The Retro Sheet

Official Publication of Retrosheet, Inc.

Volume 4, No. 4 December 1997

Table of Contents

View from the Vault
Oldest Completed Team-Season
Game Account Acquisitions
The RetroBrick
Hack Wilson: 191 RBI in 1930?
Moe Berg's Debut
The Cold and Darkness Must Be Affecting His Brain
Strange and Unusual Plays
Broken Bats
Retro Detectives Strike Again
Games Played Logs
Fan Hit by Ball from Bottemley's Bat Sues
Umpire Hurt
Newly Completed Seasons
Verifying the Data Sets
The Pilgrims' Progress
Majors Seen on Coast
Great Prediction
Homers Will Help His Wardrobe
Cubs Protest of Game with Braves Denied
Rain Rule Unfair, Says Indians' Pilot
Nominations Sought
Scoring Reminders
Unusual Post-Season Endings
Opening Santa's Bag We Find...
The Scoreboard

View from the Vault

David W. Smith, President

For the last issue of a very busy year, it seems reasonable to offer an overview of Retrosheet's current situation. We have been gaining recognition steadily for a few years, but 1997 saw some big jumps. We were acknowledged by a few teams in their media guides, we have been featured on the ESPN web site, and the link from the SABR web page to ours has generated several volunteers who dropped in to look around. As a result we have more active volunteers than ever, well over 100. This group has sorted itself out rather nicely in terms of eras and teams of interest as well as the balance between entering games and proofing them. The only reasons we haven't released more seasons via our web page are the household move of Retro-central in May and the birth of my son in June. However, it is clear that some measure of stability has returned and I am confident that our pace of completion, meaning public release, will increase. The data on the back page give the detailed numbers of our achievement, but I prefer to think of the human faces behind the numbers. This is a great community of baseball lovers and I really like the interactions I get to have with all of you. Thanks to everyone for their selfless donation of time and let's hope for continued Retrofun in 1998.

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Oldest Completed Team-Season

There are several different milestones we can use to mark our progress through baseball history, but a very nice one is the completion of all the games for a team for one season. Until now the oldest such set we had was the 1947 Dodgers, thanks to the scoresheets of the late Allan Roth. However, in the last three months this mark has been pushed back over a quarter of a century as Ron Fisher has completed the inputting for the 1921 Pirates. Actually, he had to make some "educated guesses" about some plays in the second half of a rain-shortened doubleheader on September 29 against the Cardinals, but he was able to construct a reasonable account for the game from the newspaper stories.

You may recall from earlier editions of TRS that there is a systematic problem with the accounts we get from old newspapers, namely that it was almost always an evening paper that carried the play by play of that afternoon's game. These evening papers generally did not publish on Sundays or holidays, leaving us with a gap of 25-30 games in most cities. However, the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, which had excellent detailed accounts, was a morning paper, published seven days a week and carrying the play by play results of the previous day's game. The only game they missed for 1921 was the second game of the aforementioned September 29 doubleheader.

Ron is now deeply into the proofing of the 1921 Pirates, comparing our file for each game against The Sporting News box scores, which we obtained courtesy of a microfilm loan from Retrosheet volunteer Tom Ruane. Ron has not ignored the other teams for that season, having now entered 532 games from several sources, and he is still entering more. Congratulations to Ron for moving this milestone in such a dramatic way.

Here are some other notable games from our holdings:

Earliest game account in the vault: 06/12/1880 CLE @ WOR (first perfect game - Lee Richmond) Earliest computerized game account: 04/24/1901 CLE @ CHA (first AL game in history) Earliest pitch-by-pitch account: 09/06/1912 WAS @ BOS (Walter Johnson vs Joe Wood)

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Game Account Acquisitions

By Dave Smith

Much has happened since the last newsletter on this all-important front. I have copied newspaper accounts from the Chicago Daily News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 1930 along with games from 1921 from the St. Louis Star, Chicago Daily News and Pittsburgh Gazette-Times. I also recently obtained microfilm of the 1903 New York Evening Telegram and am about halfway through copying that season, the first for an American League team in New York. The 1930 Pittsburgh paper carried pitch by pitch accounts of that year's World Series, missing only one game due to the fact it did not publish on Sundays.

Several others have responded to the call for help in the last newsletter, specifically Ted Turocy (1911 Chicago), John Stuart (1919 Pittsburgh) and Bill McMahon (1939 Chicago). There is still a mountain of these old newspapers to go through and we greatly appreciate the efforts of these volunteers. Others are always welcome to join!

Buddy Blattner played second base for the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies from 1942 to 1949. After his retirement as a player, Buddy became an announcer, first with the Browns, then with the Angels and Royals. I contacted him in hopes of getting copies of scorebooks, but the end result was better than we could have expected. Buddy donated his scorebooks (the real thing, not copies!) covering mid-1963 through 1975 along with a detailed guide into deciphering his scoring system. The games were scored very neatly and are easily some of the best we have encountered. Thanks to this donation, we now have accounts for all of the 1965 AL and nearly all of 1963. The most recent AL game we are missing is the one played on June 11, 1963 by the Angels in Kansas City, meaning we have all AL games from all subsequent seasons. A big tip of the Retro-cap to Buddy Blattner for this wonderful donation.

Bob Kistler in Boston has been copying game accounts from microfilmed papers in the Boston Public Library. He has sent along dozens of games for both Boston team for 1936 and continues to do more. This contribution is even more special than it might at first appear. The Boston Public Library will not loan their microfilm through Interlibrary Loan so we must have someone in the Boston area do this work. The library has certain policies about the use of their microfilm readers which it difficult to get the information we seek, even after getting to the library. Many thanks to Bob for this great assistance.

Fred Smith, a long-time SABR member in Detroit, donated a most unusual game account. Actually the game is not so unusual; it is the first game of the 1940 World Series. What is different is the form: Fred has a roll of Western Union ticker tape (paper) with all the details of the game as they were clicked out over the wire. Not only do we get to know each pitch, we usually get details on pitch type (fast ball, curve ball, high, inside, etc.). Apparently there was once a large collection of these paper tapes in the possession of the Associated Press in New York. We have made several attempts to discover whether or not these tapes still exist and, if so, could we copy them. Alas, it appears that these priceless antiques have disappeared.

Luke Kraemer continues to obtain scorebooks from memorabilia dealers, primarily through ads in the Sports Collectors Digest. These games from the 1940s and 1950s are very hard to obtain from other sources such as newspapers, so Luke's efforts are very important.

Ron Rakowski recently obtained the scorebooks of Milwaukee writer Bob Wolf for the 1957 season and is hard at work entering them into the computer. It is unfortunate that only that one season has survived, but Braves fans will certainly be glad it was 1957 that we have.

David Vincent also has uncovered some rare game accounts. While doing some research for the SABR Tattersall-McConnell Home Run Log, he discovered play-by-play in the New York Times, of all places! These games are important pennant race games. The last 2 days of the 1934 season for the Dodgers at the Giants and the Reds at the Cardinals. The season ended on a Sunday, which is the hardest day for us to gather game accounts.

David's other find was for September 9, 1928 - a Sunday doubleheader between the A's and the Yankees. Connie Mack's squad started the day 1/2 game in front of the Yankees but were swept by the Hugmen. Both games were in the Times.

Games show up in many places. Please copy any that you find.

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The Chicago Daily News on 8/30/30 had a picture showing Hack WIlson selling his bat to a fan for $100.00. He had hit homer #44 with it.

The RetroBrick

The first meeting of the Retrosheet Board of Directors took place on June 17, 1994 in Arlington, TX. That weekend, while returning to the hotel from a Rangers game, a group of Retro volunteers were admiring the displays of yearly names and statistics from Rangers' history that are part of the brick sidewalk surrounding the park. There are many “sponsored” bricks along the way with names of people and organizations. The suggestion was made that Retrosheet should commemorate its first meeting with a brick so we bought a brick from the Rangers in the 1983 area. Recently, David Vincent was in Arlington on business and had the opportunity to see the brick on the walk and took this photo. How many people will look at that through the years and say “What does that mean?”

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Hack Wilson: 191 RBI in 1930?

Everyone knows that Hack Wilson set the Major League record with 190 RBI in 1930. However, it now appears that he may have had 191.

At the annual meeting of the SABR Records committee last June, Cliff Kachline noted that the July 28 issue of the Chicago Daily News clearly shows in its play by play account that Hack drove in KiKi Cuyler from second with a single in the third inning of the second game of the Cubs doubleheader that day against Cincinnati. The official daily totals on file at the Hall of Fame library show Wilson with no RBI in that game.

Retrosheet volunteers have been processing games from that season in order to have as complete a picture as possible of Wilson's statistics. There must be more research done before we conclude that such a benchmark record has been wrong all these years, but at this point things look suspicious and it's good to see Retrosheet involved in the hunt for the correct events.

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Moe Berg's Debut

Wayne Townsend was inputting games for the 1923 season when he came across the Major League debut for Moe Berg, on June 27, 1923. Wayne was working from the account in the New York Evening Telegram when he found Berg's entry for the Dodgers in the 7th inning of a blowout in Philadelphia (Brooklyn won 15-5). Although Moe was a catcher for most of his big league career, he debuted at shortstop, got an infield single his only time up and started a game-ending double play with a good play on a line drive. What is most interesting is that Total Baseball and the SABR Biographical database both had his debut as July 4, 1923, over a week later.

Dave Smith did some further checking and found that the New York Times article on the game confirmed Moe's debut on June 27, even mentioning it in the sub-headline over the game story. For the record, it should be noted that on July 4 the Dodgers played a doubleheader and Moe got his first starts on that day. Pete Palmer of Total Baseball and Bill Carle of the SABR Biographical Committee were notified of our discovery and both have changed their records accordingly.

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The Cold and Darkness Must Be Affecting His Brain

E-mail exchange between Mike Grahek of Fairbanks, Alaska, who has been working on the 1957 Tigers and Red Sox and Dave Smith:

MG: Doing Senators' games is interesting in the way that visiting a morgue (or a terminal ward) would be interesting. Perhaps it's the way the score sheets are photocopied (all black background surrounding the pages), but I get a real sense of dreariness from them (though they are still quite compelling). The scorer doesn't include many notes, but those that he does are generally somewhat depressing. He keeps a running tab of total attendance at 'Nats' games which after 46 games is only 157,268 (3,418 per game), probably 30 or 40 thousand of which showed up at the home opener. It would be fun to watch Williams play in a stadium scattered with 1,714 diehards. You could sit close enough to hear him swear at missing a hanger. Wait, that would never happen.

DS: What a great description! With your permission, I would like to include that whole thing in the next newsletter, because I am sure it will bring a smile to lots of other people as well

MG: Send my royalty check to my home address. Back to the Tigers.

DS: Who weren't a whole lot better than the Senators!

MG: Au contraire! They were 23 games better. With a new stadium and luxury suites, they might have won it all.

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Strange and Unusual Plays

Volunteers contributing to this section were Clem Comly, Stu Shea, Wayne Townsend, Mike Grahek and Dave Lamoureaux.

4/28/22: In the top of the sixth with runners on 1b and 3b the Phillies attempt a double steal. The runner on 3b is thrown out by the Dodgers 1365. Not your everyday CSH.

4/28/22: In the top of the fifth the Giants had a runner on 3b and 1 out. Dave Bancroft hit a sacrifice fly to rf. Earl Smith scored easily. Bancroft stopped Walton Cruise's throw home between 1b and 2b because there was no chance to get the runner. The Braves protested that Smith should be sent back to 3b to no avail. In the to of the eighth the Giants had the bases loaded with 1 out. Johnny Rawlings hit a ball to 3b for a force out at the plate. Catcher Mickey O'Neil tried to complete the double play but his throw hit Rawlings on the back of the head and Art Nehf scored from 2b. Bancroft tried to score from 1b and was safe when Walter Barbare's throw sailed to the grandstand. Score it:


5/13/22: In the top of the fourth of a game between the Tigers and the Yankees at the Polo Grounds, there was a commotion in the lf stand when several gamblers were ejected by the security force; one man objected and put up quite a battle.

5/14/22: In the top of the sixth Yankee Carl Mays walked his opposing pitcher, Tiger Herm Pillette. In anger, he kicked the ball and it landed at the grandstand. Johnny Bassler moved from 2b to 3b on the error.

5/14/22: The game at Cubs Park was delayed by rain at the start and the field was in terrible shape. However, the game was played due to the 15,000 people in the stands. In the top of the fourth, the rain was falling heavily and the fans in the lf bleachers hurled pop bottles, boxes and seat cushions onto the field as a protest against the game. In the bottom of that inning, Charlie Hollocher was put out at 3b because he slid through the mud and shot past the bag.

In the top of the sixth, Jess Barnes hit an easy grounder. Ray Grimes juggled the throw and the Giants claimed that he was not holding the ball as Barnes passed over the bag. They gathered around umpire Paul Sentelle kicking loudly. Meanwhile, the crowd in the bleachers rushed on the field to escape the rain and the game was held up for several minutes until the fans got to the shelter of the grandstand. The Giants appealed Sentelle's decision to Klem who reversed it, ruling Barnes safe; at this the Cubs set up such a roar that Klem held up the game to warn them to be quiet as cushions were hurled at him from the stands. To top it all off, the game went 10 innings in those conditions!

5/23/22: In the bottom of the sixth, Yankee Wally Pipp beat out a single to Browns first baseman George Sisler. Sisler tossed the ball to Urban Shocker for the play at 1b but when Shocker was slow covering Sisler ran over and caught his own throw!

5/24/22: In the bottom of the seventh, Sam Jones hit an apparent sacrifice bunt but home plate umpire George Hildebrand called it a foul ball. Both teams gathered around to argue. The Yankees claimed it was fair while the Browns claimed that Jones was hit by the batted ball and therefore out.

5/25/22: In the bottom of the third, Babe Ruth singled to cf and tried to stretch it to a double. He was out and argued with umpire George Hildebrand. During the argument he threw dirt at the arbiter, which struck him on the shoulder. Ruth was ejected and as he reached the dugout the crowd booed. Ruth jumped into the reserved seats after one of the fans who had booed him; no blows were struck as the fan made a hasty exit upon seeing Ruth enter the stands. Ed Barrow quickly came down and as Ruth walked out to the locker room he shook his finger at someone in the rf stands. Ruth was suspended one game by AL president Ban Johnson.

6/1/23: The Giants set a modern record by scoring in all 9 innings in a 22-8 romp over the Phillies at the Baker Bowl. The Phillies made 7 errors (3 on dropped popups), two wild pitches, and a passed ball. Ross Youngs drove in 7. Jimmy O'Connell went 5-for-6, slugged the game's only HR, added 3 doubles (he only had 9 the whole year), and drove in 5. Bancroft and Groh (the 1st & 2nd hitters in lineup), went 8-for-12 and scored 8 runs. The Giants had 23 hits, 9 bases on balls, and a hit batsman. Leading 19-7 in the 7th, the Giants tried a double-steal which resulted in a caught stealing home.

6/19/23: In the top of the 1st inning, Tiger Lu Blue singled to rf. Ty Cobb then got the consent of the Yanks to let Francis run for Blue, who was still weak from being knocked unconscious by a batted ball during fielding practice before the game. Blue would start at 1b in the bottom of 1st and play the rest of the game. This is another courtesy runner for our list which now includes 7 of these odd events.

6/16/23: As you may recall, balls which bounced into the stands were counted as home runs in the 1920s. Many people have wondered if Babe Ruth ever hit any in this way and in fact Bob McConnell has researched the matter carefully, concluding that the Babe never bounced any. The Babe nearly had one in this game however, as noted in the NY Times: “A near home run by Babe Ruth featured the fifth. The ball dropped at the base of the left field stand - away off the Babe's usual channel - and almost bounced into the seats. But Ken Williams rescued it in time and held his home-run rival to second base.”

6/23/30: In the top of the sixth, the Phillies had runners on first and second with none out. Pinky Whitney walked but Lefty O'Doul overran 3b and was run down by the Cubs. The unusual play is scored:


7/30/30: In the bottom of the sixth inning, Browns second baseman Ski Melillo fielded a grounder behind the bag. He was out of position to throw to 1b so he flipped the ball to shortstop Red Kress who threw to first retiring the batter. The next time you hear a commentator talk about Roberto Alomar remember Ski Mellilo.

8/8/30: In the bottom of the sixth, the Cubs had runners on 1b and 2b with 1 out. Guy Bush hit a ball in front of the plate which Braves catcher Bill Cronin grabbed, tagged the batter and threw to 3b to retire Charlie Grimm on an unusual GDP: 2(B)5(2). In the top of the ninth with the Cubs up 6-1, Freddie Maguire was on 1b. He was allowed to go to 2b unmolested but when he tried to go to 3b Gabby Hartnett threw him out to end the game!

8/11/30: In the top of the third, Brave Bill Cronin was on 1b with 1 out. Ben Cantwell hit back to Cubs pitcher Bud Teachout who made a wild throw to 2b. Cronin overran the bag and was out out 65. By this time, Cantwell was on his way to 2b and was run down for a double play:


8/16/30: The White Sox game at Yankee Stadium was rained out in the top of the fourth inning. Carl Reynolds, Chicago outfielder, had singled in the first inning. This hit was reported as the eighth hit he has lost to “misbehaving elements” during the 1930 season. Although there are no records kept of this sort of event, that total seems incredibly high.

8/28/30: The Pirates had runners on 1b and 3b with 1 out in the bottom of the fifth inning. George Grantham popped out in foul territory to Reds catcher Johnny Gooch. Paul Waner on 1b ran to second after the catch; any runner advance made the fly out a sac fly in 1930. When Gooch threw to 2b Jim Mosolf tried to score from 3b but was out. This play is then a foul sac fly double play with no run scoring: 2/FL/SF/DP.3XH(265);1-2.

9/15/30: In the bottom of the second with runners on 1b and 2b, Dodger Glenn Wright hit the ball to right-center. It looked like it might be caught so Babe Herman slowed up as he neared 2b. The ball bounced over the fence for a home run but Wright had his head down as he ran between 1b and 2b. Consequently, he passed Herman and was called out. He lost a homer but still knocked in 2 runs.

4/24/66: Senator pitcher Pete Richert tied the AL record by striking out 7 consecutive Tigers. This is an odd finding since several years ago Retrosheet helped to determine that Richert struck out the first 6 batters he faced in the majors. What a double feature!

5/25/69: On "ball day" at RFK Stadium in Washington, 24,015 fans watched a wild 12-inning affair that the visiting Royals won 3-2. There were several outstanding highlight-film catches made during the game by the Royals' Ellie Rodriguez and Hawk Taylor. The Senators scored two runs in the home first and were scoreless on just five hits for the next 11 innings. The Royals won it in the 12th on an RBI triple by Ellie Rodriguez. KC ran out of position players to use, however, and had to use second-year reliever Tom Burgemeier in right field in the bottom of the 12th. Washington had the tying run on base in the 12th, but Ed "The Creeper" Stroud was picked off by Dave Wickersham.

5/29/69: Mike Fiore scores from first on a two-out, first-pitch single by Joe Foy. Ed Kirkpartick singles, sending Foy to third. Juan Rios then singles to left, Foy scoring. Kirkpatrick also tries to score and is out 7-2. How many times does a team try to score a runner from first base twice in the same inning? The play is the first of three outfield assists for Boston's Carl Yastrzemski on the day. Kansas City also notched two outfield assists (from Kirkpartick and Pat Kelly), but lose 8-6 as the Red Sox' Reggie Smith hits two homers.

6/19/71: In the top of the 14th at Shea Stadium, Larry Bowa was on 2b and Oscar Gamble on 1b for the Phillies. On a double steal attempt, Bowa reaches 3b and Gamble is caught in a rundown. Bowa continues on to score and draws a throw while Gamble reaches 2b. NL president Chub Feeney ruled that Bowa should be credited with 2 stolen bases on the play and Gamble 1.

6/30/71: Al Kaline ends wins a game by grounding into a double play! While the Red Sox threw the ball around the infield, 2 runners scored and Kaline gets no RBI. Here is the play: 43(B)634(1)/GDP.3-H(NR);2-H(NR).

7/18/71: In the bottom of the sixth at Yankee Stadium, Jerry Kenney started with a single, Bobby Murcer then walked and Roy White was hit by a pitch from Tom Bradley to load the bases. Nothing unusual about that. However, in the Yankee eighth, Jerry Kenney led off with a single, followed by a walk to Bobby Murcer and then Terry Forster hit Roy White with a pitch. Weird.

9/24/71: In the top of the fourth, Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas struck out three Phillies on nine pitches. The victims were Greg Luzinski, Don Money and Mike Anderson.

7/23/86: In the top of the seventh in the Kingdome, Tony Fernandez singled and was thrown out at 2b. Five players touched the ball a total of eight times with the catcher getting the put out at second. (93643462)

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Broken Bats

Here's a player talking around the batting cage: “The wood you get nowadays isn't so hot. Seems green to me.” Sounds like current affairs, doesn't it? Well, the player in question is Chuck Klein talking in 1930. Here is the article: Philadelphia, Aug. 30 [1930] (AP) - Two more hits today for Chuck Kelin, the Phillies heavy-hitting fielder, and two more broken bats.

“I break at least one club a day,” Klein said as the Phil's ended batting practice. “You see, I swing a powerful lot at bad balls. Wide outside pitches and close ones on the inside - they all look alike if I can reach them. That's why I break so many bats. Unless you hit right on the balance you'll ruin the bat.

The wood you get nowadays isn't so hot, either. Seems green to me. We've tried bats made from imported Cuban wood, but I can break one with ease. I don't bat against the grain - it's just hitting the bad pitches that breaks the bat. The bat I'm using now is an old one - two days old. Maybe I'll break it before the game is over.” He did, and another one. Gerry Nugent, Phillies' business manager, supplied the statistics. The Phillies pay about $950 a year for bats. Probably 450, costing $2 each, are used during the season. The other $50 is accounted for in the purchase of more expensive lumber for particular players. These bills are paid by the club owner, not the players.

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The following is a list of current projects of our volunteers. If your name is not listed, we apologize. These are listed in “RetroOrder”.

Doug Burks, 1977 AL
Greg Beston, 1976 AL
Mark Pankin, Dave Knipe, Doug Drinen, Christopher Chestnut, 1976 NL
Michael Dehler, 1976 Cardinals
Russel Tisseman, 1976 Red Sox
Jason Graves, 1976 Expos
Chris Long, 1975 Phillies
Mark Williamson, 1974 AL
Scott Fischthal, 1974 Mets
Bill Disney, 1974 Reds
Clem Comly, 1972 NL
Mark Dobrow, 1972 Mets
Stu Shea and Tom Shrimplin, 1969 Royals
Bob Kapla, 1969 Twins
Shannon Lynn, 1967 Dodgers
Dave Lamoureaux, 1966 AL (with assistance from Mark Dobrow)
Steve Hamilton, 1966 Cardinals
Rick Elliott, 1958 Tigers
Ron Rakowski, 1957 Braves
Jim Wohlenhaus, 1957 Cardinals
Mike Grahek, 1957 Tigers and Red Sox
Luke Kraemer, 1956 (all teams)
Jim Herdman, 1954 White Sox
Arnie Braunstein, 1940 Indians
David Vincent, 1930 (all teams)
Rob Neyer, 1924 New York teams
Wayne Townsend, 1923 New York teams
David Vincent, 1922 New York teams
Ron Fisher, 1921 (all teams)
Kevin Hennessy, 1920 White Sox

Tim Cashion, All-Star games

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Obviously not a Retrosheet volunteer!

Retro Detectives Strike Again

The 1931 Baseball Guide lists the following games for the Robins and Pirates in 1930: 5-9 and 5-10 in Pittsburgh, 5-12 in Brooklyn and in Pittsburgh. Obviously the teams couldn't play two games on the same day in two different states. Our game accounts from the Pittsburgh Gazette show what really happened.

After the two games in Pittsburgh, the teams traveled to New York to play one game on the 11th in Brooklyn. Then they boarded another train for the ride back to Pennsylvania to complete the four-game series. This odd schedule leads to another question: why the two trips? It seems that in Pennsylvania in 1930 there was a law prohibiting Sunday baseball, which made possible the teams' appearance in the New York borough.

So, the 1931 Guide has at least one error in it's data. The lesson we should all learn from this is to double-check data in multiple sources when compiling any lists. Another fine detective job completed by Retrosheet sleuths.

Sherlock Holmes would be proud.

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Games Played Logs

Tom Ruane has done some great work in checking out flaws in our games played logs. These files are extremely important in keeping track of our progress as well as allowing us to know which games we still need to collect. As one might expect with any database of over 140,000 records, there were some problems. These ranged from relatively small ones, such as the wrong score, to pretty big ones, like missing games. Many thanks to Tom for his hours spent poring over microfilm to track down the problems.

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Fan Hit by Ball from Bottomley's Bat Sues

From the St Louis Star, 8/6/25:
In his suit filed yesterday Irwin Hayes seeks $7,500 damages from the Cardinal baseball club. The petition charges that on June 2, James Bottomley, first baseman of the team, “deliberately and with the intention to create a situation known as a home run, struck and drove a baseball which hit the plaintiff's nose, causing severe nervous shock.”

[He should have watched Mark McGwire play!]

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Umpire Hurt

Boston, July 5, 1969 (AP) – Umpire Jim Honochick pulled a hamstring muscle in his right leg and was forced to retire after one inning tonight in the Senator – Red Sox game. Honochick, umpiring at second base, pulled the muscle running into the outfield to follow a home run hit by Boston's Reggie Smith.

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What teams played in the first night game at Forbes Field? Homestead Grays and Kansas City Monarchs – 7/18/1930

Newly Completed Seasons

One of the important milestones that we track is the completion of a season for a single team or league. We have some newly completed collections to cite this time: as noted on page 1, Ron Fisher completed work on the 1921 Pirates; Rick Elliott finished the 1955 Tigers; Mark Dobrow completed the 1966 Mets; Scott Fischthal laid the 1971 Mets to rest; and Clem Comly put the final touches on the 1971 AL (it was a struggle to get "Mr. NL" to work on the Junior Circuit, but he did insist on a pre-DH season). Marc Stephenson and Stuart Shea entered all that we have from the 1969 NL.

Here is the list of our complete blocks of games entered. The 1983 and 1982 sets are available from the web page.

Full Seasons (both leagues)

League-seasons not included above
	AL	1979, 1978, 1975, 1971, 1967, 1965, 1964, 1960

"Completed" league-seasons
AL	1963   (minus 6 missing Angels games)
AL	1962   (minus 5 missing Angels games)
AL	1959   (minus 3 missing games)
NL	1979   (minus 30 missing games)
NL	1978   (minus 20 missing games)
NL	1977   (minus 13 missing games)
NL	1973   (minus 80 missing games)
NL	1969   (minus 80 missing games)
NL	1964   (minus 50 missing games)
NL	1963   (minus 52 missing games)

Team-seasons not included above
	BAL	1977, 1976, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1966, 1958,
		1957 (minus 2 games), 1955, 1954 (minus two missing games)
	BRO	1957, 1956, 1955, 1954, 1953, 1952, 1951, 1950, 1949, 1948, 1947
	CIN 	1976, 1975 (minus 2 missing games)
	CLE	1949
	DET	1968, 1955, 1953
	KCA	1977, 1976, 1974
	LAN	1962, 1960, 1959, 1958
	MIN	1977, 1965
	NYN 	1971, 1970, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1962 (minus 3 missing games)
	PHI	1974, 1972
	PIT 	1921
	SFN	1971, 1970, 1969, 1968 (missing 3 games), 1967, 1966, 1965, 1962, 1960, 1959, 1958
	SLN	1967, 1965
	WS1	1954, 1945 (missing 2 games)

In addition, all post-season games (World Series and LCS) are completed, as are all pennant playoff games.

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Verifying the Data Sets

Since the ultimate goal of our labors is to get data files released to the public, it is very important that we have some people working on proof-reading our files to track down differences we have with the official totals. Currently John Jarvis is nearing the end of his work on the 1981 NL and will then take on the completion of the 1980 NL, which was started by someone else. Jon Dunkle is processing the 1979 AL and Marc Stephenson is working on the 1978 NL. Pete Palmer identified all the differences for the 1981 and 1980 AL seasons and Dave Smith is now editing those files to incorporate Pete's corrections. It was hoped that more seasons would be released by now, but that has turned out to be a more elusive goal. The current target for releasing the 1981 and 1980 seasons (by posting them on our web site) is the end of January, 1998.

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The Pilgrims' Progress

Since Dave Smith started keeping exact numbers on games input by the RetroSquad in October 1994, we have been reporting them to you in TRS. This chart shows the steady progress we have made over the last 3 years.

Input Games by Date
October 1994 - November 1997

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Majors Seen on Coast

Los Angeles, Sept 5 [1953] (AP) - P.K. Wrigley, owner of the Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels, gave a new boost today to the idea that Los Angeles and San Francisco might have major league baseball within the next five years.

“We are all anticipating major league ball for Los Angeles and San Francisco in some form or other within five years,” said Wrigley in a telephone interview from Lake Geneva, Wis.

“I am still thinking along the lines of the Pacific Coast League proceeding from open classification to major status,” added Wrigley. “But the present majors are finding that few cities can support two big league clubs.”

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Great Prediction

9/22/1930 (Chicago Daily News) – Having tried everything else, the White Sox tonight will try their hand at night baseball at Indianapolis, where they will engage the American Association team of that city in an exhibition tussle. The south siders have been allotted three successive off days, the first of which is today, before they play the final series of the season in Detroit beginning Thursday.

Fourteen of the White Sox will go to Indianapolis for the nocturnal contest. The game is to be nothing except an experiment as far as the south siders are concerned. Night baseball is not likely to become an established institution for Chicago's major league ball clubs.

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Homers Will Help His Wardrobe

Pittsburgh, May 1 [1953] (AP) – Paul Smith, young infielder from nearby Wilkinsburg, has a chance to become the best dressed Pittsburgh Pirate – all he has to do is hit home runs. Smith once was employed by a clothing store in his home town. The proprietor, Lou Dash, is so happy that Smith is in the major leagues that he has promised his ex-employee a new suit of clothes every time he hits for the circuit.

[Editor's note – Smith hit 4 homers in 1953 and 3 in 1957. Dash should be happy it wasn't Ralph Kiner.]

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Cubs Protest of Game with Braves Denied

New York, July 17 [1930] – President John A. Heydler of the National League today refused to allow Chicago's protest of the second game of the Cubs-Braves doubleheader. The Braves won the game 3 to 0 after the play had reverted back to the eighth inning to comply with the 6 o'clock Sunday baseball law in Boston.

The eighth inning ended with Boston leading 3 to 0 and the time 5:38, or within two minutes of the deadline prescribed by the law, which says any inning may not start after 5:40 p.m. The Cubs knocked out four runs in their half of the ninth and the Braves had men on second and third with one out when police notified the umpire it was 6 o'clock and the game must stop.

President William Veeck of the Cubs was present to present the protest at the hearing before President Heydler today, while President Fuchs represented the Braves.

[Editor's note – the game date was 7-13-1930]

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Rain Rule Unfair, Says Indians' Pilot

Philadelphia, Aug. 4 [1951] – Ball games halted by rain in the late innings should be played to completion next time the teams involved meet, says Al Lopez, manager of the Indians.

Lopez referred to the major league rule that automatically gives victory to the team in front if the regulation four and one-half innings (when home team is leading) or five innings (visitors hold the edge) has been played.

“It isn't fair to the teams or the fans. Every game should by played to completion even if it takes another day to finish the job,” Lopez said.

The Indians' skipper referred to the now famous White Sox-Yankees game recently in which the Sox scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a lead that subsequently was washed out by a rain storm.

“Certainly,” added Lopez, “the Yankees weren't the best team that night unless they batted in the last of the ninth and managed to win. All rained out games should be finished before the season ends.”

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Nominations Sought

President Smith has appointed the new Nominating Committee, which is seeking names for the one Board position open next year.

The members of the Committee are Sherri Nichols (snichols@rahul.net) and Luke Kraemer (lkraemer@europa.com).

Please contact either of them if you wish to be considered or know of someone that you think would make a good Board member.

Board activity is very limited. The annual meeting is held during the SABR convention weekend (June 25-28, 1998 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott) and there is an occasional piece of business that is transacted by e-mail or phone.

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Scoring Reminders

A few reminders:

Since we are trying to document games, most anything that a scorer wrote on the sheet was important at the time. Please find a way to include this information in your account. Many facts have appropriate places already (weather, for example) but some marginal notes on sheets should become a comment.

For unusual situations, please note the circumstances with a comment. Especially note any explanations of unusual plays to document what really happened.

If there is a conflict between the account and the box score, also note it with a comment. As our crack staff of proof-readers looks at your game, all extra help will be appreciated.

Before 1930, a ball that bounced into the stands was a homer. This should be scored as if it flew out (HR/7) but with a comment after (“Bounce HR”) so that we can verify the data.

On the other hand, and inside-the-park homer is scored as being played by a fielder without the slash (HR7). It is also great if there is a field location as well (HR7/L78). Also include a comment that notes the nature of the homer (“IPHR”).

Remember to credit an assist for a fielder who makes a throw to a teammate who drops it, causing the runner to be safe. For example, S9.1X3(9E5) for a throw from rf to 3b.

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Unusual Post-Season Endings

Game 3 of the 1997 ALCS ended with a steal of home. This prompted the question of past occurrences of this type of game-ending events in post-season. From the Retro Vault here are the others:

10/17/11 World Series game 3 (Athletics at Giants): In the bottom of the 11th inning, Beals Becker was caught stealing 2b; the Giants lost, 3-2.

9/7/18 World Series game 3 (Red Sox at Cubs): In the bottom of the 9th, Charlie Pick was on 2b. Wally Schang allowed a passed ball and Pick tried to score all the way from 2b but was out at the plate. The Cubs lost 2-1.

10/10/26 World Series game 7 (Cardinals at Yankees): In the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs, Babe Ruth walked and was caught stealing 2b to end the Series. The Yankees lost the game 3-2 and the Series 4-3.

10/8/27 World Series game 4 (Pirates at Yankees): In the bottom of the 9th, Johnny Miljus threw 2 wild pitches. The second scored Earle Combs with the Series winning run as the Yankees swept Pittsburgh.

10/5/36 World Series game 5 (Giants at Yankees): In the Yankee 10th, pinch runner Bob Seeds (making his World Series debut) was caught stealing 2b. The Giants won 5-4.

10/11/72 NL Championship Series game 5 (Pirates at Reds): In the bottom of the 9th, the Reds scored 2 runs to beat the Pirates and win the series. The second run was scored when Bob Moose threw a wild pitch to score George Foster.

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Opening Santa's Bag We Find...

This chart shows the contents of the Retrosheet vault as of November 22: what we have, what we have computerized, and what is left to collect. The more blue area you see, the more we need to find.

There has been significant work done on the 1920s with more to come in the 1930s. These will all come from newspaper accounts that need to be collected. We are in need of volunteers to collect game accounts, especially from newspapers. Dave Smith cannot keep up with the demand for more games to input by himself. He already photocopies more newspaper pages from microfilm than anyone else in the USA!

We need to find some RetroSantas out there to help with this project. If you live in or near a major league city, please look into library newspaper holdings for possible play-by-play accounts and tell Dave what you have found and can copy. Thanks!

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The Scoreboard

Here is our usual edition-ending feature: the report on group activity since the last issue of TRS. The smallest number of games entered in a single week during this period was 68 and the highest was 560.

Total Games in Computer (All Years before 1984)         42,589
Games Entered since last Report                          1,766
Days since last Report (9/7/97 to 11/22/97)                 77
Games Entered per Week (11 weeks)                        160.5
Games Entered per Day (The Fisher Index)                  22.9

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Page Updated: 12/6/97

Copyrighted: Retrosheet, 1997