Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Note from Gary Fink, With a Question

A Note from Gary Fink, With a Question

Hi Carlos,
That was quite a bit of information on Orville Kilroy !  Gary came up with a ton of information on the early Coast League pitcher— not only birth and death date material (he died in the Argonne Forest), but every battle he fought in, and everywhere he was stationed
He is not listed in the Web Site— The’s "Those who served.”   I am going to submit that information to that site, along with the other genealogy information I have on him.
In regards to giving a pitcher a Win or a Lost in a game, in the earlier years of baseball (1900s to 1940s?) wasn't it the scorer's decision on who would get the win or lost?  I.e., now a starting pitcher has to pitch 5 IP to get credit for a win, but I believe that in the earlier days of baseball a scorer could give a starting pitcher a win even if he pitched less than 5 IP if he was the better pitcher than the reliever.

Didn't that also apply to who got the lost too?  If there were two or more pitchers for a team that lost, didn't the scorer sometimes or all the time give the lost to the worst pitcher rather than the pitcher (starter or reliever) who was responsible for the run that put the other team in the lead and the other team kept that lead ? 
What was the ruling for 1903 ?

As to the early years, including 1903, the discretion was always that of the scorer until codified.  And that’s why they began listing winning and losing pitchers in the box score summary. The five inning rule never made sense in the early years, for instance.  With small pitching staffs, a team would pull a pitcher after, say, three innings, if his team put up a large lead.  That was in order to not overwork the pitcher, or save him for another day.  In such a case, the starting pitcher was awarded the win.  

In my work, I try to conform to the system in place at the time.  Therefore, I will award a win to the pitcher whom I consider to be the most effective.  And will award a win to the starting pitcher in a blowout who toils less than five innings in the game.

Another thing I found out a little over a year ago is that— at least in the Coast League— pitchers  who appeared in forfeited games were awarded wins and losses.  In compiling the stats for The Coast League Statistical Record, 1903-57, I had to go back and changes pitcher records after I found out that was the case.  And just several days ago, I found out that the statistics for forfeited games of less than five innings are included in the players’ records.  That forced me to go back and plug in the stats for a 1903 game that was three inning in length.  While it didn’t make much difference to the everyday player, it did give Doc Newton another win, making his 1903 record 35-12.

We learn new things every day.

On other topic— Saves.  I compile saves for those long past seasons.  What the Baseball Encyclopedia did was employ the 1969 rule, and take it all the way back to the beginning, which basically gives a save to the last pitcher on the mound in a winning contest if that pitcher doesn’t get the win. That is a pretty easy rule to apply, and probably saves should be compiled whenever a researcher compiles either a season or a pitcher’s record from box scores.


Blogger The American Association Almanac said...

Hi Carlos,

I wanted to find the birth year/birth date for Orville Kilroy from the information you and Gary put up on the blog but I'm somehow unable to find it. If you can let me know that date. First of all, if you have a suggestion on how I can find it that would be best. Second, if you could let me know by emailing me at that would be great too.

Also, if you send me your address again I will send you the forthcoming issue of the American Association Almanac which I believe will contain a far richer assortment of content than my last issue.

Thank you!

Rex Hamann
American Association Almanac

2:35 PM  

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