SABR member Bob Tholkes provides massive update to Protoball early baseball games database

By Larry McCray

SABR member Bob Tholkes has provided to his impressive new database, the “Registry of Interclub Matches” (RIM), which comprises more than 5,000 interclub baseball matches from 1845-1865.

This represents a major addition to Protoball’s pre-professional database, which began with Craig Waff’s contribution of about 2,300 of the earliest modern games and increased with the SABR Origins Committee’s “Spread of Base Ball” project, many of which were unearthed by Bruce Allardice, and Peter Morris’ fine tomes on Base Ball Pioneers and Base Ball Founders.

Tholkes’ files contain about 250 additional games from 1845-1857, and about 4,900 other matches from 1858-1865. He also supplies a key and introduction, and a list of sources where game accounts can be accessed. Dave Anderson is now setting forth to integrate these games into Protoball’s pre-professional database, but if you want to scan or download the RIM Excel file at this point, visit

The Protoball Project was established to help researchers and writers locate and refine primary data on the evolution and spread of ball play from ancient times to up to 1870, just before the first professional baseball league began. For more information, visit

LARRY McCRAY created the vast and invaluable Protoball Project and is a 2018 recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award. He can be reached at

Originally published: September 14, 2018. Last Updated: September 14, 2018.