The Batter portion of the Register consists of the central batting and baserunning statistics of every man who has batted in major league play since 1871, including pitchers. A complete pitching or fielding record will be found in a separate portion of the Register for each category.
The players are searchable by surname and, when more than one player bears the name, alphabetically by “use name,” by which we mean the name that may have been applied to him during his playing career. On the whole, we have been conservative in ascribing nicknames, doing so only when the player was in fact known by that name during his playing days.
The record for each batter is given in a line for each season, plus a career total line. If he played for more than one team in a given year, his totals for each team are stated on separate lines.
Batting records for the National Association are included in The Player Register because the editors, like most baseball historians, regard it as a major league, inasmuch as it was the only professional league of its day and supplied the National League of 1876 with most of its players. Unless Major League Baseball reverses the position it adopted in 1969 and restores the NA to official major-league status, we will continue the practice of carrying separate totals lines for the National Association years rather than integrating them into the career marks of those players whose major league tenures began before 1876 and concluded in that year or later.
Gaps remain elsewhere in the official record of baseball and in the ongoing process of sabermetric reconstruction. The reader will note occasional blank elements in biographical lines, or in single-season columns; these are not typographical lapses but signs that the information does not exist or has not yet been found. In the totals lines of many players, the total may reflect partial data, such as caught stealing for a man whose career covers the National League of 1918-1930 (during which this data was available only for 1920-1925), or batter strikeouts for a man whose career spanned both sides of the year 1909.
For a discussion of which data is missing for particular years, see “The History of Major League Baseball Statistics.” Here is a quick summation of the missing data:
Hit batters, 1897-1908 NL/AL, 5 percent missing;
Caught stealing, 1886-1914, 1916 for players with fewer than 20 stolen bases, 1917-1919, 1926-1950 NL; 1886-1891 AA; 1890 PL; 1901-1913, 1916 for players with fewer than 20 stolen bases, 1917-1919 AL (1927 data, missing from the first edition, is now 90 percent complete); 1914-15 FL;
Sacrifice hit, 1908-1930, 1939 (in these years fly balls scoring runners counted as sacrifice hits, and in 1927-1930 fly balls advancing runners to any base counted as sacrifices);
Sacrifice fly, 1908-1930, 1939 (counted in these years but inseparable from sacrifice hits), 1940-1953 (not counted);
Runs batted in, 1882-1887, 1890 AA; 1884 UA;
Strikeouts for batters, 1882-1888, 1890 AA; 1884 UA; 1897-1909 NL; 1901-1912 AL.
For a key to the team and league abbreviations used in the Batter Register, go to “Abbreviations.” For a guide to the other procedures and abbreviations employed in the Batter Register, go to “Glossary.”
Looking at the biographical section for any player, we see first his use name in full capitals, then his given name and nickname. His date and place of birth follow “b” and his date and place of death follow “d.” Years through 1900 are expressed fully, in four digits, and years after 1900 are expressed in their last two digits.
Then comes the player’s manner of batting and throwing, abbreviated for a lefthanded batter who throws right as BL/TR (a switch-hitter would be shown as BB for “bats both” and a switch thrower as TB for “throws both”).
Next, and for most players last, is the player’s debut date in the major leagues, if known at this point. While we are able to report most of these thanks to SABR research, for some players we have had to list only the two digits representing their rookie years.
Some players continue in major league baseball after their playing days are through, as managers, coaches, or even umpires. A player whose biographical line concludes with an M can be located in the Manager Roster; one whose line bears a C will be listed in the Coach Roster; and one with a U occupies a place in the Umpire Roster. The select few who have been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY, are noted with an H. They are also listed in the Hall of Fame Roster found toward the end of the “Awards and Honors” section. Finally, an F on this line denotes family connection–father-son-grandfather or brother who also played major league baseball.
The explanations for the statistical column heads follow; each stat definition is also avilable on the screen where its abbreviation apperas, in hypertext link from the batter’s record. For more technical information about formulas and calculations, see the Glossary.
We have made an upward adjustment to overall league performance in the Federal League of 1914-15 and the Union Association of 1884 (thus lowering individual ratings), because while both leagues are regarded as major leagues, there can be no doubt that their caliber of play was not equivalent to that in the rival leagues of those years. Suffice it to say here that league at bats were reduced to 80 percent for the UA and 90 percent for the FL. A full explanation of the adjustment procedure may be found in the Glossary, under “League Performance.”
YEAR = Year of play
TM/L = Team and League (see comments for YEAR)
G = Games
AB = At-bats
H = Hits (Bases on balls were counted as hits by scorers in 1887, but in Total Baseball they are not figured as times at bat, nor as hits.)
HBP= Hit by Pitch
IBB= Intentional Bases on Balls (recorded since 1955)
GDP = Grounded into Double Play
3B = Triples
HR= Home Runs
RBI = Runs Batted In
BB= Bases on Balls (Bases on balls were counted as outs by scorers in 1876, but in Total Baseball they are not figured as times at bat nor as outs.)
AVG= Batting Average (Figured as hits over at-bats; mathematically meaningless averages created through a division by zero are rendered as dashes.)
OBP = On Base Percentage (Figured as hits plus walks plus hit by pitch, divided by at bats plus walks plus hit by pitch.)
SLG = Slugging Average (Figured as total bases–i.e., singles plus doubles plus triples plus home runs–divided by at bats.)
PRO = On Base Percentage plus Slugging Average
PRO+= Production Plus, or Adjusted Production (On Base Percentage plus Slugging Average, normalized to league average and adjusted for home-park factor. The “+”signifies that the measure has been adjusted for home-park factor and normalized to league average. A mark of 100 is a league-average performance. Pitcher batting is removed from all league batting statistics before normalization, for a variety of reasons expanded upon in the Glossary. Three-year averages are employed for batting park factors. If a team moved or the park changed dramatically, then two-year averages are employed; if the park was used for only one year, then of course only that run-scoring data is used.)
PF = Park Factor (The extent to which a batter’s home park assists or detracts from his performance, an average park is rated at 100; a “hitter’s park” at a figure greater than 100; and a “pitcher’s park” as less than 100. The ratings are based on the number of runs scored at the park in a given year compared to other parks in that year. See Glossary.)
BR = Batting Runs (Linear Weights measure of runs contributed beyond what a league-average batter or team might have contributed, defined as zero. Occasionally the curious figure of -0 will appear in this column, or in the columns of other Linear Weights measures of batting, baserunning, fielding, and the TPR. This “negative zero” figure signifies a run contribution that falls below the league average, but to so small a degree that it cannot be said to have cost the team a run.
BR/A = The “A” signifies that the measure has been adjusted for home-park factor and normalized to league average. A mark of 100 is a league-average performance. Pitcher batting is removed from all league batting statistics before normalization, for a variety of reasons expanded upon in the Glossary. Three-year averages are employed for batting park factors. If a team moved or the park changed dramatically, then two-year averages are employed; if the park was used for only one year, then of course only that run-scoring data is used.)
RC= Runs Created (Bill James’s formulation for run contribution from a variety of batting and baserunning events; calculated variably to make maximum use of the data available in a given year; see Glossary.)
CHI = Clutch Hitting Index (Actual RBIs over expected RBIs, adjusted for league avergae and position in abtting order; see Glossary for precise formula).
TA = Total Average (Tom Boswell’s formulation for offensive contribution from a variety of batting and baserunning events; calculated variably to make maximum use of the data available in a given year; see Glossary).
SB = Stolen Bases (for 1886 to the present, plus partial data for the NA years, 1871-75.)
CS = Caught Stealing (Available 1915, 1916 for players with 20 or more stolen bases, 1920-1925, 1951-date NL; 1914-1915, 1916 for players with 20 or more stolen bases, 1920 to date AL with scattered data still missing from 1927.)
SBA = Stolen Base Average (Stolen bases divided by attempts; availability dependent upon CS as shown above.)
SBR = Stolen Base Runs (This is a Linear Weights measure of runs contributed beyond what a league-average base stealer might have gained, defined as zero and calculated on the basis of a 66.7 percent success rate, which computer simulations have shown to be the break-even point beyond which stolen bases have positive run value to the team; see the Glossary. The presence of a figure in the SBR column in the Batter Register is dependent upon the availability of CS as shown above.)
SH= Sacrifice Hits (Count as neither an at-bat nor a hit.)
SF =Sacrifice Flies (Scoring procedures have changed frequently over time; see Glossary.)
FR = Fielding Runs (The Linear Weights measure of runs saved beyond what a league-average player at that position might have saved, defined as zero; this stat is calculated to take account of the particular demands of the different positions; see Glossary for formulas, which reflect innings played at each position and accurately portray the defensive contributions of catchers.)
TB= Total Bases (Singles count as one base, doubles as two, triples as three, home runs as four.)
TPR = Total Player Rating (This is the sum of a player’s Adjusted Batting Runs, Fielding Runs, and Base Stealing Runs, minus his positional adjustment, all divided by the Runs Per Win factor for that year–generally around 10, historically in the 9-11 range. For more information on the formula and the Runs Per Win concept, see the Glossary. In the lifetime line, the TPR is the sum of the seasonal TPRs. For men who were primarily pitchers, the TPR may be listed as 0.0; this signifies that their batting records are summed up in the Total Pitcher Index [TPI] column of the Pitcher Register.)
Total For players whose careers include play in the National Association as well as other major leagues, two totals are given, with the record of his years in the National Association is shown alongside a notation such as “Total 2 n,” where 2 stands for the number of years totaled and n stands for National Association. For players whose careers began in 1876 or later, the lifetime record is shown alongside the notation “Total x,” where x stands for the number of post-1875 years totaled.