Retroplay Home

Retroplay Home

9/17/19: And it begins….(the hiatus, I mean). Don’t expect much in the way of updates (site-wide) until I get my current work out of the way and put the finishing touches on the sprawling Retroplay baseball history replay project. By MLB Opening Day, 2020, I hope to have a definitive set of data and the first publications that result from the many years of time-consuming research, organization, and findings.

Within a day or two, the status of all of my web pages will be changing, as any premium plan features will go away (at least until I renew as a paid subscriber, likely sometime in 2020). Take care, and circle back later…

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8/19/19:  Only one update has been posted within the last 2-3 months. Get the explanation (“excuse,” if you prefer) here: SPOTLIGHT: NLB (Black Baseball)

Heads-up re: the whole website:  The “staff” (read: me, myself, and I) will probably go into “deep hiatus mode” for several months at least. There’s no crisis here, just the recognized need to stay on task with the extensive baseball project research that remains (oh, there’s plenty of that on my plate!), and without the nagging feeling that I have to keep posting to the site.  Bottom line: in the near future, you might well find that all of my paid sites are suddenly inaccessible, since I’ve stopped publishing ’em (temporarily, per current plans). Just FYI. Take care…

==============================================

5/31/19: Some valuable (all-eras summary) files uploaded to the all-eras page: Retroplay: MLB, NLB All Years

Download ’em for free and rework the data as you see fit (Excel files were left in columnar format for easier sorting by categories). Scroll down that page until “DOWNLOAD DEPOT” appears; that’s where the action is.

5/18/19: Happy Birthday, Reggie!

What’s new at Retroplay.net? Several pages have been updated, and several graphics are slated for re-working/improvement. The next BIG thing planned is a second look at the whole 19th Century era (1871-1900). As of today, we’ve “replayed” those 30 seasons with rosters governed by True Test League (TTL) rules and parameters only (there was no Expanded Regional LeagueERL — version, as there was for each season since 1901, which is usually recognized as the birth year of “modern baseball”). Well, that’s about to change, as the next project will involve throwing the door open to ALL Major Leaguers — and ALL organized Negro League players with supporting stats, as well — regardless of whether or not they qualified at a certain performance level or met appearance minimums. Call this the “Everybody has a team to play for, and nearly every region has a team League,” if you will. Or how about just, “The Open Baseball League” (OBL)? The idea here is to not leave out anyone with MLB/NLB experience (documented by usable stats) as a potential roster member (though roster spots will still have to be earned on the basis of performance and positional suitability), in order to be able to form as many regional rosters as possible in any given year. The basic differences between the old way and the new (planned) approach are the following:

  1. Both are birthplace-based, but in the OBL, more players will be pulled into range for filling out potential regional franchises; more players available in the regional pools.
  2. Because we’ll be necessarily including thousands of “new” players whose MLB/NLB careers were spent in sub-zero WAR territory between 1871 and 2018/2019 (now getting their share of Plate Appearances and Innings Pitched, just like the guys who had above-zero seasons and careers in the TTL and the ERL), total team WAR figures will necessarily drop wherever a sub-zero WAR player has to be used to compose an all-positions-filled lineup. This is not a pleasant thought, that “so-and-so” is hurting the team, but then again, that’s real life; that’s how the bell curve works.
  3. In some pretty extreme cases, we might encounter a regional roster that has ample talent to go around (all of this is on paper, remember; we’re using actual historical data that’s only re-channeled according to birthplace groupings), but only a shortstop or a second catcher or maybe a pitcher is lacking. For example, an Alabama team may have several Hall-of-Famers and other stars on hand to man the infield and the outfield (think: Mays, Aaron, McCovey, Billy Williams, etc. on the same team in several seasons), but no Alabama-born catcher to fill that position in the lineup (or enough pitchers to cover the innings). The OBL plan will include a provision to allow teams that would otherwise have to “fold” in such a situation and forget about fielding a squad for that season, to fill up to 2 starting positions and/or up to 4 total roster slots with “Anonymous Replacement Players” (ARP, in the singular form).

But before you assume that this is being too gracious to a franchise that finds itself a player or two or four short, here’s the downside: an ARP at starting shortstop, for just one example, would be assigned the WORST actual (historic) WAR value for a starting (full-time) MLB shortstop in that particular year AND an additional penalty of -0.5. So in this example, let’s say that the worst MLB regular shortstop’s “contribution” to his team was a -2.5 WAR season, the ARP assigned to the team that can’t exist without him will saddle it with a -3.0 WAR for that position; that’s quite a price to pay, but really only fair, when you consider what impact a relatively lousy SS would have on a real team, even if everybody else was of star quality. And so it will go with all of the other ARP fill-ins at all of the other starting positions. With regard to mere roster-fillers, I’m thinking of assigning negative WAR values that would range from -2.0 for pitchers, catchers, shortstops and second basemen to -1.5 for center fielders, right fielders, and third basemen, to -1.0 for left fielders and first basemen (following the “defensive spectrum” that has been developed by Bill James (I believe), is widely accepted, and makes sense to me).

If anyone has any suggestions or comments on any of this, please email me: 1@retroplay.net

And with that, I’m off again to data-gathering and data-entry duty, focusing on the 19th Century at present, and making my way forward again. Still, it’s nice “work” if you can get it and have the time to do it (AND... don’t hate not being compensated for it; oh well, maybe later?)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ /// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5/1/19 UPDATE:  ALL of the finalized grids/spreadsheets (Excel files) are now available as free downloads. For more information and “sneak preview” scans, go to the various “era” pages. OR…. you can obtain the whole batch of full-fledged files right here (just try to make a point of getting to those other pages eventually, okay?)

G1-EXCEL (1871-1900)  G2-1 REGIONAL and G2-2 REGIONAL (1901-1930)  G3-1 REGIONAL and G3-2 REGIONAL (1931-1960)  G4-1 REGIONAL and G4-2 REG. CAS SPLIT (1961-1990)  G5-1 REGIONAL and G5-2 REGIONAL and G5-3 REG-INTL (1991-2018)

All told, the whole batch comes to 334 printed (8.5 x 11) pages, in case you’re inclined to compile a hard copy book (I can provide printer settings that will do the job, at least on my Epson; just email your request: 1@retroplay.net). Roughly 13,000 qualified players are involved, but I’ll have the exact numbers fairly soon (state/regional/national break-downs, and the number of MLBers, NLBers, etc.).  Stay tuned/check back; much more to come…

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4/29/19:  DOWNLOAD THE LATEST, UPDATED GRIDS/SPREADSHEETS HERE:

G3-2 (U.S., WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI (+), 1931-1960 SEASONS) G3-2 REGIONAL

G4-2 (U.S., WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI (+), 1961-1990 SEASONS) G4-2 REG. CAS SPLIT

4/10/19: DOWNLOAD THE LATEST, UPDATED GRIDS/SPREADSHEETS HERE:

G3-1 (U.S., EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 1931-1960 SEASONS) G3-1 REGIONAL

G4-1 (U.S., EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI, 1961-1990 SEASONS) G4-1 REGIONAL

++++ Just added: send your email questions/comments to: 1@retroplay.net

4/8/19: Believe it or not, we’re getting closer to rolling out the goodies, the fruit of my years-long labor on “The Baseball Project.” Today, grids/spreadsheets G2-2 and G3-2 are offered in their updated, printer-friendly versions. From here on out, — but only for a limited time — I’ll try hard to make sure any/all guests can obtain (for free) the most recent versions of my Retroplay.net materials. In other words, the data that I’m using myself will match what’s been made publicly available on my sites, but after some exploratory outreach to the “stathead pros” and potential publishers, I may change plans (start seeking some remuneration for my painstaking labor and exclusive “intellectual property”).

So be fairly warned/advised that on or about April 15, the free-download spigot might be turned off. Therefore, it would be wise to take advantage of this window of opportunity to download (at no charge) many of the very same materials (the guts of the system) that I’d be putting out a little later in PDF/Ebook/traditional book form, which would require some payment, of course. Go ahead and get what you can now, and share this opportunity with your friends. Send ’em right to this very page for the latest info.

Click/tap below for the most-recently uploaded versions of G2-2 and G3-2. Both of these contain career data for players born west of the Mississippi (U.S.) and all extra-nationals.

G2-2 REGIONAL           G3-2 REGIONAL

4/3/19: Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men… I’d hoped to have more posted on the various Retroplay.net baseball pages at this point, but when the good people at Seamheads.com figured out the numbers for the 1929 American Negro League and posted the resulting WAR values on the individual player pages, well, that mandated my going back into data-entry mode once again to plug in the most recent data on my Excel spreadsheets (G2-1, 2-2, 3-1, and 3-2, covering 1901 through 1960).

Partially explanatory screen shot from the Seamheads.com Negro Leagues Database site:

Opera Snapshot_2019-04-03_193816_www.seamheads.com

But the good news now is that once I’ve finalized G3-2, I can safely “freeze” the WAR numbers and work with them as they stand before any further recalculating is done by Baseball-Reference.com or The Baseball Gauge (which I’ll have to ignore until season’s end, in order for me/us to proceed with groupings, rankings, and “Time Travel Teams” replays).

So right now, I can offer what will likely have to be considered finalized versions of the Excel spreadsheets G1, G2-1, G2-2, and G3-1, with G3-2 coming up within 24 hours, and the others (covering 1961 through 2018) following As Soon As Possible (Please remember, I’m a staff of one!). After all of that is uploaded and presented satisfactorily, we’ll firm up the entire Retroplay RE-set Hall Of Fame. So far, only some advance “teaser” graphics have been posted to give you a flavor of how that whole thing sets up. But I’m confident that when you see the whole RE-set “honor roll,” — who’s “in” and who’s “out” — according to my simple, more objective criteria, you’ll agree that this is a valid measuring stick for on-field performance and career impact. In this numbers-only “voting” system, crony-powered politics are filtered out, and merit reigns as king of the process. But for now, here’s where you can download what was referred to above:

G1-EXCEL   G2-1 REGIONAL   G2-2 REGIONAL   G3-1 REGIONAL

3/29/19: Updated, improved grids (Excel spreadsheets): for G1 (19th Century), G2-1 and G2-2 (1901-1930). D-load here: G1-EXCEL  G2-1 REGIONAL  G2-2 REGIONAL

Also, the Retroplay RE-set Hall of Fame is slowly taking shape here. Check it out!

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3/25/19: Steadily adding content here while revamping the whole family of sites

Please note that the first 5 (of 10 total) 30-year-wide WAR spreadsheets have been uploaded below (at the bottom of the 3/23 update section). And right here are the other 5 (click to download for free; this set covers the MLB seasons from 1961 through 2018):

G4-1 REGIONAL G4-2 REG. CAS SPLIT G5-1 REGIONAL G5-2 REGIONAL G5-3 REG-INTL

A few words of explanation might be helpful. These are Excel spreadsheets that cover an era’s worth (30 seasons/years spread horizontally) of WAR values for up to 44 players (and a header row) running vertically. They are designed to convey — at a glance — in most cases (many players do cross from one era to another) an individual player’s career arc in terms of production, as measured by WAR (Wins Above Replacement); his total career WAR totals and position(s) played; who would’ve been his teammates under this birthplace-based system (the unique angle of my Retroplay project); gaps in his MLB/NLB career (denoted by the tilde, like this: ~~), best years (highest seasonal WAR is in bold), and those seasons where either he had a negative WAR value or simply lacked 10 Plate Appearances (PA) for hitters or 9 Innings Pitched (IP), marked by an “X” in those particular cells. “BONUS MATERIAL” includes notes that help to distinguish between identically-named players (e.g., “Oh, Brewery Jack Taylor II. Okay, I’ve got the right one now.”); the “per 162 games” WAR averages of official Cooperstown HOFers and of several players who would’ve been better choices if WAR values could have held sway in those election days of decades past (those particular notes can serve as an introduction to the list of players I’d say are missing from the HOF, who merit induction (again, IMO) more than several of those who benefited from no small amount of crony-ism on veteran’s committees; that’s what the Retroplay REset Hall Of Fame is for).

But with those “few” words having been said, using these grids is really quite intuitive. Once you start making use of them, your enjoyment will build even as your info-gathering exploration gathers steam. So dig right in with the big spoon and get started!

3/23/19: Data entry done! Now, the real fun begins…

Here’s where we are as of Saturday night, March 23, 2019:  All of the WAR numbers have been “frozen” into place in their respective grids (G1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-2, 5-1, 5-2, and 5-3). The final work sessions involved updating all of the Negro League (“Black Baseball”) WAR figures, since Seamheads.com recently re-calculated all of those stats (just to be clear: I am NOT complaining that those corrections had to be made, ‘cuz I love what those guys are doing!). Anyway, those updates in grids 2-1, 2-2, 3-1, and 3-2 (which included the years from 1901 through 1960, when the organized Negro Leagues existed, flourished, and peaked), represented the last of the data entry toil. But now…..it’s just a matter of combining and distributing the chunks of data as desired. We can break down the data by birthplace, region, era, position, and rank according to WAR values in any number of permutations.

Another new development that’s right around the corner: the Retroplay RE-set Hall of Fame, where we establish a numbers-only gallery of the top-ranking on-field achievers (for better or worse — it’s up to you, how you see this approach — general character and non-PED use aren’t among the criteria here). “Induction” into the RRHOF is automatic: if a player’s career WAR multiplied by his average-per-162 (games) WAR yields a product of 200 or greater, he’s in. Let’s think about how this works.

By looking at both a good career WAR (let’s say, 40 or 50 or more, indicating good production over a span of about 10 seasons or more, or longevity) AND an All-Star-caliber 4 to 5 WAR per 162 games (standard full-season baseline, indicating consistent high-production), we can soon see who really stood above the crowd. But also, we can easily detect those who might owe more to committee crony-ism than their own obviously superior on-field achievements for election to the HOF (ahem! didja ever read, Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? by Bill James?). So check back soon, because we’ll have a whole “new” (RE-set) “Hall of Fame” for you in a matter of days (some actual HOFers will be “shown the door,” and some of those who were unfairly missed (better late than never?) will finally be justly recognized and admitted. (On the other hand, we won’t talk, at least for the moment, about how certain PED-abusers will also make this RRHOF; for now, let’s just let the “newcomers” bask in the glow of long-overdue acclaim).

Right here, please find your first 5 (of 10 total) 30-year grid Excel spreadsheets. These are the guts of the whole system, so get ’em while they’re FREE. (G1 covers 1871-1900; 2-1 and 2-2 cover 1901-1930; 3-1 and 3-2, 1931-1960. They’re both highly informative and simple to figure out (intuitive), so getting a lot out of ’em is easy; jump right in and do some exploring!). I’ll provide useful instructions on how to print these sets as hard copies a bit later (yes, a 30-year grid of 45 lines will fit onto a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper).

G1 EXCEL G2-1 REGIONAL G2-2 REGIONAL G3-1 REGIONAL G3-2 REGIONAL

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ADDED 6/19/18: The story of the baseball replay study/project that led to National Past-time Baseball, Global Baseball 2017/2018, and finally, Retroplay.net in a chronological 35-page PDF. Click to get it for free right here: Global Baseball recap

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9-13a

9-13b

9-13c

9-13d

9-13e

9-13f

9-13g

9-13h

9-13k

9-13m

9-13n

9-13o

9-13p

9-13q

9-13r

9-13s

9-13t

9-13u

9-13v

9-13w

9-13x

9-13y

9-13z

9-13z1

9-13z2

9-13z3

9-13z4

9-13z5

9-13z6

9-13z7

9-13z8

9-13z9

9-13za

9-13zb

9-13zc

9-13zd

9-13ze

 

G1 sample                                           G2-1 Reg sample

9-13zg

9-13zh

9-13zk

Opera Snapshot_2018-06-01_102350_www.retroplay.net

***NOTE: With respect to Louisiana, the ERL plan was altered a bit. LA combined with Mississippi (MI) and Alabama (AL) to form Deep South (DS), instead of joining MRR in the last grid (1991-2017+).

Opera Snapshot_2018-06-01_102602_www.retroplay.net

Opera Snapshot_2018-06-01_102711_www.retroplay.net

Upbeat disclaimers: It’s not as complicated as it might look, folks. Either a player is born in state/nation X and plays for that team, or he plays for a regional team that includes state/nation X.  And the same goes for all of his fellows native to X. The subdivisions were not introduced to muddy the waters, but as available options to clear them (pinpoint champion locales, in the case of Southern California, or to allow Georgia to stand on its own if desired), and to open the game to far more players throughout the whole range of MLB history. This is all meant to be quiet, simple fun, after all. Enjoy the ride at your own pace. I hope it’s worth your while.

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American States table (using standard official abbreviations)

 GRID>

 G1

 G2-   1R

 G2-   2R

 G3-   1R

 G3-   2R

 G4-   1R

 G4-   2R

 G5-   1R

 G5-   2R

 G5-   3R

 ME

 ME

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 NH

 NH

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 VT

 VT

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 MA

 MA

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 RI

 RI

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 CT

 CT

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 NEL

 

 

 NY

 NY

 NY

 

 NY

 

 NY

 

 NY

 

 

 PA

 PA

 PA

 

 PA

 

 PA

 

 PA

 

 

 NJ

 NJ

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 

 DE

 DE

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 

 MD

 MD

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 

 DC

 DC

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 MAT

 

 

 NC

 NC

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SEC

 

 

 SC

 SC

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SEC

 

 

 GA

 GA

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SE

 

 SEG

 

 

 FL

 FL

 DS

 

 DS

 

 DS

 

 FL

 

 

 AL

 AL

 DS

 

 DS

 

 DS

 

 DS

 

 

 MS

 MS

 DS

 

 DS

 

 DS

 

 DS

 

 

 OH

 OH

 OH

 

 OH

 

 OH

 

 OH

 

 

 VA

 VA

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 

 WV

 WV

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 

 TN

 TN

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 

 KY

 KY

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 APP

 

 

 IN

 IN

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 

 MI

 MI

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 

 WI

 WI

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 MW

 

 

 IL

 IL

 IL

 

 IL

 

 IL

 

 IL

 

 

 MN

 MN

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

MRR

 

 IA

 IA

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

MRR

 

 MO

 MO

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

MRR

 

 AR

 AR

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

 MRR

 

MRR

 

 LA

 LA

 

 TXL

 

 TXL

 

 TXL

  DS

 

 

 TX

 TX

 

 TXL

 

 TXL

 

 TXL

 

  TX

 

 OK

 OK

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 KS

 KS

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 NE

 NE

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 SD

 SD

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 ND

 ND

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 MT

 MT

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 WY

 WY

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 CO

 CO

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 NM

 NM

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 UT

 UT

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

CLW

 

 AZ

 AZ

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 NV

 NV

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 ID

 ID

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 AK

 AK

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 WA

 WA

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 OR

 OR

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 HI

 HI

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 WST

 

 FW

 

 CA

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA-S

 (’71+)

 CSE

 

 CA

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA-S

 (’71+)

CSW

 

 CA

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA

 

 CA-N

 (’71+)

CAN

 

Opera Snapshot_2018-06-01_103433_www.retroplay.net

Opera Snapshot_2018-06-01_103822_www.retroplay.net
***NOTE THESE CHANGES: As things progressed, and the allotments of baseball-playing populations were better understood, it was decided that the NON-Island nations of Central AND South America would all combine under the Latin America designation (LAT). Hence, Mexico, Panama, and others did NOT combine to form a Central America franchise (CAM in the above pre-fab table). Neither was a South American (SAM) team assembled. Instead, players born in Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil were rolled into the LAT franchise. Also, no “PAC+” team ever qualified, so that designation (so far) has not been applicable.
(This page last updated 4/29/19)