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Thread: Negro League Stats Encyclopedia

  1. #1

    Negro League Stats Encyclopedia

    Anyone know when those statistics are supposed to be published from the Hall of Fame study?

  2. #2
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    Hopefully it will come out soon.

    I don't know what we will see first - "official" NeL stats or the long awaited Guns & Roses Chinese Democracy album.
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    The Negro leagues is badly in need of a statistical encyclopedia listing players, teams, year, postseason in much the same fashion as baseball-reference.com or retrosheet.org. A book will do but I don't see it being profitable and updated enough to get relatively current.

    I don't really care if they only have player and team listed for certain seasons and that stats are incomplete. The study needs a foundation like the MacMillan gave MLB in 1969.

    Another problem is definition of Negro leagues. At some point it has to encompasses more than just mere formal leagues.

  4. #4
    The data collection has been 'complete' for several years, but apparently there is little market for such as massive, but specialized encyclopedia. Hopefully, an on-line encyclopedia will be allowed to incorporate the data soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJOK View Post
    'complete'
    The operative word -- the data is patchy at best.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by VIBaseball View Post
    The operative word -- the data is patchy at best.
    Well, the data is far and away more complete and comprehensive than anything ever before gathered on the Negro Leagues.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by KJOK View Post
    Well, the data is far and away more complete and comprehensive than anything ever before gathered on the Negro Leagues.
    According to a couple of the researchers I've spoken to, it's far from an ideal job and there is a lot more data out there that wasn't collected.

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    According to a couple of the researchers I've spoken to, it's far from an ideal job and there is a lot more data out there that wasn't collected.
    Well, the data is far and away more complete and comprehensive than anything ever before gathered on the Negro Leagues.
    All I can say is, both may be true, but I do believe the second is true, which means it would represent a real advance on the subject. For that reason, I'd love to see it out yesterday. If we wait for the Negro Leagues to be perfectly documented, we'll all be pushing up daisies--and so will a couple of more generations.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mischa View Post
    According to a couple of the researchers I've spoken to, it's far from an ideal job and there is a lot more data out there that wasn't collected.
    From one of the researchers I understand that he compiled data beyond the scope of the project database for the few seasons he covered. He has published that and much more on the Negro Leagues at Agate Type.

    P.S. Bookmark the site.

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    How many copies of a book like that need to sell to make it profitable? I'm thinking I'd be willing to buy 3 to make it happen

  11. #11

    Negro League Stats Encyclopedia

    It appears that this data may finally get online in a few months. When it's a bit more official, I'll post additional details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJOK View Post
    The data collection has been 'complete' for several years, but apparently there is little market for such as massive, but specialized encyclopedia. Hopefully, an on-line encyclopedia will be allowed to incorporate the data soon.
    Online is fine, but I want the book.

    It wouldn't be the first semi-obscure baseball reference book, and depending on how it was presented, it might have a larger audience than they think. Regardless, there's plenty of precedent for producing limited-audience books (academic presses do it all the time)... just set the price higher. I have several books that I paid $70+ for, that might have been $25 volumes in larger press runs.

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    Online is much better - considering all the data that still needs to be collected. A book here would be outdated before it went through its final editing.

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    How can there be data yet to be collected? These leagues have been wrapped up for a while now. Surely all the extant box scores have already been tracked down? I'm pretty sure nobody's going to find a trove of scoresheets. What else is there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
    . Surely all the extant box scores have already been tracked down?
    Not the case at all. Very time consuming research from many small papers both in the US and internationally. Not enough researchers, not enough time, not enough money.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bkmckenna View Post
    Not the case at all. Very time consuming research from many small papers both in the US and internationally. Not enough researchers, not enough time, not enough money.
    correct, indeed

    See the Agate Type website that I cited above. Beside "compil[ing] data beyond the scope of the project database for the few seasons he covered" the author has located some more accounts of games played during those seasons.

    The same is true of many or all minor league seasons whose playing statistics SABR members have compiled. Sometimes the researcher worked from a single source of box scores (probably Sporting Life or TSN) for lack of time and money to borrow microfilm or travel.

    Beside what is missing in known game reports but available in some that remain to be discovered, and what is missing from the scope of the compilation by design, there may be changes in game status. Someone discovers report of a directors agreement or an executive order that game A is thrown out and game B is an official replacement game --previously unknown to researchers or considered an exhibition.

    --
    The downside that I fear from online "publication" is that it means incomplete access, not true publication. A privately held database installed on the web with limited capacity to answer queries.

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    Hmm, I'm surprised.

    I take it we're talking about just the "major" organized Negro leagues--the NNL, ECL, NAL, from 1920 through 1950-something (it being arguable which season the NAL no longer qualified as a major league). Considering that these leagues have just gotten ever more chic since the '70s, and given the standings and rosters that were available by 1994 and my understanding of where the effort was then, I assumed that the microfiche would have been fully combed out in the years since and that by now it was just a matter of adding up columns of numbers.

    I still say that there should come a point, soon, when publishing an actual physical book is appropriate, even with the expectation that continuing research and refinement will lead to some tweaking of the numbers. After all, the statistical encyclpedias of the white major leagues have been revised several times, and there are still blank lines in many areas. As jalbright suggested, if we wait for every numeral to be fully vetted, none of us will actually get to see any of it. Let there be a volume published with what there is so far! Then, when there is enough additional or revised data for a new edition to be meaningful, let there be a new edition.
    Last edited by Pere; 03-11-2008 at 07:36 PM.

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    It'd be nice if a book was published (like the '69 Big Mac) and these researchers got together and formed a sort of "negro league" Retrosheet online.
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  19. #19
    Wrong post

  20. #20
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    Any updates on this?
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
    Any updates on this?
    Larry Lester has been quoted recently

    "The stats from the project are being edited and hopefully finalize by next summer. Until then, we are not releasing incomplete stats."

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    That's good news - especially the part that they believe the forthcoming stats would be "complete" - or largely so.

    The problem with Negro league stats is defining them. They are probably talking mainly about strict league competition. Obviously, the concept of "black baseball" is much greater than formal league competition in the "major" black leagues in the east and midwestern United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian McKenna View Post
    The problem with Negro league stats is defining them. They are probably talking mainly about strict league competition. Obviously, the concept of "black baseball" is much greater than formal league competition in the "major" black leagues in the east and midwestern United States.
    Sure, but limiting the book to numbers recorded in the top couple "strict" leagues is the same standard used for "white baseball" encyclopedias, right?

    I'd say the problem isn't the definition, it's the actual gathering/verifying of the numbers that meet the definition.

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    Well, there's Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the California Winter League, and the Florida Hotels League. There's a decent resource for all but the last, though the one I've found for Puerto Rico is in Spanish. I'm guessing that these stats won't be reflected in the Negro Leagues Encyclopedia.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jalbright View Post
    Well, there's Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the California Winter League, and the Florida Hotels League. There's a decent resource for all but the last, though the one I've found for Puerto Rico is in Spanish. I'm guessing that these stats won't be reflected in the Negro Leagues Encyclopedia.
    Whoa, I'd be interested in the first three leagues
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