Retrosheet Newsletter, V2 #2 1995

About

The Retro Sheet

Official Publication of Retrosheet, Inc.

Volume 2, No. 2 October 1995


Table of Contents

Under New Management
New Policy Manual
Game Account Acquisitions
Projects
Syntax Requests
Scoring Rules
Deducing play by play events
Verification of Statistics
"First games" for volunteers
Retrosheet and SABR
Directory
View from the Vault
Commentary from our Volunteers
Stan Musial in Ebbets Field
Publicity
Strange and Unusual Plays
John McGraw and Gambling (oh my!)
The Scoreboard
Coming Attractions


Under New Management

In August, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the newly created Policy Manual. One provision of that Manual is that the "Secretary of the Corporation shall be the Editor of the Newsletter." Under the provisions of that policy, David Vincent is the new editor of the news letter, although David Smith and others had a lot of input (or was it translation) into the contents. We also have a new name for this publication and promise all the news that fits we print. The current plan is for a quarterly publication.

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New Policy Manual

As mentioned above, the Policy Manual has been created. It contains sections on Data Distribution, Nominating Committee (for the Board of Directors), Publications, Committees, Reimbursement, and Conflict of Interest. The policies set forth in the manual are binding; no exception to policy can be made without the explicit approval of the Board of Directors. The one section that most people are interested in is that concerning Data Distribution. It is reproduced here:

All data files are copyrighted by Retrosheet. Retrosheet play-by-play data are available free of charge to any interested party, private or commercial. The only cost will be that of transmitting the information. The normal mode of transmission will be on 3 1/2" DOS diskettes via US Postal Service. The cost for this method of delivery will be $5.00 (US) for the first diskette and $2.50 (US) for any additional diskettes in the same order.

In order to maximize the use of diskette space, all files will be compressed into self- extracting files. The following will be included in each order:

1. the data file(s) 2. roster files for the data 3. selected DOS executable programs from DiamondWare 4. a document file explaining the use of the DiamondWare programs

Note that no source code for the DiamondWare programs will be sent.

All data files will be ASCII text files of the game events. Alternatively, printed versions of the data may be distributed, for example: verbatim transcripts of the event files; translation of the events into box scores and/or narratives; translations of the events into a computer-generated scoresheet.

The cost for such alternate printed versions of the data will be $1.00 per game. It is assumed that requests of this nature will be for only one or two games.

It will be an unusual case in which original scoresheets are distributed in place of Retrosheet-processed event files. The most common exception will be cases in which individuals wish to have photocopies of specific games, usually for personal, nostalgic reasons. Requests for photocopies of original scoresheets of entire seasons will normally be rejected.

Data files will not be distributed until preliminary proofing has been completed. The President of the Corporation will have sole discretion concerning when data files are ready for release.

The normal unit of distribution will be a single team-season, that is all games for one team in one year. As Retrosheet expands its computerized database, this unit may change to a single league-season. Normal procedure will be not to distribute single games or small subsets of a season.

Recipients who wish to conduct more detailed analysis than is possible with the included software are invited to contact DiamondWare for possible assistance. Such requests should be made to the President of the Corporation, who will direct them to DiamondWare. Any agreements of this sort made with DiamondWare are completely separate from Retrosheet.

Recipients are free to make any desired use of the information, including (but not limited to) selling it, giving it away, or producing a commercial product based upon the data. Retrosheet has one requirement for any such transfer of data or product development; that is that the following statement must appear prominently:

The play by play information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at 6 Penncross Circle, Newark, DE 19702.

Retrosheet makes no guarantees of accuracy for the information that is supplied. Much effort is expended to provide data that are as correct as possible, but Retrosheet shall not be held responsible for any consequences arising from the use of its data. Data files are subject to corrections as additional information is received. Retrosheet will maintain accurate records of all changes, which will be publicly available upon request. It is the responsibility of data recipients to inquire about data changes. Any data recipient who discovers discrepancies in the data is requested to contact Retrosheet with the details. [End of Data Distribution Policy]

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Game Account Acquisitions

Detroit The last newsletter discussed Cliff Kachline's intercession on our behalf with the Detroit Tigers. Dave Smith followed up Cliff's contacts with a telephone call to Dan Ewald, Jr., the team's assistant Public Relations Director and is happy to report that an agreement in principle was reached, although actual copying of scorebooks has not yet taken place. Steve Lysogorski, who scores games for Gary Gillette of the Baseball Workshop has tentative arrangements with the team to do the copying on their machine. The financial aspects of this copying were left vague, although Smith certainly made it clear that we will compensate them for their expenses. The exact holdings of the team are also not clear, and we will have to wait until Steve gets in their offices to find out exactly what the situation is.

New York Giants One of the hardest teams for us to find scoresheets for has been the Giants in their last 10 years in New York. Ron Rakowski obtained the phone number of Gerry Kremenko, the widow of writer Barney Kremenko, who covered the Giants for theNew York Journal-American. Dave Smith contacted Ms. Kremenko, who is a delightful person, and explained the nature of our request. She thought our effort sounded worthwhile and searched her late husband's material for scorebooks. She found three, covering: July 11 to the end of the 1951 season, July 9 to the end of the 1954 season and a book for the 1962 Mets (about 3/4 complete). Many of the 1951 and 1954 games were not in our collection before and about 25 of the Mets games that he had were against the Pirates, Braves, and Reds, for which we did not have accounts.

Stew Thornley Stew and Dave Smith made contact on the Internet, and as a result he sent about 250 scoresheets from the 1960s to the 1980s in which he recorded pitch by pitch information. It is so rare for us to have pitch data, and it is also great to have his detailed game accounts. Many thanks for this generous donation.

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Projects

In the July edition of the newsletter there was a listing of several inputting projects that were underway by different volunteers. In the interest of saving space, the entire list will not be reproduced here (check the earlier newsletter), but there is significant progress to report on some of them and, unfortunately, four were omitted. First the updates:

1960 Ron Rakowski has done several more White Sox games and some Milwaukee Braves games, the latter using scoresheets he obtained from sportswriters Dave O'Hara (Milwaukee) and Bill Ford (Cincinnati). I have finished the 1960 Dodgers and Ron Fisher hasfinished the Yankees.

Willie Mays Alan Boodman continues his relentless pursuit through the career of Mays, having now completed everything up through 1968. We have just come into possession of portions of the 1951 and 1954 Giants seasons from sportswriter Barney Kremenko (more below) and Alan is starting in on those games before returning to more recent Mays seasons.

1963 Clem Comly has finished the NL games that we have except for some Cardinals games that Jim Leopardi is still working on. Dave Lamoureaux has finished off the AL games that we have. There are between 50 and 60 games in each league for that season which we don't yet have. For the most part these missing games involved our usual suspects: Tiger, Red Sox, and A's in the AL and Braves, Reds, and Pirates in the NL. However, the hard work on this season means that more than 90% of the games have been entered, a noteworthy achievement.

1975 Greg Beston has finished inputting the games of the Indians, who now join the Red Sox and Twins of that year in our completed category. Greg immediately turned his attention to the Rangers. David Vincent completed the Royals at "press time" as he continues the George Brett crusade.

1959 and 1928 Ron Fisher is entering the 1959 White Sox road games (Ron Rakowski has already done their home games) as well as the 1928 New York Evening World accounts.

World Series John Booth spent some of the dark time at the South Pole in the recently completed austral winter finishing the inputting of World Series games. As he worked on this very large task, he identified problems and discrepancies in the source hewas using, which is the Neft and Cohen book with World Series play by play accounts. He emailed the event files as well as a thorough list of problems, some 200 of a fairly serious nature, such as batters missing every now and then from the accounts in the book!. Dave Smith took these questions to the microfilm room at the University of Delaware library and was able to resolve all of them by careful scrutiny of the New York Times (about 50 hours of research). Smith was aided in this work by the fact that the greatest problems were in the first 20 years of the World Series, and there were New York teams in a lot of those games, so the Times was pretty generous in its coverage. He wasn't so lucky with 1908, which was a great series between the Tigers and Pirates, but not one which attracted a lot of New York attention.

1981 Mariners Jim Herdman has completed these games as expected and has jumped in to work on the Twins from that year. We are making excellent progress on that strike- shortened season and it will probably be the next one we finish (or nearly so).

1917 Indians Bruce Borey and Chuck Voas have finished inputting all the accounts from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, some 125 in all. In addition they have done a remarkable job of filling in missing details by using only the box score and the newspaper article. This skill was mentioned briefly in the last newsletter, but there is a more detailed example of it >From these two gentlemen below.

1973 Mets/Phillies Chris Long has finished the Phillies and Scott Fischthal has finished the Mets.

1974 Phillies Chris Long continues with his quest to do all the necessary entry to complete Mike Schmidt's career and he took scoresheets from the 1964 Phillies with him as he started graduate school in Boston.

George Brett David Vincent has finished the 1974 and 1975 Royals.

There are four projects that were missed and Dave Smith offers his apology to these four volunteers for the oversight. The projects are:

1953 Giants Laurens DeJong, who lives in Holland, is working from the copies we made of Harold Rosenthal's scorebooks and is making steady progress on some pretty difficult scoresheets.

1969 Cubs Stu Shea has done the first half of that memorable (depending on your point of view!) season and is planning to continue when the 1995 season is over.

1969 Mets Mark Dobrow completed this amazin' team some time ago and it certainly should have been included before. (P.S. the Cubs still come in second).

1967 Cardinals Shannon Lynn has been making steady progress on this fine team, which featured a dominant performance by Bob Gibson and an MVP season from Orlando Cepeda.

There is also one sort of new project, which is:

1927 About two years ago Dave Smith did the first half of the 1927 Yankees, but put that work aside as other things piled up. Tim Cashion has taken the New York Evening World newspaper accounts and has entered many games in the last month. Tim has also spent a good deal of time finding accounts in Chicago papers to fill in several gaps that exist in the New York pages.

* * * * * * * * *

This is a list of newly completed seasons; compare to the last newsletter for a comprehensive list. Perhaps we will publish a complete up-to-date list once a year to make it easier to keep track.

"Completed" league-season

NL      1980     Translated - 100%; Input - 40%; Missing - one game between Montreal and San  Diego

Newly completed team-seasons

LAN    1960
NYN    1973
PHI    1973
SFN    1968 (minus 3 games), 1967, 1966, 1959
CLE    1975
KCA    1974, 1975
NYA    1960

Non-completed team-season

CHA    1959  (incorrectly marked as complete last time)

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Syntax Requests

Bunt Double Plays In the last edition of the newsletter, it was noted that it is necessary to mark double plays explicitly. For example, on a strikeout/caught stealing double play, the correct format is: K+CS2(24)/DP (assuming the second baseman made the tag). There is another area of confusion concerning double plays and that is double plays on bunts. DWENTRY currently recognizes "BDP" as a modifier, as in: 26(1)4/BDP where a batter messes up a sacrifice attempt and the second baseman covers first. The problem is that the batter should be charged with grounding into a double play for this failure, and our software will not make that assumption from the "BDP" modifier. Of course, we should not make that assumption, since a batter can also pop up a bunt into a double play: 3(B)4(1)/BDP would be another way to fail in trying to sacrifice. One solution that we tried for awhile was to make two new modifiers: "BGDP" and "BPDP" to cover these two plays. However, it seems now that the better approach is to eliminate "BDP" as a modifier and separate out the fact of the bunt from the fact of the double play. The two sample plays above would then become:

26(1)4/BG/GDP

3(B)4(1)/BP/DP

Home Runs Almost all inputters are using "HR" to indicate a home run, although the software will allow "H" as well. In the interest of consistency all files are scanned upon receipt and "H" plays are changed to "HR". Also be sure to indicate the field location for Out of the Park homers with a slash, as in: HR/9. Inside the Park homers should NOT have a slash: HR9. If the field location of an inside the park HR is not known, use HR8 and put a comment after the homer that it is assumed.

Intentional Walks Much like the home run, there are two equivalent codes for intentional walks: "I" and "IW". The preferred choice is "IW".

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Scoring Rules

In the last newsletter there was a piece on the way that some changes which have occurred in the scoring rules over the years have caused us problems. The two specific references were to the sacrifice fly and save rules. Several of you responded positively to Dave Smith's comments which helped make it clear how we have to proceed. He found two other interesting examples of obsolete scoring rules during his World Series research.

SB and CS together It is now impossible for one runner to be given credit for a stolen base if another runner is caught stealing on the same play. However, that rule only went into effect in 1909; prior to that time, there are several World Series examples of SB for one runner and CS for another on the same play.

K+WP Under 1926, the scoring rules section of Total Baseball IV says: "Wild Pitch An error shall be charged to the pitcher if he make a wild pitch for the third strike, and the batsman reach first base; in such case the pitcher shall not have credit for a strikeout." Dave Smith researched this topic and thinks this rule stayed in effect until 1950. It is not clear what the rule was prior to 1926. Can anyone illuminate?

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Deducing play by play events

While working on the 1917 Indians, Chuck Voas and Bruce Borey have developed a remarkable ability to figure out a lot of play by play detail from the box score and the newspaper story of a game, even when a complete play by play text is missing. This effort in sleuthing is aided to a great degree by the fact that putouts and assists for each fielder were included in the box scores. Here is a description from Chuck of how he attacked the game of May 10, 1917, Washington at Cleveland:

In this game, there are 4 defensive plays for the Senators for which it is not possible to precisely specify the putouts and assists. These plays are the SH and CS2 in the bottom of the first, the E9.BX2 play in the bottom of the fifth, and the CS2 playin the bottom of the 8th. By comparing the putouts and assists listed in the Times box score, 2 putouts must be assigned to both the SS and 2Baseman, and 5 assists are unaccounted for - 3 for the catcher, 1 for RF, and 1 for the pitcher Ayers. It is clear the putout on the SH should go to the 2Baseman, the catcher gets assists on both CS, and the RF gets one after his error. I credited the putout in the fifth to the shortstop as being more likely on geometric grounds. Putouts on the CS plays are arbitrarily divided between the SS and 2B - there is no way to know which is which. that leaves 2 assists - one for the pitcher and one for the catcher to be assigned to the SH and the BX2 play. Neither of these seem likely participants in the in the BX2 play, and I assigned the pitcher as fielding the bunt in the first - he would have covered the 3B line with runners on first and second. I'm leaving the last assist to the catcher unassigned - these box score data have been known to be inaccurate in the past. It would be interesting to find another source for this game.

Wow. There is more hope out there for recovering difficult accounts than we previously thought!

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Verification of Statistics

As noted elsewhere and in previous editions, Greg Beston has spent a lot of time on the 1975 season, completing the inputting for the Red Sox and Indians, and now tackling the Rangers. In addition Greg has volunteered to proof our data against the official totals for these completed seasons by comparing the data from our file to the daily totals >From the official player sheets. As a result our data for the Red Sox are in complete compliance with the official totals in all batting and pitching categories, a tremendous accomplishment which he plans to duplicate for the rest of the 1975 AL as additional teams are completed. There is one example which points up Greg's tenaciousness in this activity very nicely. For the 1975 season the Red Sox had only 1 balk, which was committed by Rick Wise. The official daily records for Wise show no balks in any game, but the official daily totals for the team did show one balk on September 8, on which date Rick Wise pitched a complete game for the Red Sox, so the balk must have occurred on that day. In addition to demonstrating Greg's patience, this example also shows a tiny part of the sad state of official AL totals in that era; we should expect to find many more disappointing examples.

Greg also has a fine eye for record-setting performances as he processes Retrosheet games, discovering several records or record-tying performances which have been overlooked or missed by The Sporting News record book. His most recent finds are that the Indians had three consecutive pinch hitters strike out on July 25, and that the Orioles used four different shortstops in a 13 inning game on September 10, both events tying AL records. Greg then faithfully transmits the details to Lyle Spatz, chair of the SABR records committee, who sends them along to The Sporting News.

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"First games" for volunteers

One of the fun parts of Retrosheet is responding to requests for play by play accounts >From the first Major League game that someone attended. Usually the game in question is >From the requester's childhood and various interesting details are provided asclues to help track down the correct game, such as:

1. "The headline in the New York Times the next day was 'Whitey whitewashes Nats' and the game was in 1960 or 1961."

A search for Yankees shutouts of the Senators came up with the desired game.

2. "The starting pitchers were Gary Peters for the White Sox and Mel Stottlemyre for the Yankees. The game was played in the afternoon. Those are the facts I know for sure... I know it was later in the season because Stottlemyre was a rookie who hadn't been with the team at the beginning of the season. I also think Mickey Mantle hit a home run that day, but that may be wishful thinking."

In fact, the game was Mel Stottlemyre's Major League debut (8-12-64) and Mantle hit two home runs that day, one right-handed and one left-handed.

3. "The first game I attended as a fan was a doozy on May 7, 1970 at Shea Stadium, Dodgers at Mets... Wes Parker hit for the cycle thanks to the extra inning.

The offer is hereby made to all who read this newsletter to send to Dave Smith the details (specific dates are great!) of their "first game" and he will prowl through the "vault" to see if we have it. There are two disclaimers: 1) the turnaround on these games may not be terribly rapid; 2) the new data distribution policy (see elsewhere in this newsletter) requires a payment of $1 to Retrosheet for each game processed in this way. [Editor's aside: don't send 20 nickels -- make it pennies.]

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Retrosheet and SABR

Although Retrosheet and SABR are formally and legally separate entities, there are a large number of connections between the two organizations, starting with the fact that the large majority of Retrosheetians are also SABR members. The SABR office routinely receives a large number of requests for information, many of which they refer to us. There are many benefits to Retrosheet as a result; for example, such a referral led to us our association with the Twins and the Dave Winfield 3000 hit commemorative book. Many SABR committees involve us in their activities and reports, but none more regularly than Lyle Spatz and the records committee. Lyle continually praises the value of Retrosheet's work and exhorts his committee members to assist us in gathering game accounts. In addition the annual Retrosheet meeting is mandated by our by-laws to take place in conjunction with the annual SABR meeting. Since SABR is still much more widely known than Retrosheet, we are fortunate indeed to have them as our colleagues.

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Directory

In the first newsletter Dave Smith issued a call for a brief summary of personal information so that we could have a Retrosheet directory. The response was not overwhelming (about 10 replies) and he has not actively pursued it. However, in the last year our ranks have increased quite a bit and it is time to try this again. Therefore, here is a repeat of the notice from the first newsletter:

Several of you have expressed an interest in having a Retrosheet directory, so you can have a better idea of who else is involved in this effort. I think this is a great idea, but I want to be careful not to violate anyone's privacy and therefore ask for you to let me know if you agree to be listed in a directory. If you do, please send me a listing exactly the way you would like it to appear, including a brief (less than 10 words) description of what area or era you are mostly interested in. The basic format I have in mind is similar to that used in the SABR directory. For example, the entry I would for myself is:

David Smith 
6 Penncross Circle Newark, De 19702
302-731-1570 (H)
302-831-2275 (W)
Internet: dwsmith@strauss.udel.edu
Occ: Microbiology Professor
Interests: Sandy Koufax; Dodgers; effects of artificial surface.

I urge you to consider submitting an entry for yourself. I promise that the list will never be sold or distributed to people not listed in the directory. This last sentence about limited distribution may need to be reconsidered; please send comments along with your entry to:

David Vincent
2942 Marsala Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
GrandSlams@aol.com

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View from the Vault

David W. Smith, President

There are three topics I will address this time: the new editor, the data distribution policy, and my December schedule. David Vincent is now our editor (under new management!), since he is the secretary and the Retrosheet Board voted this summer to make the secretary responsible for the newsletter. I am very grateful for this development, since it frees up some of my time for other administrative aspects of our organization which can only be done from here with access to the scoresheets. I still have contributed a few items, but the major logistical nightmares have (thankfully, from my point of view) migrated southwards from Delaware to Virginia.

The data distribution policy is now in place and is printed elsewhere in this newsletter. However, we are still not quite ready to actually begin sending out event files. There are still some software questions to work out with DiamondWare and I need to make choices as to which games will be the first to be marked for distribution (the policy makes these decisions the President's responsibility). In addition the files need some slight modification before they can be released and the details of that procedure have not been finalized. What all this means is that I hope there will be files ready for public release by the end of this calendar year. By the next edition of the newsletter, I hope to have a list of files that are ready to go.

This year I will be visiting my parents, who live near San Diego, from December 14 through December 29. Therefore, during this interval I will be unavailable either by phone, US mail or e-mail. The long-term operation of Retrosheet certainly won't be significantly affected, but it will be necessary to make some schedule adjustments in terms of game distribution. Merry Christmas!

Finally, forgive me if this sounds too much like a clich=E9, but this gigantic effort has already exceeded everyone's expectations, including mine, and I am someone who is generally overly optimistic. Retrosheet continues at a wonderful pace, with new volunteers joining all the time. Although the task in front of us is still enormous, it no longer looks impossible, merely very difficult. Congratulations to all of us!

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Commentary from our Volunteers

The first two newsletters contained various examples of the creative writing skills of our volunteers. What follows here are some comments that have been received since the July newsletter.

>From Chris Long:

"I've got 2 more games to complete from the set you sent me and they'll be done ASAP. I'll mail the disk to you on Wednesday as I'm going on a trip to Boston Saturday to Tuesday. So you can send me more scoresheets as soon as you want. I'd LOVE to have them waiting for me when I get back on Wednesday... :)

I just love this stuff!

Retrosheet's the most fun you can have in front of a computer screen with your clothes on!"

>From Mark Dobrow:

"A final, humorous note that had me in stitches. In a Pittsburgh- Cincinnati game, there was a 15 minute delay between innings because fans showered Dave Parker with debris from the right field stands. On the Cincy game sheet, the scorer neatly and efficiently noted: ***game delayed for 15 minutes while fans threw shit at Parker."

And also from Mark:

"And in closing, here's my obligatory reminder that I'm willing to work on any games that helps the cause the most. ... When a priority project emerges, don't hesitate. I'm enjoying the work, whatever teams, whatever season. For as long as there's Retrosheet (and I'm breathing), my services are yours."

>From Alan Boodman (note that Alan has been using the Bob Stevens scoresheets for his Giants/Willie Mays project):

"Speaking of the TSN Guide... it notes that one major failing of the '67 Giants was their chronic inability to deliver runners from third base. It claims that on 151 occasions the Giants got a runner to third with less than 2 outs, but failed to score him. What is interesting is that beginning in late July, Bob Stevens is tracking this phenomena on his scoresheets. The punch line is, of course, that Bob Stevens wrote the piece on the Giants for the 1968 TSN Guide. I wonder if he was the first to notice the lack of clutch hitting, or if someone asked him specifically to track it."

Also from Alan, a trivia question:

"Do you know what the record is for intentional walks issued in one game by a pitcher/team? I just input the game of 7/19/67, SF @ PIT, final: 2-1 PIT in 11 innings, and Mike McCormick issued 8 walks in the game, SIX of them intentional, including two in the first inning. For good measure, Dennis Ribant of the Pirates issued one himself, and each of McCormick's six was to a different Pirate hitter (Clendenon, Pagan, Mazeroski, Alley, Rodgers, Wills)."

In the first newsletter it was noted that Sam McDowell issued five IW in a single game, but six is incredible, including 2 in the first inning. By the way, McCormick pitched to all but the final batter in the 11 inning loss, giving two IW in the 11th after allowing a triple (to Jerry May! - one of two the not-so-fleet catcher hit that year) in the typical desperation move to load the bases in hopes of a force play. Frank Linzy relieved and gave up a single to Gene Alley to end the game.

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Stan Musial in Ebbets Field

No, this is not the answer to a trivia question. In the last edition it was noted that Herm Krabbenhoft, the editor of Baseball Quarterly Reviews, has printed promotional announcements about Retrosheet in his journal. He has also received some information >From us for some of the projects he published. One of his requests led Dave Smith to do a survey of some of our Dodgers data, specifically the Allan Roth scoresheets, relating to Stan Musial's performances in Brooklyn. Most of you are aware of the legend of Musial's deadly hitting in Brooklyn, and Smith recalls from his childhood listening to Dodger games that Vin Scully routinely said that the best hitter he ever saw was "Stan Musial in Ebbets Field". Well, we don't have data for every game he played against Brooklyn, but we do have seven complete Brooklyn seasons of Roth data entered in the computer and Smith examined these years for Musial's home and road performance against the Dodgers. Here is the summary:

Stan Musial Batting statistics for Cardinals vs Dodgers

Season   Location     BA   OBA   SA   AB   H  2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
1947     St. Louis  .357  .471  .595  42  15  1  3  1  5    8  0
         Brooklyn   .225  .354  .275  40   9  2  0  0  1    7  2 
1948     St. Louis  .244  .367  .659  41  10  3  1  4  9    8  1
         Brooklyn   .522  .560 1.022  46  24  9  1  4  12   3  2
1949     St. Louis  .304  .385  .478  46  14  3  1  1  4    6  7
         Brooklyn   .523  .632 1.114  44  23  2  3  6  14  13  1
1950     St. Louis  .250  .289  .556  36   9  2  0  3  5    2  4
         Brooklyn   .349  .440  .512  43  15  4  0  1  7    7  0 
1952     St. Louis  .302  .375  .628  43  13  4  2  2  9    5  1
         Brooklyn   .381  .490  .643  42  16  2  0  3  7    9  4
1953     St. Louis  .359  .490  .641  39  14  5  0  2  12  10  2
         Brooklyn   .237  .341  .421  38   9  1  0  2  6    6  2
1955     St. Louis  .324  .435  .486  37  12  0  0  2  6    7  0
         Brooklyn   .275  .362  .550  40  11  2  0  3  7    4  3

>From Dave Smith: "I present this information because I enjoy checking out claims which have assumed the status of "conventional wisdom", which I have found to be wise with a disappointingly low frequency. Musial was obviously a fine overall hitter, but for the seven seasons we have, only two, 1948 and 1949, show an enormous benefit to him >From playing in Ebbets Field rather than in Sportsman's Park. This may be another example of performance relatively early in his career translating into a more enduring reputation, even though the objective evidence no longer supported it. I realize, of course, that the data set here is incomplete, but note that in 1953 and 1955, playing in Brooklyn decreased the Man's production."

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Publicity

BB Weekly, 8/9: In his column, Paul White discussed Ron Rakowski's Roger Maris research. Paul also passed on a tidbit from a 1917 Indians game.

In late September, the New York Daily News published a 40th anniversary magazine

celebrating Brooklyn's only World Series victory. A major portion of the publication is devoted to a statistical summary of the season for the Dodgers. As the editor wrote: "they comprise one of the most complete, detailed statistical reports ever published on a pre- computerized team." [I guess he hasn't seen Luke Kraemer's books on the 1967 AL -- Ed.] Anyway, there is a very nice piece devoted to Retrosheet and "The Professor" (Dave Smith). Track down a copy for a photo to use as a dart board.

John Benson and Tony Blengino just published a book called "Baseball's Top 100", which is subtitled "The Best Individual Seasons of All Time". The rationale was to choose great single season performances for individual players and write 1000 word essays about them. John gave nice credit to Retrosheet in the introduction and gave us a full page for our organizational description in the back.

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Strange and Unusual Plays

Each issue, we will pass along plays or innings that fit into this category. Please submit them to David Vincent (address in Directory section.)

This one happened in a Carolina League game on 8/1/95 at Prince William with your editor in the unfortunate position of having to score it. (Determining what people got dinged with which stats was the tough part.) The Wilmington Blue Rocks had runners on first and third with one out and two strikes on the batter. The runner on first ran with the pitch, which the batter swung at and missed (second out of inning). The catcher's throw to second was cut off by the shortstop and returned home because the runner on third broke with the throw. (This play by the SS even though they had the runner out at second by a step for the third out.) The throw to the plate was in plenty of time and the runner was tagged out. Unfortunately, the ball popped out of thecatcher's mitt and landed near the dugout. The other runner went on to third and tried to score on the error but was tagged out by the third baseman (third out of inning). Here is the Retro play: K+CSH(26E2).1XH(25) A few notes about this are in order. First, there is no double play according to Rule 10.12: "... unless an error intervenes between putouts." Second, The caught stealing here is charged to the runner who scored and the runner who was out is an OA (out advancing) not a caught stealing,since he was trying to advance on an error. Third, there can be no stolen bases because of the caught stealing (Rule 10.08d).

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Orlando Cepeda showed off his baserunning skills in August 1974 for the Royals. Here are the plays in question. First, on 8/10 in the 3rd inning against the Brewers, Cepeda batted with the bases loaded and no one out. The play text is:

D7/DP.3-H;2-H;1XH(762);BX3(25)

Cepeda doubled (2 RBI) but hit into a double play! Hal McRae was thrown out at the plate and Cepeda at third. The second great play is on 8/24 at Milwaukee in the 9th. With runners on first and second and one out:

D7.2-H;1-H;BX3(7625)

This time he doubles (2 RBI) and gets thrown out at third AGAIN; at least there was only one out here (notice the 7625 pattern in both plays.) The last of our trilogy comes on 8/31 against the Orioles. In the 6th, Cepeda is on 2B and Brett is on 1B with 2 out; Patek is the batter:

S6.2XH(62);1-2

Somehow, Cepeda gets thrown out at the plate on a single to SS. I guess he spent the month running the bases like a Baby Bull in a china shop.

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Ron Fisher has done several hundred games from 1928-1930 by using accounts in the New York Evening World. Ron always spices up his event files with comments, but some of the very best have been about Babe Herman's base running. Certainly Herman is a legend as a terrible runner and poor outfielder, but Ron has found many examples which show that the legend is well-deserved, both on the bases and in the field. Of course, old Floyd could really smack the ball, clearly a DH before his time.

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While working on the 1963 NL, Clem Comly came across a parenthetical notation in the margin of an Allan Roth scoresheet which indicated that John Roseboro had batted right- handed in a game against the Cardinals. Luke Kraemer looked this game up in The

Sporting News, which had the following account of the event:

SMOKEY SNIPS SWITCHERS STUNT

Dodger catcher John Roseboro's career as a right-handed hitter was a brief one. Batting against Southpaw Bobby Shantz of the Cardinals in the seventh inning at Los Angeles, July 4, after the Dodgers had taken a six- run lead over the Redbirds, Roseboro batted right-handed for the first time in his pro career and lined out to deep left field. Manager Walt Alston did not approve of the switch. "He did it before I knew what was going on," he declared. "I told him not to let it happen again. If there is going to be any experimenting, it's going to be at Vero Beach."

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>From the New York Times, we have this description of a play in the third game of the 1925 Series, played in Washington:

Goslin struck out, but Smith let the third strike go past him to the grandstand and Smith thought the ball had been fouled and did not go after it. Goslin ran to second while Kremer chased the ball. Manager McKechnie and the Pittsburgh players protested to McCormick that it was a foul, but the decision stood. After Kremer had pitched a strike over to Judge the umpires held a conference and decided that Goslin should go back to first base.

Neft and Cohen and Total Baseball IV both have a passed ball and an error on this play, even though there is only one base advance to account for (Goslin ultimately ending up at first). Perhaps the passed ball and error were both recorded by the official scorer when Goslin went to second and then the scorer forgot to remove one of them when he was returned to first. The New York Times box score has a passed ball, but no error. We have entered the play as: K+PB.B-1

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John McGraw and Gambling (oh, my!)

While doing research on early World Series games to track down the problems that John Booth identified, Dave Smith came across some remarkable comments in The New York Times, relating to the 1905 and 1920 World Series.

DISCLAIMER: We are not trying to put forward any specific point with this excerpt and are not suggesting any conclusions. It's just that these paragraphs are especially interesting in light of other gambling-related events of more recent vintage.

1905

ASIDE:

The headline of the story about the game (10/10/1905) referred to it as an "Inter-League Game" and the last sentence of the opening paragraph ended with: "It was the first in the series of games between the leading clubs of the two big leagues that willdetermine the National Championship." No mention of "World Series" or "World's Series" appeared anywhere in the story. (Spelling and word usage below are exactly as printed)

The New York team arrived upon the field about 2:15 o'clock. The Giants burst upon the grounds from under the stand with a run and a jump, wearing spick-and-span uniforms of black blouses and trousers, with white caps, belts, and stockings. A mighty cheer greeted McGraw as he led his crowd forward. The New York contingent arose as one man and yelled:

Johnnie get cher gun, my son, we've won.

Johnnie get cher gun, it's 10 to 1.

McGraw doffed his cap and waved his hand in reply.

"The odds are too big, boys," he yelled. "Take even money."

It became known that McGraw had succeeded in placing about $400 at even money with Philadelphia followers. In some cases the Philadelphians cut the price nicely and insisted on a proportion of $75 to $70 or 15 to 14. Clark, Donlin, and Dahlen also succeeded in getting a few bets down.

1920

On October 6, 1920 the front page of The New York Times had a story on the activity of the Cook County (Illinois) Grand Jury actions related to the investigation of the 1919 World Series scandal. They indicated that Hal Chase and Heinie Zimmerman were likely to be indicted, but that there would be a delay of several days because the Grand Jury adjourned, not to be recalled until the end of the 1920 World Series, "... as several witnesses scheduled to appear are attending the series." (The 1920 series began on October 5). One of the witnesses who appeared before the series started was John McGraw, who was quoted as saying: "I just came along to bring some of the boys here. I want to do all I can to clean up the game." In light of his reported 1905 betting activities, this comment is interesting, to say the least.

A large story during the series was reported in the Times on October 10, where page 1 had a headline reading: "Arrest Marquard for Speculating". Brooklyn pitcher Rube Marquard was arrested in a hotel lobby in Cleveland on the charge of ticket scalping. He apparently attempted to sell eight box seats for $400 (face value of the tickets was listed as $52.80, an interesting "uneven" amount). The article continues: "The police say that they would have held him in custody if it had not been for the fact that they did not want to be accused of trying to cripple the Brooklyn club while it is playing in the world's series here." He was released on his own recognizance.

The 1920 series ended on October 12 and the Times of October 13 announced in a headline on the sports page that "Marquard's Days with Robins Ended." (The Dodgers were routinely referred to as the Robins for many years in honor of their manager Wilbert Robinson). Marquard was found guilty of ticket scalping (the alleged amount was

reported as $350 this time) and was fined $1 plus court costs. The judge said the fine was so lenient because Marquard had been so publicly embarrassed by the incident and that "... this has been a lesson to him." Marquard claimed he had made a "joking" response to a Brooklyn man who approached him and asked for tickets. Dodger owner Charles Ebbets announced that Rube would never pitch for Brooklyn again (this promise indeed came true) and National League President John Heydler said "Baseball doesn't want men of his calibre and I don't think he'll be back in the league next season, although I probably won't take any official action myself." American League President Ban Johnson was asked if Marquard would be signed by an American League Club and replied "Absolutely not." For the record, Rube played for Cincinnati in 1921 and for the Boston Braves >From 1922 to 1925, when he retired. In pronouncing the sentence against Marquard, the judge said "It is an unfortunate thing, because baseball is going through its test period. For fifty years baseball has been recognized as a clean sport, but now the effect of a sudden scandal has made many people dubious." One cannot be sure if such aggressive action would have been taken against Marquard if the Black Sox scandal were not such a hot topic, but the implication is certainly there.

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The Scoreboard

In each of the previous editions of the newsletter, there has been a status report on games entered and being processed. The table below is in the same format as last time, which has valuable information, but is still incomplete. For example, one pieceof data that is missing for each season is the number of games that we have on hand that have not yet been touched. Without that total it is not possible to see from this report how many games we actually possess for a given season. It was hoped that the catalogue of our holdings would be completed in time for this edition of the newsletter, but that was not to be. Dave Smith reports that the catalogue is about 85% complete and a new, expanded scoreboard will be ready for the next issue. In the meantime, scan the following information and be impressed with what a hard-working crew Retrosheetians are!

Meaning of column headings:

Year is the season.

Play is the number of games played that season.

Trans is the number of games translated or in the hands of translators.

Input is the number of games in the hands of inputters (a game will only be counted once in either the Translator or Inputter column).

Done is the number of games which have been entered into the computer.

Summary of Games Processed as of October 17, 1995

Year  Play        Trans    Input    Done
1983  2109          0        0      2098
1982  2107          0        0      2100
1981  1394        146      219       693
1980  2105        436      153       741
1979  2099        144        6       201
1978  2102          1       13       163
1977  2103          0       30       315
1976  1939          0       76       262
1975  1934         11       22       625
1974  1945          0       63       265
Year  Play        Trans    Input    Done
1973  1943          0        0       446
1972  1860          0        0       179
1971  1938          0        0        79
1970  1943          0        0        86
1969  1946          0       30       415
1968  1625          0       31       387
1967  1620          0        0      1062
1966  1615          0        0       361
1965  1623          0       20       222
1964  1626          0      187      1359
Year  Play        Trans    Input    Done
1963  1619          0       21      1383
1962  1621          0       42       537
1961  1430          0        0      1430
1960  1236          0        0       703
1959  1238          0        0       579
1958  1235          0        0       229
1957  1234          0        0        72
1956  1238          0        0        16
Year  Play        Trans    Input    Done
1955  1234          0        0       164
1954  1236          0        0        36
1953  1239         10       15       156
1952  1240          0        0       172
1951  1239          0        0       101 
1950  1239          0        0       197
1949  1241          0        0       314
1948  1237          0        0       197
1947  1243          0        0       155
Year  Play        Trans    Input    Done
1946  1242          0        0        24
1930  1226          0        0       360
1929  1229          0        0       417
1928  1231          0        0       391
1927  1236          0        0        88
1926  1234          0        0         1
1925  1228          0        0        24
1924  1231          0        0         1
1920  1233          0        0        67
1917  1249          0       10       107
1911  1238          0        0        97

The last part of any scoreboard report has to be the "Fisher index". This category, devised by Ron Fisher of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the count of games completed by inputters and sent to Dave Smith each week. Since the last issue of the newsletter, there have been 17 complete weeks (Sunday through Saturday) and one partial (through October 17). Of those 18, every one has seen the receipt of at least 100 games, including the current partial week which already has 156. One week had 455, two others wereover 300, and seven more over 200. There was a streak of nine consecutive weeks with more than 200 games entered. The total number of games that have now been entered for Retrosheet is 20077, putting us past a remarkable milestone. The count on June 14 was 15704, so we have completed 4373 in the last 17 plus weeks, for an average of 248.9 per week or 35.6 per day, an increase in rate of nearly 50% since June. Presumably our productivity will not continue to grow this fast, but with this group, one can never be sure! The spirit of this numbers game was recently captured very nicely by Mark Pankin when he wrote: "I hope the Retrostreak is still alive. After all, Cal gets to take five months off, but Retrosheet doesn't."

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Coming Attractions

Coming soon to a mailbox near you -- more thrills, spills and chills [translated: game- winning homers, errors and April ball games in Cleveland].

The next issue of The Retro Sheet is planned for January; meanwhile, ask Santa for more gamesheets to retro-ize. Any suggestions, comments, or contributions for the newsletter should be directed to David Vincent. See ya!

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Page Updated: 8/6/96

Copyrighted: Retrosheet, 1996