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"Baseball is Zen."

-Tetsuharu Kawakami-


DMB All Time League Player Values


Ray DandridgeHome Run BakerSachio KinugasaArlie Latham

The All Time League Player Set

The DMB All Time League Player set uses players from the Diamond Mind All Time Greatest Players disk as its base, and adds to that the player sets from three individual third-party projects: The Nippon All Time player set, the All Time Negro League player set, and the 19th Century player set.  All of these additional player sets are are the result of much research by the designers, and all are also evolving over time as more information and statistics becomes available. This page gives some background about the player sets, and what can be expected from these sets.
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"There ain't much to being a ballplayer, if you're a ballplayer."
-Honus Wagner-


The Major League Player Set

Wally Berger The DMB official product All Time Greatest Players set currently includes over 1100 of the best players in Major League baseball history from 1894 to the present. The players are rated based on their best series of eight (8) consecutive peak years that met a minimum playing time threshold.

To select each player's best series of seasons, DMB began with his rookie year, collected enough future seasons to meet or exceed their minimum playing time threshold, and evaluated that group of seasons. DMB repeated the process for the seasons beginning with his second year, then his third year, and so on. The group of seasons that provided the highest level of league- and park-adjusted performance became the basis for that player's ratings.

DMB used consecutive peak seasons rather than unconnected peak seasons because players change with age. A player may start out as a superior fielder with great speed and enough hitting skills to be an asset at the top of the order. As he matures, adds muscle, or recovers from a serious injury, he might move to a less demanding fielding position, run less, take more walks, and add power. DMB felt that if they rated such a player based on a mix of early, middle, and later years, they might end up creating a power hitter who could also play great defense and steal bases, even if that player never did all of those things at the same time at any point in his career.

They chose to use peak years rather than entire careers because some all-time greats had mediocre-to-poor seasons at the start or end of their careers because they were called up at a very young age and/or they kept their jobs after they had lost much of their ability. The rationale was that these stars would not stand out from the crowd as much as they should.

If a position player had a short career -- less than 4000 plate appearances from 1894 on -- he was not eligible for this set. If he reached that threshold but fell short of 6000 PA, DMB used his entire career. If he exceeded 6000 PA, DMB used his best run of eight consecutive seasons that include at least 6000 PA total.

Similarly, DMB had two thresholds for pitchers. To qualify for the set, a pitcher needed at least 200 career starts, 400 career relief appearances, or a suitable combination of the two. To qualify for the peak-years treatment, those limits were raised to 250 starts or 500 relief appearances.

This approach favors players with longer careers because their weaker seasons are excluded. The DMB designers felt that the best players start sooner and last longer than everyone else, and so this is justified.

DMB's goal was to end up with about 600 position players and 400-500 pitchers.  For position players, they began with the top 75 players at each position from the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.  To that group, they added other players whose peak-year stats put them right up there with the players Bill James selected. The list of pitchers extended only to the top 100, so they used their own methods to choose the rest.  In the end, they selected approximately 400 starting pitchers and about 75 relievers.

Baseball has changed a lot since 1894.  Parks are smaller.  Gloves are bigger.  We have night baseball and domed stadiums and artificial turf.  The designated hitter rule was adopted by one league.  The ball was dead, then it was lively, then it was juiced (unofficially).  The mound has been raised and lowered.  The strike zone has changed, in the rule book and in the minds of the umpires, more than once.  As a result, one of DMB's biggest challenges was to level the playing field, to make it possible to compare performances from the dead-ball era to the high offense era of the early 1930s to the pitching-dominant 1960s to the home run derby of the late 1990s.  Their discussion on all the methods they considered, and the ones they used can be found in the two included text files with the All Time Greatest Players disk: METHODS.TXT and RATINGS.TXT, both made available and linked here for your information.


"Baseball is more than just a game.
It has eternal value.
Through it one learns the beautiful and noble spirit of Japan."

-Suishu Tobitsa-


The Japanese Player Set

Shigeo Nagashima Here are some guidelines that were used in the creation of Players in the Nippon All Time Player Set, which has provided the Japanese league players we use in the ATL.

The Japanese Player set was designed to be used with the DMB All Time Players Disk (Major League). The Japanese set of players has been 'normalized' for play in the US Major Leagues and not the Japan Professional Leagues. A minimum of 8 years playing time was needed to be included in this set, though the emphasis was on longer careers. As well, significant statistical records needed to be available.  Unfortunately this requirement kept some deserving players out because I just did not have enough information to extrapolate a career from. This was, after all, an interpretation based on statisitical description as much as possible and not on narrative description.  Statistics form the base of the Japanese players, and statistics are the base for the normalization process.

All ratings are based on statistics first, narrative second, and relative to the Japanese Leagues. Hitting, bunting, pitching, error ratings, range ratings, running, passed balls, balks, wild pitches, throwing arms, everything -- none of it is based against the US Major Leagues. That is a very important distinction. It was done that way so the normalization process could be completely done by the game itself. A minor difference of note is that the age of the ballplayer and the year indicated is based on the midpoint of the player's career, as opposed to the DMB's method of indicating age and year from the first year of the eight-year span they use.

Players selected for this set had to have Hall of Fame, Meikyukai (a lesser Hall of Fame with automatic induction solely dependant on statistics) or Franchise Star status, with the exception of a bias against players currently playing in Japan.  Most of the current Japanese League players were excluded unless they were currently at the very end of their career. Additionally, enough players were created at each position to field 6 complete teams so that a season could be played using this set alone.

Entire careers are used and averaged into a single season. This is unlike the DMB method of taking the best eight consecutive years and extrapolating a full season out of that data.  Whole careers were used to help "normalize" play with the All Time Major League set and account for intangibles that otherwise cannot easily be found in common statistical databases but have a very real effect on performance.

The Japanese League players here use the average of their career, and since there are less games per season in Japan they have fewer AB/IP on the average.  Because their career numbers are also not fleshed out to a full season, but to an average season, many will have noticeably fewer AB/IP than their DMB ML counterparts. This is because they were injury-prone, or because there were periods at the beginning and/or end of their careers where they were not full-time players.  All of the players included in this set were full-time players at the height of their careers -- they were all stars or superstars of their team and era.  There are no subs here so scarcity of AB/IP should not be taken as a sign of not being a full-time player.

All efforts are made to find complete and accurate career statistical information, but when data was missing it was extrapolated from available player seasonal data, available league seasonal data and/or anecdotal information.  But the ideal was to have as many statistics filled in as accurately as possible so that the game itself could be used to normalize the players to the DMB All Time League set.

10-, 15- and 20-year Eras were used in each player's creation that most closely conformed to each player's career.  A "normalizing" ballpark based on the statistical differences between the Japan Professional Leagues and the US Major Leagues was used to "normalize" play so that the set could be used with the DMB product.  Because of the normalizing factors introduced in the player creation these players can freely be used in a USA Major League setting.

Shingo Takatsu It was decided to let the game itself do the normalizing instead of a human because the game could easily take into consideration all the factors involved (that it is programmed to factor in, of course) and apply them equally onto every player. The player stat line you see for the Japanese League players can be considered the high boundary of what is possible for that player. For the Major League and Negro League Sets the player stat line indicates the mid-level that can be expected, and the seasonal swing can go a certain percentage (up to roughly 25%) above or below those numbers. No unintended human bias would creep in and further muddy the already murky waters.  It is tough enough to predict how a US AAA player will perform in the US Major Leagues, let alone someone of a league with a slightly different set of base values.  Make no mistake, until recently Japanese baseball was not the same as US baseball.  Sure, they used mostly the same rules, and both grew out of the same beginnings.  But each had over 100 years of growth on their own terms before the push to merge began.  Each valued different aspects of the game, put emphasis on different aspects of the game. In fact, for many decades school baseball was the epitome of Japanese baseball, and even after the Japan Professional Leagues began there was (and still is) a major emphasis on the amateur game -- high school, college and industrial leagues.

Often it is noted how the Major League teams trounced the Japan League teams early in their rivalry. But seldom is it mentioned that it was the differences in the style of play that accounted for the lopsided results.  It was not wholly talent disparity.

The Japanese played a very orderly and strict game reminiscent of a choreographed dance routine, while the Americans played a wide-open and wild game that tried its best to bend the rules if not break them outright.  The Japanese stuck to their 'proper' way of playing even though the Americans exploited the ritualistic way the Japanese played. For example, the Japanese interpreted "sacrifice bunts" literally as in the batter intentionally sacrificed his at-bat -- therefore he did not run to first base, and the runner would be given the next base. It was a scripted play. The Americans, seeing this, would throw the runner out and then throw the batter out while he stood at home plate. The Americans were 'guests' and so their 'rudeness' and 'unsportsmanship' at not following the Japanese unwritten rules of baseball was tolerated, but not emulated.  If the talent level were exactly the same the Americans would still win an overwhelming amount of games simply because the Japanese played for the 2-2 tie while the Americans went for broke every game. An evidence of the difference between cultural interpretations of the game is that all the Japanese players in a game would be happy with a 2-2 tie, while that would never even be considered a workable outcome in a US Major League game.  The Japanese used the sacrifice as their chief offensive weapon, while the Americans used the home run, the double, the extra base on a hit.  It was almost as if they were playing two different games.  They were playing by two different mind sets and two different cultural foundations even if it was the same game with the same general rules.

There is no doubt that the Japanese Professional Leagues as a whole were inferior in talent to the US Major Leagues.  There have been many players throughout Japanese professional baseball history who would not have risen above A or AA ball in the States. But just as in the US Minor Leagues there are always players with talent to play in the Majors, and indeed many do make it to the Majors every year -- there were and are in Japanese professional baseball those players who also have the talent to play in the US Major Leagues if given the chance.  Of those, there are a few in every era who would have risen to stardom in the US Major Leagues.

The Japanese All Time set includes 145 players at this time (updated to 175 in 10/2005, -ed.), more will be added in the future.  That is 145 players from 67 years of professional baseball.  145 players out of the thousands who have played.  Represented here is less than the top 1% of all time.  Taken into context we see that this set does not in any way over-rate these players, and in fact may be said to under-rate them. That there should be a handful that excel even when compared against the best that US Major League history has to offer should not be surprising. We are currently in the very beginning of the Japanese integration into the Major Leagues. When players from Japan start playing in the Majors at the start of their careers instead of after 10 years play in Japan, we will definitely see the true measure of the Asian ballplayer. At that time we all will look back on the history of Japanese baseball in a different light, one untainted by racial prejudice.

Because the DMB player creation program itself does the vital and primary conversion from mere statistical compilations to 'normalized' end result, even the designer is surprised at some of the results.  That is why he decided to let the computer program itself handle the normalization conversion; because sometimes unintended bias or unwarranted assumptions can creep in to the normalization process if it is left entirely up to human hands.

Here are some sources to find out more about the Japanese League and the players therein include: Japanese Baseball: A Statistical Handbook by Daniel E. Johnson, Baseball's Other All-Stars by William F. McNeil, The Chrysanthemum and the Bat and You Gotta Have Wa both by Robert Whiting, A Zen Way of Baseball by Sadaharu Oh and David Falkner, Slugging It Out in Japan by Warren Cromartie and Robert Whiting, Japanese Baseball SuperStars: Hall of Fame and Meikyukai Player Profiles by Robert Fitts and Gary Engel, The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (Japan) http://www.baseball-museum.or.jp/ , Japan Baseball Daily www.japanbaseballdaily.com/ , The Professional Baseball organization of Japan  www.inter.co.jp , Japan Ball www.japanball.com , Japanesebaseball.com  www.japanesebaseball.com , BaseballGuru.com  www.baseballguru.com , BaseballLibrary.com  www.baseballlibrary.com ,JBall  ww1.baywell.ne.jp/fpweb/drlatham/site/sitemap.htm ,  Jim Allen's Japanese Baseball Page  http://www2.gol.com/users/jallen/jimball.html , Rob's Japanese Cards  www.robsjapanesecards.com/ , SABR Asian Baseball Committee  http://www.robsjapanesecards.com/asianbaseball.html .


"A homer a day will boost my pay."

-Josh Gibson-


The Negro League Player Set

Biz MackeyThe DMB ATL contains, at this writing, 104 Negro League Players (updated in 10/2005 to 130, -ed.). Reliable statistics for these players are very hard to come by, as anyone who has even a passing interest in the subject has no doubt discovered. However, using a variety of sources, one can put together a fairly accurate picture for many of these players. What we have here in the ATL is what I believe to be as accurate as possible a representation of those players.

First and foremost, there are two Negro League scholars whose work is accepted by baseball historians as being over and above the others. In fact, their work is considered the gold standard, if you will, in this field. These two authors were relied upon heavily for my Negro League player creation. They are John Holway and James Riley. Their research was used to form the base from which the ATL Negro Leaguers were created. To fill out the picture, either get validation or an opposing view, I used eyewitness accounts from Major League players whenever one was available, and also several other sources which are cited in the following paragraphs. When there were conflicting views or numbers, I defaulted to the two men mentioned earlier.
Luckily for us, major Leaguers often barnstormed against black players, and box scores from those contests have been preserved down through the years. This provides a good context in which to view these players' abilities. In these games, the Major Leaguers lost more often than they won, and by a good margin. The official record tells us that the Negro Leaguers won 89, the Major Leaguers 67. There was also 1 tie. That comes out to a .571 winning percentage for the Negro Leaguers. For context, these barnstorming teams were of uneven quality; sometimes they were All Star teams, sometimes the reigning Champs, sometimes just a couple of stars supported by lesser players. It is worthwhile to note, however, that these games were played in an atmosphere of overt racism. Many Major Leaguers were loath to lose a contest to a black team. The figures speak for themselves, eloquently so.

Willie Foster The Major Leaguers also played many Cuban teams during the time when "coloreds" where prohibited from the Major League game. The Cubans won 40 of 92 contests, or a .435 winning percentage (all figures per Holway, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues"). These factors were considered when analalzing statistics for individual players.
Many Negro Leaguers also played in the Cuban and Mexican Leagues. This data was also considered, and weighed against their Negro League stats, as well as those compiled against barnstorming Major Leaguers. The Negro Leagues also had "dead" and "lively" ball periods, just as the majors did. These factors had to be considered as well. As you can no doubt see, this is not an exact science. I think what we have here, for our purposes, is a very good representation of how these players would compare against the more well known major Leaguers in our ATL.

Other sources used were the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia and Total Baseball, which contain some incomplete stats and/or overviews of the Negro Leagues. Many Internet resources were used, in varying degrees, as well. There are too many to list here, but http://www.blackbaseball.com/, http://www.negroleaguebaseball.com/, and http://www.nlbpa.com/ are all good sources if you have an interest in this subject.

The ATL Negro Leaguers will no doubt evolve over time. I expect the current players will be refined to a certain degree as the seasons go by.  I also expect to add players who have been excluded in this first set. They won't all be stars, but they will be significant in some way. I hope these players will add to our enjoyment of both baseball history and this league of ours.



"No human mind can measure the blessings conferred
by the game of base ball on the soldiers of the Civil War."

-Al Spalding-



The 19th Century Player Set

Ezra SuttonAs different a game as Japanese Baseball used to be to American Baseball, 19th Century Baseball is just as alien a game, if not more so. Many important rules were different, the dimensions of the diamond were different, the parks were different, the bats were different, the balls were different, the gloves . . .  All in all, the concept of offense and defense was different in the 19th Century. Umpiring was different. Home Field Advantage was different. Everything was different except the basics.

That made the normalization process a bit difficult for me. Not the mechanics of the thing, but the concept behind how the 19th Century ballplayers should translate into 20th Century ballplayers. I decided to use the same system I used for the Japanese Leaguers -- namely, use the actual stats of the players and depend on the game's internal translation process to compare, contrast and blend the 19th Century Era and Ballpark used to the 20th Century Average that the league uses as an Ideal. I also made the decision to, like the JLers, average the player's whole career and display those averages in the player's stat line instead of pro-rating 8 'best consecutive seasons' to 154 games. I think we can do the pro-rating in our heads, and it is helpful to always have a reminder of how different even the number of games per season was back then.

I could have applied the math directly to each player, but of necessity the formulation would be simpler than that of the game program. This way also leaves a bit of mystery in the player -- "He did this in the rough-and-tumble 19th Century, how will he fare in the elegance of 20th Century Baseball?"

Above all I sought to maintain the character of 19th Century ball at the end result of the normalization process. I didn't want guys who averaged 20 triples and 5 homers in a 154-game projected season, suddenly averaging 5 triples and 20 homers. While that would make the 19th Century player -into- a 20th Century player, it destroys the uniqueness of the 19th Century ballplayer and the individuality of the 19th Century player is gone. What we remember of the player's abilities have been replaced with a new set of skills. Neither did I want a straight translation of stats into the 20th Century -- the above player shouldn't play exactly the same, 20 triples and 5 homers, in the drastically new environment of 20th Century Baseball. In the worst case scenario we would have the 19th Century baserunning and bunting skills tacked onto a 20th Century home run hitter. I ask you, where is the 19th Century ballplayer in that?  No, I prefer a normalization process that preserves the identity of the 19th Century ballplayer in the 20th Century setting. There should be a merging of the 19th Century with the 20th Century to produce recognizable elements of both. I brought 19th Century, rough-cut lumber for bats and all, into the 20th Century, well-crafted gloves, rulebook and all. I think I was successful.

Yes, pitchers will not be as dominant, and hitters not so versatile. Certain players of both sorts will struggle in the new setting. Certain others will find their skills a good match. A lot will have to do with the parks they play in, the players around them and the style of ball their team plays. It is important to realize that one of the biggest changes between 19th & 20th Century ballplay that directly impacts on the normalization is the incidence of errors. Many 19th Century pitchers have great ERAs, but have allowed more than twice as many Runs as Earned Runs. These pitchers will take a hit in the conversion process because in the 20th Century pitchers did't have to get 4 outs an inning -- 1 error and 3 outs. However, the extraordinary player of any era will excel in any era. Superstars of the 19th Century, especially the batters, will take their place in the league leaders.

The 19th Century had a great deal more variation than the 20th Century. This is because even within the relatively short period of time between 1871 and 1900 there are very distinct changes in the game, along with many minor ones, that create mini-eras all their own. Each of these mini-eras has it's own quiddity. Each will merge into the 20th Century in its own inimical way. But the players will have something they never had before, they will be able to compete across the Rules Barriers and Changes in Style and Equipment on their own merit. Major rules changes occured in the 19th Century that summarily ended the careers of many great players. Some of those greats are represented in this set, and if nothing else we are giving them the chance to bring their own game onto the stage with all the rest of baseball history for the first time.

Cal McVeyA few words on each Mini-Era.

1871-1875 Short schedules, no gloves, batters can call for a high or low pitch
1876-1884 Gloves make their entrance and evolve, umpires acquire more latitude
1884-1891 Overhand pitching comes into vogue, variable number of balls for a Walk
1892-1893 Bats could no longer have a flat side, mound pushed back to 60'6"
1894-1900 Fouls become Strikes, and various other foul ball rules are born

The above lines are only an example of the changes in each period. Rules were changed wholesale at times, and the dimensions of the field changed more than once, as well. A couple of DMB restrictions on which players are eligible for the set have been relaxed. Because of the short seasons and careers of the early players the minimums for 1870's players is lowered to 2000 AB, 2000 IP or 8 seasons. The restriction for 1880's players is 4000 AB, 2000 IP or 8 seasons. 1890's players have 5000 AB, 2000 IP or 8 seasons. The operative word here is: "or".

A very important word of warning: many of these players could not continue to compete when the rules changed. Even incremental rules changes ended careers, let alone the vast difference of rules between the 19th Century and 20th Century. Very few of the 19th Century players would ever have been able to compete in a modern baseball league of any caliber. We are allowing them to compete by breaking down the barriers that prevented them from continuing. We are giving them the benefit of the doubt that they would actually be able to adapt to the new rules and compete. That doesn't mean they'll be stars, and I especially caution anyone counting on getting an Ace Pitcher from this century to think again. More likely we will find a few solid 4th or 5th Starters, but then again, I won't be surprised if an Ace emerges because the possibility is always there. A lot depends on all the other factors of every game of the season. The batters, on the other hand, will fare better as batters always do. There are a handful of great batters in the mold of Cobb, Speaker and Hornsby in this 19th Century Set, and they will be true franchise players. Keep your eye on Ross Barnes, Lip Pike and Cal McVey as well as the more well-known names like Cap Anson, Buck Ewing, Dan Brouthers, Monte Ward, Deacon White, Roger Conner and others. But there are also a lot of good, steady ballplayers of all kinds in this set, some relatively unknown and some very much unacknowledged. Wait til you see what some of them can do with a modern fielder's glove!

There is a problem in the conversion for this period because of the miniscule numbers of home runs hit. Zero home runs a season (actually, up to 0.5) in the 19th Century equated to 10-15 home runs in the 20th Century -- according to the inner game mechanics. Now I think I know why DMB gave what I think are inflated home run numbers to the Deadball Era players. I think they ran multiple sims using the ERA-Adjustment Method I use, and then accepted the game's inflated HR numbers as the correct normalization translation. I think that conclusion is false as there will never be a league where the least homers a regular player hits in a full season is in the double digits. Not even in the steroid times (hopefully) just past. I think my normalization translation is a bit better, but by no means do I think it is definitive.

However, having said that, I will note that I have taken special care in the development of the 19th Century players. I have used specific Eras corresponding directly to the individual player's career. I have not used the 10-, 15-, 20-year era method I used with the Japanese League because the changes in the game in the 19th Century were so drastic and so many that to allow inclusion of even a single season the player did not participate in would skew the normalization process.

There is one more important factor to remember: the overall quality of play in the 19th Century also fluctuated wildly, and widely. This inflated many seasonal and career statistics as good players and teams feasted regularly off poorly skilled opponents. How many modern pitcher can let of over 5 runs a game and still win 253 out of 318 decisions as Al Spalding did? The 19th Century players we bring into the ATL won't have that luxury. The quality of play in the ATL is superb and distributed evenly.

Dan BrouthersSo, what to look for and what to avoid when selecting a 19th Century ballplayer for your ATL franchise? Do not be blinded by the multitude of innings pitched, complete games and few home runs allowed. Neither be fooled by their sparkling ERAs. The 19th Century pitchers will allow many more home runs in much fewer innings, complete very few games because of the numbers of runs they allow (though they won't get tired), and have a ERA averaging double the one they display on their stat line. Look at the numbers of Unearned Runs Allowed, Runs per Game and the Hits per Inning. These are the telling numbers. These aspects of 19th Century Ball are antithema to 20th Century Ball. There will be many less errors in our league than what was normal in the 19th Century -- on the order of 75% or more less errors. But most 19th Century pitchers will still allow more hits than is best for them, even when the adjustment for normalization is made. This will result in more earned runs scoring against the pitchers, and consequently raise their ERAs accordingly. Their Runs Allowed stat will start to look like their ATL Earned Runs Allowed stat. So, look for both batters and pitchers who are well-rounded players, and do a little basic research on the players that interest you. Players with long careers usually have a lot to offer.Of course, there are exceptions: Ross Barnes, for example, had a short career way back in the beginning of Base Ball, but he will do well in the ATL. Barnes had his career ended by an injury that coincided with a major rule change, so we don't know how he would have done when the Fair-Foul Bunt rule took away one of his notable weapons. But here in the ATL he is every bit the top-level superstar.

A little research into the different mini-eras will also yield insights. Do not make the mistake of lumping 1871-75 into the same categories as 1879-1892, for example. Those two were very different brands of baseball for both hitter and pitchers. Look for players with long careers, players who successfully crossed over through multiple mini-eras. These types should be the superstars of the set. Cap Anson, for example, ranges his career from 1871 thru 1897 -- the entire spectrum of the 19th Century game. Regardless of his miniscule worth as a person, as a ballplayer he is a genuine superstar on the same level as Ty Cobb and Ted Williams. On the other hand, Al Spalding put up incredible numbers from 1871-76, but he couldn't compete as a pitcher once the curve ball come into town. He will have a very hard time competing in the ATL with his underarm straight ball where there are overhand, sidearm and variable speed curveballs, sinkers, forkballs, sliders, spitballs, knuckleballs and much more. But with the right ballpark, and the right managing strategy, he might be able to help a club win a pennant. What more would Al Spalding ask?

Here's an example of what a little research can uncover: Al Spink on left field in the early days.

"Left field has always been considered the hardest place to fill in the outer works." "It was especially hard in the early days of the professional game, when the pitching was slower than it is now, when the ball contained more rubber than the ball used at the present time and when hits to the left field, long rangy hits, were the order of the day in nearly each and every game." "So it happened that in the earliest days of the professional game the fleetest men on each team were assigned to positions at left field." ("The Left Fielders," from "The National Game," 2nd edition, 1911)

Conversely, right field is where they put the poor fielders to keep them out of the plays as much as possible. Likewise, third basemen have an increased significance over their role today. Third baseman were regarded the same as shortstops are today because there was a lot of bunting and groundballs down the third base line. Third base was truly the 'hot corner' back then.

On the plus side, you will notice the baserunning skill of the 19th Century player is typically high. That is a result of the style and focus of play. The epitomy of a ballplayer was not the poor fielding, stationary first baseman who strikes out every game and hits 1 home run every 4 games. The pre-eminent 19th Century ballplayer was the 'get-on-base-and-score-any-way possible-every-game' type of player. Consequently, contact hitting and running skills are highlighted. As well, versatility on defense is common while the single-position player is rare. Catchers are usually utility players because of the tremendously rough nature of the position without equipment, or with the early rudimentary equipment. So don't be surprised to see some players you know as "Catchers" be listed as "Utility" for their primary role. These catchers played substantial percentage of games at other positions, and also played every position during their career. However, not all positions may be represented for a player because I put a minimum requirement of an average of 1 game per season at a position in order for it to be rated. But by listing them as "Utility" they will get the best cut at these non-rated positions if placed there.

There are 60 players in this set as of this writing. The selections for this first of two or three parts of the 19th Century player set was made with five criteria in mind. One, that the earlier players get the most representation, Two, that the players with long careers be heavily represented, Three, that nobody begin their career after 1894 because those later players might find their way into a DMB update. Four, the superstars be well represented while leaving some prize players for the next set. Finally, to make sure there is enough player representation at each position.



"I had heard that Cubans were a deeply religious people.
In two days here, I have learned that baseball is their religion."

-Sam Lacy-



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Copyright 2005 Edward Mortimer © All Rights Reserved