Retrosheet's May 2021 Negro League Baseball Release

On May 28, 2021, Retrosheet released its second set of Negro League games.

What's New

The latest release has significantly increased the number of Negro League games provided by Retrosheet in each of the three areas covered in Retrosheet's original release: All-Star Games, Playoff Games, and Interracial Games. The details are described below.

But first, with this release, Retrosheet has also significantly increased the number of volunteers that deserve thanks for their contributions to this project. Volunteers who have helped with this project include, but are not necessarily limited to, Javier Anderson, Mark Aubrey, Mike Cantor, Mike Grahek, Dave Lamoureaux, Mark Pankin, David Roher, Dave Smith, Stuart Shiffman, Tom Stillman, Tom Thress, Wayne Townsend, Neal Williams, and Mark Williamson. Thank you all. And my apologies if I have inadvertently omitted anyone.

As for the updates to the games themselves with this release.

Overall, including this release, Retrosheet has released box scores for 505 Negro League games (including eleven games which are available for download but do not really fit into one of the three sets of games released so far). Of these 505 games, Retrosheet has play-by-play data available for 209 games. Of the 209 games with play-by-play data, 103 of them have been deduced from box scores and newspaper game stories.

What's Next

To use a somewhat strained baseball metaphor, with this release, Retrosheet has finished spring training for its Negro Leagues project. The games so far have been exhibition games (literally as well as figuratively). And working through the 500 games done so far has prepared us for the real "regular-season" work of working through, well, Negro League regular seasons.

Retrosheet will continue to work through interracial games one season at a time using the data provided by Todd Peterson as our primary guide. Retrosheet will also update Negro League All-Star and playoff games as new and better sources are found for games. Retrosheet will likely also continue to deduce play-by-play accounts for games for which newspaper game stories are sufficiently detailed.

But the focus of our work will now shift to the regular season and our subsequent releases of Negro League data will mirror our previous releases of American and National League data with the highlight of each new release being the release of one or more new seasons of data.

Historically, Retrosheet has tried to work through seasons beginning with the most recent season and working systematically back in time. For the Negro Leagues, the consensus of Negro League experts is that the 1948 season was the last season in which the Negro Leagues were major leagues.

Retrosheet's next Negro Leagues release, then, will be the 1948 regular seasons of the Negro American and Negro National Leagues.

The number of volunteers who have helped out so far has been extremely gratifying. But there is always room for more. Some of the specific details of our needs are outlined here.

If you are interested in helping on this project, please contact Tom Thress (

Thank you very much! We hope you enjoy the data here and we look forward to adding more data over time.

Tom Thress
Retrosheet Treasurer

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Page Updated: 5/27/2021

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