Retrosheet Web Site Has Permanent Home
One advantage of the long delay since the last newsletter is that I can finally report success in the transfer of our web site to our own server. The details are bloody and not really important, but the bottom line is that we had four different DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) providers in the last 6 months. One (NorthPoint) went out of business two days after we were connected and we were helped out by TotalSports (Quokka) which took our site back and ran it until we got the current, hopefully permanent, connection. Many thanks to TotalSports for hosting the site for several years, covering us in this latest emergency and doing everything necessary to get the registration of the domain name transferred from them to us.
Now that the server is running in a stable way in my basement, we can work on the expansions and enhancements we had in mind when we decided last year to host the web site on our own. The most dramatic changes have to do with the additions of game logs and schedules, courtesy of Tom Ruane. These are detailed elsewhere in the issue, but thanks to Tom's literally tireless efforts, we are breaking into exciting new territory. Stay tuned and keep checking the web site for more details over the next few months
Speaking of friends, I wish to extend a sincere thank you to the many people who responded to our fund-raising request in the last newsletter. As you recall, we were asking for donations to cover the cost of the new computer, DSL installation, and monthly fee. I am happy to report that we have received around $5000 to date, showing once again how Retrosheet has touched something in a lot of people; what a wonderful endorsement this is. We are now in good stable condition to continue our Internet presence as an important part of the baseball research landscape.
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The annual meeting of Retrosheet will take place on Sunday, July 15 at 8 AM in Milwaukee at the start of the last day of the 31st SABR convention. The room will be announced in the schedule distributed at the convention. The public is welcome to this meeting at which we will do a small bit of business and report on activities of the past year.
The term of Board member Clem Comly expires this year and we therefore need an election. Board members Sherri Nichols and Luke Kraemer are the Nominating Committee charged to prepare a slate of candidates for this position. If you are interested in being nominated or in nominating someone else, please contact Luke (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sherri (email@example.com) as soon as possible.
We apologize for the very late announcement of the meeting and the election.
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Having the web site under own control allows us to increase not only how much material we have available, but it also lets us do new things. Due almost entirely to the efforts of Tom Ruane, there are samples of two new types of data on the web site which are available for examination by anyone interested in checking them out. Since we are still in the very early stages here, there are no links to any of the new data from within the site, but they are accessible with the following URL's:
Each of these is a folder on our web site and each contains a number of files. The html folder has over 1900 of them, so be ready for some potentially slow loading. Here is what you will find:
There is a log file for each season from 1981 through 1998, with each record containing data for one game. There are 105 fields in each record, with the meaning of each detailed in the file glfields.txt which is at the bottom of that directory listing (at the very bottom is the html directory so you can get there this way as well). One of the enhancements we are definitely working on is the creation of a user-friendly way to extract meaningful subsets of these 105 fields, since it is expected that very few people will be interested in the full data for all games. However, at this time if you want to do anything with them, you need to download the entire file. One type of feedback we would love to have is for suggestions as to what groupings to establish. For example, it seems reasonable that all starting lineups could be extracted as a unit, but not individual positions. For the numerical data, there are some "major" and "minor" category groupings that could be created. I envision perhaps 8 to 10 of these subgroups with the user being able to click on a specific group for one game or a group of games, but I am very open to other ideas as to how best to organize this large amount of data. This notice will also be posted to the Retrolist so we maximize the chance for comments. One additional feature will be a link for each game that will retrieve the play by play and box score for a desired game or group of games, assuming that Retrosheet has the data. Note that for the 1997 and 1998 seasons, there are totals files with team data for those seasons.
The files currently available cover the years 1900 - 1909 as a sample. Tom has done a wonderful job of connecting a great deal of basic information in this series of files. There is a separate file for each calendar day in a given season. For example, click on the file:
and you will be taken to a page that begins with the results of all games played on June 14, 1908 (the date is embedded in the file name in an obvious way). At the top of the page are "PREV" and "NEXT" buttons to take you back or forward one day, respectively. Scroll down and immediately below the results you will find the standings for both leagues, updated through the games of that day. Also included is an updated total of runs scored and runs allowed for each team at that point in the schedule. If you click on one of the team abbreviations, then you will be taken to a season summary for that team with the record broken down by home and road games and separated vs each opponent. Once again the very useful categories of runs scored and allowed are present. Scroll down past these summaries and you will find the daily results for that team for that season. I hope that one day these days will have active links so that a click will take you to a prepared box score and play by play account for viewing or downloading.
There are so many aspects to these files that I will not pretend I can cover all of them here. My job was to explain enough of the basics so you could navigate the folders and see what we currently have. Hopefully we will get lots of comments and suggestions; these can be sent to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Tom (email@example.com). One other option which I have not mentioned, but which will definitely become important, concerns downloads. As the files stand now, you would need to use your browser to collect each one, which could be a daunting task. We should consider having ZIP archives of the relevant items for rapid retrieval. Once again there are several ways to organize this and your ideas are actively encouraged.
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Page Updated: 7/23/01Copyrighted: Retrosheet, 2001