Well, goodbye to the rest of my day.
The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday that statistics of Negro Leagues players are available on Baseball-Reference.com. In what was an amazing bit of research, a group spent more than a decade researching Negro League games and now have the results on the website.
From the release:
The study includes sanctioned league game box scores from almost 100 percent of games played in the 1920s, in excess of 90 percent of the box scores from games played in the 1930s and box scores from 50-70 percent of games played in the 1940s and 50s, during which time the various leagues began to disband and newspapers ceased to report game information. The end result is the most comprehensive compilation of statistics on the NegroLeagues that has ever been accumulated.The stats don't give an absolute version of the players, at least in any way to make direct one-to-one comparisons with their peers in MLB at the time, but it still gives you an amazing look at what some of the greatest players to ever play the game were able to do. How about this career line -- .350/.401/.624? That's Josh Gibson. How about a career 0.945 WHIP with 1,068 strikeouts and just 202 walks in 1,174 2/3 innings? That's Satchel Page -- including 17 strikeouts and no walks in 19 innings -- while giving up just two runs and seven hits as a 40-year-old with the Kansas City Monarchs. That's just the league's two biggest stars -- I'm sure I'll spend more time looking at the likes of Buck O'Neil (seen above), Quincy Trouppe and Sam Hairston, or checking out the stats of the Savannah Lafayettes, the Cincinnati Tigers and the great Kansas City Monarchs.
The compiled statistics will be accessible at baseball-reference.com like the data from the 17,000-plus men who have played Major League Baseball. There were no formal or official statistics from the various NegroLeagues, but the numbers in the database represent league-sanctioned games from 1920-54 for which there is a viable box score. Exhibition games and other related events are not included.
The group led by Dr. Larry Hogan, Dick Clark and Larry Lester looked through mire than 3,000 day-by-day records and box scores from 345 newspapers of sanctioned games from 1920-1948 gives us one of the great treasures we'll ever be given as baseball fans. And hopefully this is just the start of even more research into the Negro Leagues and will bring baseball nerds like myself many more years of discovery and joy, along with honor to the men who played in the Negro Leagues across the country.