Introducing the Hall of StatsNov 9, 2012 by Adam Darowski
Almost two years after introducing the Hall of wWAR, I’m happy to introduce you to the Hall of Stats—an alternate Hall of Fame populated by a mathematical formula. I’m excited about this release for many reasons.
First, I was able to collaborate with two great friends, Jeffrey Chupp and Michael Berkowitz. When it comes to building software, these are two of the best I’ve ever worked with. They’ve been fully dedicated to making my dreams come true with this project, and I’m grateful for it.
Second, I’ve been a bit of a baseball nomad on the Internet. I’ve written for myself and written for some wonderful sites (like Beyond the Box Score, Baseball Past and Present, and High Heat Stats. But ever since I built the Hall of wWAR, I’ve wanted a more sophisticated home for my research, writing and design related to baseball. This is it.
wWAR (now expressed as Hall Rating) is my baby. This site has all the wWAR data for every single player in history (from 1871 through 2012). All data comes from Baseball-Reference’s incredible WAR downloads. I’ve also used the Sean Lahman Baseball Database where B-R couldn’t give me what I needed in an easy format.
What else does this site have?
- First, it features the actual Hall of Stats, a Hall of Fame that is objectively populated by a formula based on Wins Above Replacement and Wins Above Average. I’m much happier with the current wWAR formula than previous versions.
- As mentioned before, this site features every player in history, from Babe Ruth and his Hall Rating of 399 to Bill Bergen and his Hall Rating of -8 (and all 17,937 players in between).
- I love to write short blurbs about players and this gives me 17,939 options to do that. Of course, I’ve only done a few at this point, but as I write more I’ll add them to the player’s pages. The same goes with player photos, for which I’ve made sure to use only public domain images (links to original source images found in the footer of each player page).
- You’re reading one of the site’s “articles” right now—and I’ll be able to write many more here. Jeffrey also wrote me an awesome player auto-linker so that any article that references a player will appear on that player’s page.
- One of my favorite features of the site is the Similarity Scores. We love Bill James and Baseball-Reference, but the similarity scores used by each are flawed. They are based on raw numbers and are not adjusted for era, ballpark, and other contexts. Our Similarity Scores are based on run values. While two similar players on this site may not appear similar on the surface, they did provide similar value. (Note: Similarity scores are currently available for all players with 1500+ plate appearances or 500+ innings pitched.)
- There are a couple visualizations on each player’s page. I hope to do more over time. Any player with a WAA total above zero will have a peak vs. longevity breakdown. The player’s peak percentage is defined by how much of his career WAR comes from WAA. Also, each player’s run breakdown table includes bars to visually show how valuable each aspect of a player’s game was. If you’re into technology, they were built with data tables and CSS pseudo-elements.
- The site was designed for “mobile first”, meaning it’s going to look great on your phone. In fact, I think I like it best when viewed on a phone (particularly an iPhone).
- The site uses a lot of new web technology that requires a relatively new browser to experience. I recommend Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. If you must use Internet Explorer, you’ll want version 9 or newer.
Please have a look around and tell me what you think. I’m very proud of the site and (once again) very grateful to Jeffrey and Michael for helping me make this idea a reality.
I ask you to read the About page. There, I explain many things in great detail, like the goals of the Hall of Stats, the formula, the contributors, and many other details about the site. You can follow @HallOfStats on Twitter for updates on the project.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy The Hall of Stats.