March 31, 2020

THE 1942 MEXICAN LEAGUE SEASON

February 27, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve added data from the 1942 Mexican League, a season of 84-88 games that finished with three teams within two games of first place. Union Laguna de Torreon posted the best record (48-40) thanks to Martin Dihigo, who proved why he’s one of the greatest players in baseball history. The 37-year-old Dihigo not only led […]

NORMALIZING NEGRO LEAGUE STATISTICS

February 13, 2020 by · 2 Comments 

Most baseball fans are familiar with the concept of ‘normalizing’ statistics. For MLB statistics, the most basic adjustment is to normalize for park effects. The simplest park normalization calculation takes the impact of a team’s park on runs scored then divides that number, either positive or negative, in half, and then that calculation is applied […]

Major League Equivalencies for The Negro Leagues

February 9, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Major League Equivalents (MLEs) are a series of calculations designed to take non-major league baseball performance and estimate what that performance’s results would look like statistically in the context of the Major Leagues. Bill James gets credit for popularizing MLEs, as he outlined his method for minor league batters in the 1985 Baseball Abstract. James […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1932 Negro Southern League

January 27, 2020 by · 6 Comments 

In time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League next month, we’re happy to announce that we have achieved full coverage of all the traditional major Negro leagues from 1920 through 1948. The latest addition to the DB is the 1932 Negro Southern League, the only year that circuit was […]

Cup of Coffee: Ed “Irish” Conwell

January 19, 2020 by · 2 Comments 

(The following was first published here on October 2, 2009) The movie “Field of Dreams” made Archibald “Moonlight” Graham a household name and tugged at our heartstrings. Graham, played in that scene by the legendary Burt Lancaster, laments that his only regret in life was never having batted in a major league game (he played […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1926 Negro National League

December 10, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

New in the DB: the 1926 Negro National League, once again based on the work of Larry Lester, Wayne Stivers, and the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group, with additions and edits by us. Along with the NNL playoffs and the 1926 World Series, the 1926 NNL takes its place alongside our compilation of the […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1927 Negro National League

November 16, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

As we count down to the 100th anniversary of the first Negro National League (in February 2020), we’re adding the 1927 Negro National League to the database, to accompany our work on the 1927 Eastern Colored League. Based again on the work of Larry Lester, Wayne Stivers, Dick Clark, and the Negro League Researchers and […]

MACK PARK: Friend or Foe?

November 11, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Ballparks are not uniform in baseball. Each one has unique dimensions and can be either a friend of Pitcher and foe of the batter, or vice versa. And beyond that, they can be friendly to RH batters, or LH batters, or both, or neither. Over the last decade, we’ve been continually building a “Negro Leagues […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1930 Negro National League

October 25, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Check out the latest addition to the database, the 1930 Negro National League, based on the work of Larry Lester, Wayne Stivers, and the Negro League Researchers and Authors Group. Also part of this addition are games between NNL and eastern teams, especially the Homestead Grays, which gives a much fuller picture of the Grays’ […]

On Becoming National League Champions in 2019

October 17, 2019 by · 4 Comments 

Victor Robles squeezes the ball into his glove as the man next to me shouts, “It’s an out, baby, it’s an out,” and the stadium erupts into pure animal joy. As the fireworks erupt and the fans explode, the center field gate swings open and a makeshift stage begins to move toward the infield as […]

The Mexican Leagues are Here!

October 11, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

From its inception in 1924, thru the 1939 season, the Mexican League was basically a league of native Mexican semi-pro players, playing for their local teams. There were a few foreign imports that played in the league during those seasons, most notably Martin Dihigo, who left the New York Cubans after the 1936 season to […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1929 NNL

October 8, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

This week we’ve added the 1929 Negro National League to the database, where it joins the 1929 American Negro League (the east coast league) for a complete view of the black majors in that year. This update also includes the 1923 Harrisburg Giants and 1924–1925 Homestead Grays, both courtesy of Scott Simkus, along with new […]

New Big Train Sightings in DC

October 5, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In the 1924 World Series, Walter Johnson lost Game One and Game Five. He was nearly 37 years old and it appeared that even his storied career of invincible tenacity was at an end. The Series was tied three games apiece between John McGraw’s New York Giants and Clark Griffith’s Washington Nationals. Curly Ogden pitched […]

The Chicago Black Sox: What Might Have Been

September 29, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The 1919 Chicago White Sox (aka Black Sox) were the one of the most famous and infamous teams of all time. After going 88-52 in the regular season, they rolled into the World Series to face off against the Cincinnati Reds as heavy favorites, but surprisingly looked clumsy and disinterested in the field; ultimately losing […]

Notes From the Davey Martinez Fan Club

September 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Davey Martinez, current manager of the Washington Nationals, is a case study in why catchers make such good managers. Be it Bruce Bochy, Kevin Cash, Joe Girardi or Mike Matheny, their years of sitting behind the plate and working with a pitching staff on an every day basis provided key insights into how to manage […]

From Pizza Delivery to the Big Leagues: Jim Rushford and His Amazing Journey Through Baseball

August 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Research shows that only about 0.5 percent of high school seniors who play baseball will get drafted by a baseball team; and less than 11 percent of varsity baseball-playing college seniors will get the call. Of those few that become a draft pick, less than one in five will eventually play in the majors. These numbers all make […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1931 NNL + 1922 Eastern Independent Teams

July 21, 2019 by · 2 Comments 

We’re happy to announce the latest update to the Seamheads Negro Leagues DB, one of the largest updates we’ve ever made. It includes: 1) The 1931 Negro National League (plus inter-regional games between NNL and eastern independent teams). This was the last year of the original NNL. Its death knell sounded when the Kansas City […]

Harry Frazee, William Howard Taft, and the Lasker Plan

July 15, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Most baseball fans know that Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis became Major League Baseball’s first commissioner in 1920.  But if Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee had gotten his way, former President William Howard Taft would have gotten the job two years earlier.

The Big Train Rolls No More

May 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

I just learned that my pen pal, Ray Peters, died on May 4. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janis, and two sons. Ray, who once pitched in the big leagues, was a Harvard grad. He played for the Crimson in 1967 and 1968. His former coach, Norman Shepard, thought so well […]

Rafael Devers: Boston Red Sox Third Baseman is in the Midst of a Major Breakout

May 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The disappointing start to the 2019 season for the Boston Red Sox has dominated the minds of fans and followers alike. After all, coming off a magical 2018 campaign that saw a jaw-dropping 108 regular-season victories and an impressive jaunt through the playoffs that resulted in a World Series title leaves a bitter taste in […]

The New Math of the Strike Zone: 20% of 145 is 14.

April 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The other day, thanks to a baseball group on Facebook, I became acquainted with the article at this link, titled “Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Reveals Umps Really Do Suck at Calling Pitches.” From the headline alone, it appears that this is about as comprehensive as it can get—4 million pitches! The data covered the […]

The Battle for Chavez Ravine: Eminent Domain and the Construction of Dodger Stadium

April 21, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a baseball landmark with few peers. The venue, which opened in 1962, boasts the largest capacity in professional baseball and is roundly viewed as one of the most beautiful places to watch a game. Sadly, in order to be built, an entire community was destroyed, and […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1929 American Negro League

April 2, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

We’re happy to announce the addition of the 1929 American Negro League season to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was an east coast league, a successor to the Eastern Colored League (which folded early in the 1928 season), and should not be confused with the later Negro American League (founded in 1937 and based […]

But What Have You Done for Me Lately?

March 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In the wake of Boston’s 12-4 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on March 28 in the former’s first game of the 2019 season, I was curious to see which defending champions throughout history followed their World Series title with a dud to open the next season. Contrary to popular belief, no Red […]

The Promising Life and Tragic Death of Austin McHenry

March 17, 2019 by · 17 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following was originally posted on November 30, 2008.) By the time he was 25 years old, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Austin McHenry was considered one of baseball’s best outfielders and hitters, especially after enjoying a 1921 season that saw him finish with a .350 batting average, second only to teammate and future […]

The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have […]

How Has Bryce Harper’s Contract Impacted Mookie Betts’ Quest for a New Deal?

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent signing of free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million contract by the Philadelphia Phillies sent shock waves across baseball. Although the star slugger will continue making his home in the National League, the deal may have a surprising impact on the Boston Red Sox—specifically in their pursuit to retain their […]

ESTIMATING PARK FACTORS FOR THE NEGRO LEAGUES

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Most serious baseball fans understand that ballparks can have a large impact on statistical performance. However, trying to measure that exact impact often proves difficult. In work we’ve done on Major League ballparks at Seamheads.com, it takes about three full years of data, regressed by about one additional season worth of games, to get a […]

How a Runaway Taxi Temporarily Saved Casey Stengel’s Managing Job

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Before he became the legendary skipper of the New York Yankees, winning 10 pennants and seven World Series, Casey Stengel was a pretty good outfielder for 14 big league seasons and a second division manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves. So uninspiring was his leadership of the Braves, that in 1943 he missed more than […]

The “technically …not” Hall of Fame

February 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

In 2006, a Baseball Hall of Fame Special Committee on Negro Leagues, made up primarily of expert blackball scholars, elected 17 Negro Leaguers to the Hall of Fame, almost doubling the total number of players and executives whose careers were primarily in the Negro Leagues from 18 to 35. If we use Sol White and […]

Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

February 12, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won the Cy Young Award three times Won the ERA title five times Was an All Star seven times Was voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) Sandy Koufax did all of these things in twelve seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.   And, of […]

THE BALLPARK CHRONICLES

February 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Soon a new version of the classic ballpark book “Green Cathedrals” will be issued by SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). After having researched over 400 specific Blackball parks for the updated book, here are a few interesting ballpark facts I discovered. Philadelphia Mysteries Pencoyd Park was the home of the 1928 Philadelphia Tigers of […]

Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Peculiarities of the Past

February 3, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame election results were recently announced, with Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez all receiving the requisite number of votes. In particular, Rivera gained national headlines by becoming the first person to be named on 100 percent of the ballots that were cast. While he was a wonderful pitcher and completely deserving of the honor it […]

Chalmer “Bill” Cissell: The $123,000 Lemon

January 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

(Editor’s Note: The following first appeared on this site on October 27, 2009 and an abridged version appears in Baseball’s Untold History: The People) Twenty-four-year-old shortstop Chalmer “Bill” Cissell was so highly regarded by scout Danny Long in 1927 that he convinced White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to send what was estimated to be a […]

Negro League DB Update: 1927 Eastern Colored League

December 23, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

Having brought our coverage of Negro league statistics forward to 1948, we are now going back to fill in the missing seasons from the late 1920s and early 1930s. First up is the 1927 Eastern Colored League, along with the Negro League World Series that year. The 1927 ECL opened with the same seven teams […]

Next Page »