark Pankin. These stalwarts read multiple newspaper stories and piece together plausible play-by-play files that are checked against the official totals for all players in each game. We now have at least deduced versions of full play-by-play for the last 92 seasons. Deduction work is dependent on newspaper accounts and we have had great success in downloading accounts from several online sources. Many thanks to Rob Wood, Cliff Blau, Jim Herdman, Tom Thress for their ongoing help here. We have a new volunteer in this effort, Jim Bard. He is very organized and efficient, greatly enhancing our collection of this vital information.
3. Mike Cantor has spent an enormous number of hours looking for newspaper play by play accounts in sources we have not previously checked, some of which are rather obscure, such as Cleveland Herald, Madison Capitol Times, and Escanaba Daily Press to name a few. He has provided at least partial play-by-play for hundreds of games (many are complete) and our files are much the better for his work.
4. Proofing has been completed of play-by-play files from 1916 and 1917. These seasons are still missing some games which will eventually be deduced, but it is valuable to get the information we have available as soon as possible. With these new releases we now cover approximately 95% of the games from 1916 through 2019 so that we now provide play-by-play data for the last 104 seasons.
6. Webmaster Mark Pankin continues to manage the site with updates on replay reviews, umpire changes, batting out of turn, and so much more, including fielding comments from users who have found errors in some of our files. Thanks to his efforts we stay current to the greatest extent possible.
7. We continue to get new scorecards, largely through the efforts of Joe Stillwell and his regular scanning of auction sites. Many of these are improvements over accounts we have already posted, for example, for deduced games. Wayne Townsend has taken on the difficult task of incorporating the new information into the old files.
8. Each month we get several corrections and additions to various game details from readers of our site. Many are based on video files available online. We welcome these improvements.
Thanks to everyone for your continued interest in Retrosheet. It is a continued pleasure to supply this information to the baseball public.
SABR member DAVID W. SMITH is the founder and president of Retrosheet. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published: July 13, 2020. Last Updated: July 12, 2020.