Description of BioFile.txt
July 15, 2021
Retrosheet has just released this large file that contains biographical information for every person who has played, managed, coached or umpired in the major leagues. At this time, member of the Negro Leagues are not included.
The entries are divided into three categories: 1. Players (19,903 individuals) 2. Non-playing managers and coaches (432 individuals) 3. Non-playing umpires (971 individuals) The listings are alphabetical within each group. Players debuting in 2021 are not included. Many people performed in all four of these capacities and they are in the player category. Each person has 33 items of information: 1. Retrosheet ID 2. Last Name 3. First Name 4. Use Name (How he was referred to in the news media) 5. Birth Date 6. Birth City 7. Birth State 8. Birth Country 9. Debut Date as Player 10. Date of Last Game as Player 11. Debut Date as Manager 12. Date of Last Game as Manager 13. Debut Date as Coach 14. Date of Last Game as Coach 15. Debut Date as Umpire 16. Date of Last Game as Umpire 17. Death Date 18. Death City 19. Death State 20. Death Country 21. Bat 22. Throw 23. Height 24. Weight 25. Cemetery 26. Cemetery City 27. Cemetery State 28. Cemetery Country 29. Cemetery Note (A variety here such as exact grave location) 30. Birth Name 31. Name Change (Not used) 32. Bat Change (Not used) 33. HOF (Blank for those not yet eligible)
Of course, many of these fields are blank for most people, reflecting either missing data (unknown birth date, height or weight, for example) or not relevant (for those who never coached, managed or umpired, for example).
The information in this file was compiled by many people over decades: David Vincent, David Smith and major contributions from the SABR Biographical Committee chaired by Bill Carle. This file is very much a work in progress and new items routinely come to our attention and appear on the Retrosheet website on each individual's personal page.
It is our hope that this file will allow interested people to search, sort or otherwise explore interesting biographical data from the people who are the foundation of Major League history.
Use of the file
The file format is "flat text" so that it can be read in a word processor or other text file reader. The various fields for each person are separated by commas, so the file can be readily imported into a spreadsheet or database. All items except weight are contained within double quotes. There are two main reasons for this. The first is to be sure date formats are not confused when importing as well as the height data. For example, someone listed as "6-03" meaning 6 feet, 3 inches would have that item displayed as June 3 by some spreadsheets otherwise. The other reason for the quotes is to allow proper processing of items with embedded commas such as names with ", Jr" or ", Sr." as well as some place and cemetery names.
If you find any new information or have corrections, please send supporting evidence to