February 16, 2010
It's true. Thanks to the research of Scott Simkus and Gary Ashwill, baseball fans will soon be able to compare Josh Gibson's page (which is now relatively bare) alongside Babe Ruth's. It's a four-year project and is described as an "offshoot" of the Negro Leagues Strat-O-Matic game that Simkus recently put together.
From USA Today:
"Using the growing amount of information already digitized, the pair hopes to have up to eight seasons available by April and 25 up this year, including the Negro League from 1916 to 1922 and the Cuban Winter League from 1904 to 1913.
"Ashwill believes the project will right a wrong.
"'It's about historical justice ... you can't really look up Josh Gibson the same way you can Babe Ruth and get their numbers,' he says."
Simkus writes more about the project here. Though many people question the accuracy of Negro League statistics, Simkus and Ashwill have used mathematical formulas that will place "batting averages at 97-98 percent accurate, RBI at 85 percent and ERA at 85-90 percent."
I'm sure that some people might have some qualms about stats that aren't 100 percent verified, but having this information online is worlds better than what we have now (which is nothing) and will finally allow us to match some numbers with the names while we're surfing. I know I'm not the only one that can't wait to see that first batch of Satchel Paige stats go up.
A big BLS head nod to Hardball Talk for the redirect.