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Articles Tagged History 

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05-08

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5

BP Unfiltered: Brad Boxberger Makes History
by
R.J. Anderson

04-11

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4

Baseball ProGUESTus: Updating the Encyclopedias, One Baseball Card at a Time
by
Tom Shieber

08-13

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21

Manufactured Runs: SABR and the Importance of Preserving Sabermetric History
by
Colin Wyers

07-29

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6

Overthinking It: Matt Harvey's First Year, Historically Speaking
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-10

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0

BP Unfiltered: Stuart Banner's "The Baseball Trust"
by
Jason Wojciechowski

05-03

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29

Raising Aces: Time to Unwind
by
Doug Thorburn

04-16

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4

Skewed Left: The Historical Quirks of "42"
by
Zachary Levine

01-22

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8

Skewed Left: The Best of FDR's Baseball Correspondence
by
Zachary Levine

11-28

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 90: The Cheapskate Approach to Aroldis Chapman/The Phillies and Framing/Ranking Baseball Figures By Historical Importance
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

07-20

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5

BP Unfiltered: A Brief History of BP
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-26

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10

Inside The Park: Why We Want Players to Remember the Past
by
Bradford Doolittle

01-12

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19

Inside The Park: Remembering Minnie
by
Bradford Doolittle

10-15

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Richard A. Johnson
by
David Laurila

08-02

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3

One-Hoppers: See You in Atlanta?
by
Christina Kahrl

06-15

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Brian Fuentes
by
David Laurila

06-03

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1

Manufactured Runs: Everything You Wanted To Know About Run Prevention (But Were Afraid To Ask), Part 2
by
Colin Wyers

05-20

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1

Prospectus Q&A: Dorothy Seymour Mills
by
David Laurila

09-28

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26

Every Given Sunday: One Man's Ballot
by
John Perrotto

09-07

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8

Every Given Sunday: Scoops of all Sizes from Around the Major Leagues
by
John Perrotto

08-31

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3

Every Given Sunday: Moving Forward to Rewind
by
John Perrotto

03-30

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Mudcat Grant
by
David Laurila

03-12

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: The Brewers and Giants
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-20

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: Mariners, Braves, and Diamondbacks
by
Rany Jazayerli

01-07

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Greg Rhodes
by
David Laurila

01-06

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Prospectus Q&A: Rick Walls and Chris Eckes
by
David Laurila

08-09

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0

Bonds Responses
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-19

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0

Wait 'Til Next Year: Midseason Acquisitions
by
Bryan Smith

04-05

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0

Doctoring The Numbers: Charlie Haeger
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-22

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0

Positional Health Reports: Starting Pitchers, Part One
by
Will Carroll

03-07

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0

Team Health Reports: Chicago White Sox
by
Thomas Gorman and Will Carroll

03-31

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Prospectus Q&A: Fred Claire
by
Jonah Keri

04-02

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0

The Great Leap Forward
by
Mark Armour

09-18

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Bonds Edition
by
Rany Jazayerli

04-03

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0

Top 40 Prospects In Review: Part Five
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-11

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0

The Best Teams in Baseball History, Revisited
by
James Kushner

07-28

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0

The Best Teams in Baseball History
by
James Kushner

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The Rays reliever does something no other pitcher has ever done—strike out the side with the bases loaded on nine pitches.

Joe Maddon put Brad Boxberger in a tough spot during Thursday night's Orioles-Rays game.

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Solving baseball mysteries with the aid of an unlikely source.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers, and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Tom Shieber is Senior Curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where he has worked since 1998. Shieber founded SABR's Pictorial History Committee in 1994, serving as chair of the committee until 2000, and served on the Board of Directors of SABR from 1997 to 2000. He blogs about baseball history and research at Baseball Researcher.

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Why knowing what went before will help the sabermetric movement in the future.

This was my third year attending the annual convention of the Society for American Baseball Research—in this case, the 43rd such event. It is one of the social highlights of the year for a community that essentially suffered a diaspora at birth—it’s never been easier for baseball researchers to communicate, but every so often it’s vital to actually bring them together under one roof, and SABR is a vital way of doing that.

There are panel discussions, keynotes, presentations, posters, and committee meetings. There are also discussions in hallways and on escalators and in line at cheesesteak vendors and in bars… well, okay, mostly in bars. And those ad hoc interactions are at least as important as the formal events, if not more so. I’ve tried to recap the formal events, at least the ones I found of suitable interest. But it doesn’t really do enough to capture the sense of what the thing is. So let’s talk a bit. I don’t mean so much talk about SABR, although I’ll do that plenty. I mean let’s talk like we’re at the bar, with room to meander and ruminate and think about larger things. Now, obviously, I’m going to be doing most of the talking here to start, but a few of my victims from the hotel bar on Saturday night can tell you that’s pretty typical of being at SABR too.

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How does the first calendar year of Matt Harvey's career stack up to those of other fast starters?

On Friday night, Matt Harvey held the Nationals to one unearned run over eight innings, walking one and striking out seven to lower his ERA to 2.11. That outing closed the book on his first calendar year in the majors; the previous July 26th, Harvey had debuted against the Diamondbacks, holding them scoreless for 5 1/3 and fanning 11. There’s no particular reason to draw a line after a pitcher’s first calendar year—it’s not a completely arbitrary endpoint, but it’s close—but compartmentalizing helps us humans make sense of things. So with Matt Harvey mania in full swing, the one-year mark seems like as good a time as any to see how Harvey stacks up historically, and what that might mean.

This is a list of the best first calendar years for pitchers since 1950, sorted by PWARP. That’s just the pitching component of WARP, so Harvey doesn’t get credit for the extra half win or so he earned by going 6-for-18 at the plate last season. (He’s 5-for-48 this year.) Debut year age is seasonal age, or age as of July 1 of each player's rookie season. Fair RA is a measure of pitching quality scaled to run average, not ERA, and considers sequencing, base-out state, batted-ball distribution, and team defense. Fair RA+ is Fair RA relative to the league; 100 is league average, so the higher the number, the better. Each pitcher’s career PWARP is included on the right.

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A review of a new book about antitrust and baseball.

The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption
Stuart Banner
Oxford University Press, April 1, 2013
304 pages
Amazon link





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May 3, 2013 9:00 am

Raising Aces: Time to Unwind

29

Doug Thorburn

Why historical changes in pitching mechanics haven't always led to improvement.

The pitching delivery has evolved throughout the history of Major League Baseball. There are elements of old-school pitching mechanics that are now artifacts of a bygone era, and though one would expect the modern iteration of pitching instruction to have greatly progressed over time, there are some ways in which the pitchers of today have regressed compared to their predecessors. A few of these topics have been covered in previous editions of Raising Aces, such as the modern-day emphasis on angles and deception that has resulted in over-the-top arm slots and closed stride patterns.

The windup is a fundamental component of the pitching delivery, one so basic that its utility in the game is never questioned, yet it serves as a classic example of the ever-changing practices of the pitching-industrial complex. Pitcher windups have morphed over the past 70 years, and what was once a series of movements has been simplified to the current model, which basically involves a side-step and pivot, essentially putting the pitcher in the stretch position at the time that he initiates the lift phase of his motion.

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April 16, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: The Historical Quirks of "42"

4

Zachary Levine

Some expanded historical background on the events of the new movie about baseball's integration.

Chadwick Boseman’s Jackie Robinson hit right-handed, and for preserving historical accuracy in translation to money-making film, that’s an awfully good place to start.

Where 42, the Jackie Robinson story, meanders from there in its devotion to the actual baseball events of 1945-47 is fairly close to the truth line. There are of course the controversies over some of the perhaps apocryphal tales, like whether Pee Wee Reese ever put his arm around Jackie Robinson on the field in Cincinnati.

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A visual tour of the letters about baseball that sitting presidents send and receive.

Just when you begin to lose faith—when you’ve waited in enough interminable lines for a driver’s license renewal or when you’ve watched Congress operate for about four seconds—you’re reminded that your tax dollars come with some good stuff, too. Like pretty much unlimited access to U.S. Presidents’ personal and official files.

January is a quiet time of year at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, as it is at most upstate New York tourist attractions. Not only did that mean a solo tour of the 98-year-old house, but it also meant relatively solo access to the research room in the visitors’ center. So it was an optimal time for sifting through FDR’s old junk, and let’s just say old 32 was a bit of a hoarder.

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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about how the Reds might save some money on Aroldis Chapman, whether certain teams might benefit more from framing than others, and where we would rank Marvin Miller in the pantheon of important historical baseball figures.

Ben and Sam answer listener emails about how the Reds might save some money on Aroldis Chapman, whether certain teams might benefit more from framing than others, and where we would rank Marvin Miller in the pantheon of important historical baseball figures.

Episode 90: "The Cheapskate Approach to Aroldis Chapman/The Phillies and Framing/Ranking Baseball Figures By Historical Importance"

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One of our founders delivers a BP PowerPoint presentation to a group of publishers, and to you.

Baseball Prospectus has been around for awhile. And while we're very proud of the work we're doing today, we're also proud of the work we've done in the past. Some of you have been reading BP since the beginning. Others have subscribed more recently. Maybe some of you are visiting for the first time for our Free Friday promotion and don't know anything about us. Regardless of how long you've had a subscription (or whether you have one at all), if you want to brush up on our history and progression from unknown outsiders to respected publishers of intelligent, irreverent baseball commentary, watching this video would not be a bad idea.

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January 26, 2012 3:00 am

Inside The Park: Why We Want Players to Remember the Past

10

Bradford Doolittle

We shouldn't be surprised when players don't show the same appreciation for baseball history we do, but sometimes the truth still hurts.

In sports, familiarity is more of the heart than the mind. As player valuation becomes uniformly sophisticated across baseball, familiarity has become a non-factor. The new wave of decision makers are as versed in Wall Street jargon as they are in scout speak and aren't too prone to sentiment. (Nor should they be.) The Theo Epsteins and Andrew Friedmans of the world are savvy enough to avoid communicating to fans in those terms, but the mindset is still there. Players are assets, and transactions are opportunities to add value to the franchise. The bond between a player and the team's fan base may be given lip service in the media, but in reality, it matters not at all, or very little. As for the players, the bottom line is almost always the ultimate deciding factor—he's going to go where the dollars flow.

Sometimes, the sentimental and the pragmatic line up nicely. That's what I was thinking when the first messages popped up in my Twitter stream this week bearing the news of Prince Fielder's new contract in Detroit. The kneejerk reaction of many was that the deal was absurdly bloated. (It was.) Others thought Detroit moved well ahead of the competition in the AL Central. (As a Royals fan, that was my second thought.) If you're a Tigers fan, you might have jumped up on your desk and started doing the Dougie. (Can't blame you.) Me, I just thought it was cool that Prince was going to play for the same team on which his father made a name for himself. It's not clear why I should care.

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How one man came to support a borderline statistical candidate for the Hall of Fame whose other contributions strengthen his case.

My first memory about Minnie Minoso stems from 1977, on one of those bright afternoons when I had talked my grandfather into stopping at the dime store on the town square in Red Oak, Iowa. It's just as Sinclair Lewis as it sounds. The store sold baseball cards, and I was working on my Topps collection that summer by picking up four or five 10-cent packs at a time. Not everything at the dime store actually cost a dime, but fifteen baseball cards and one rock-hard piece of bubble gum did, and they came bundled in colorful wax wrappers that I liked so much that I refused to throw them away. My parents didn't give a rip about sports, but my grandfather had played second base in Class-B ball in southwest Iowa in the 1920s and understood what baseball could mean to a young boy. He was glad to fork over change for the cards.

Red Oak had, and still has, the type of rustic town square that was once the primary business district of small midwestern towns. Some communities have courthouses stuck in the middle of their square, but Red Oak has trees, a fountain, and a park. That day, I sat in the grass opening my cards, stuffing the gum in my mouth one piece at a time, while my grandfather lounged on a bench under a tree talking to a fellow retired farmer, who wore a green John Deere hat. The names on the cards didn't mean much to me at the time—it hadn't been that long since I had learned to read—but I loved the team names, the pictures, and of course, the numbers on the back. Suddenly I came across card No. 232 from the 1977 Topps set:

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