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A Negro Leagues database? Yes please!

Sep 13, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

Bingo DeMoss

This is cool:  Seamheads.com has launched an effort to create the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of Negro Leagues baseball statistics.  It’s called the Negro Leagues Database, and it has just launched with the first three Negro Leagues seasons (1920-23) and some assorted Cuban winter league results of that era.  The site has biographical information as well.

I myself am not a big stats guy, but this sort of thing — which has been a long time coming and is the result of many, many years of hard work — is the kind of thing people have been begging for for years.

And it’s a blow for equality too. Because now people can complain about how WAR doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to analyzing white players and black players of the pre-integration era!  And that’s progress of a sort!

  1. halladaysbiceps - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    I’m suprised that the Forman guy from baseball-reference.com doesn’t already have this database, being that he’s seems to have every other stat on his site known to man.

  2. Chipmaker - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Precursor to the 2006 special election on Negro League and pre-Negro League candidates (when Buck O’Neill did not get elected), the Hall had sponsored some detailed research into such statistics, in order that the electors have the best possible information available for making their voting choices. And while once upon a time a PDF doc was on the Hall’s website concurrent with that election cycle, it hasn’t been available since (and the Hall’s site has been totally redesigned). Anyway, the point being, the Hall has much (perhaps all) of this data, and if I recall MLB itself underwrote the research. So either or both of those organs could release what exists — and really should (and should have years ago), myth-deflating be damned.

  3. thevandalen - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Spottswood Poles. Amazing. http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/player.php?ID=630

  4. bigleagues - Sep 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    This is truly an awesome endeavor. I hope they are able to get it up and running.

    I’ll take a second to plug the Negro Leagues HOF. I haven’t been able to go to KC, but in the mid-90’s they had a massive selection of the NLHOF items on tour and I was able to view it at a stop in Cooperstown. It was fascinating to say the least.

    Now here’s the kicker. We went to Cooperstown as college class trip. I was in a class called Baseball: An International Game. My professor, Paul Daum, was actually a notable expert on Vietnam and, wait for it . . . baseball history. The was 400 level, worth 4 credits and actually one of the toughest classes I ever had – and I was an International Relations major.

    The real focus of the class was to examine how baseball acted an American ambassador around the world during WWI, WWI and the Korean War, as well as, how the game became so popular in Latin America. We studied the qualities of the game that appealed universally to so many different cultures and attempted to extrapolate those lessons into how to approach relating to different cultures from a socioeconomic perspective.

    We also watched and dissected Tom Selleck’s “magnum” opus – Mr. Baseball
    :-)

    • bigleagues - Sep 13, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      Tell me again why we don’t have an edit function? (I really need to start proof-reading before I post!).

      I think faster than I type!

  5. cup0pizza - Sep 13, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Cool.

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