BASEBALL Research Primer



This primer is a supplement, produced by the Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), to SABR’s Research Resources page. The latter is available only to SABR members.

Essential Web Resources

Other Useful Places to Surf

Historical Newspapers Online

Magazines and Periodicals

Scholarly Sources and Journals


Standard Texts







Using Your SABR Membership

Library Services



Essential Web Resources


SABR Style Guide

Ball park or ballpark? Hyphen in pinch hit? Depends if it’s a verb, noun, or adjective. Two RBI or RBIs? The SABR Style Guide is a must for anyone writing about baseball. It build on style books such as The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual and The Chicago Manual of Style with terms specific to baseball.


SABR Research Journal Archive

Links to past issues of the SABR Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime.


Research Resources from SABR
The main page for links to SABR research resources.

An encyclopedia-style site managed by SABR member Sean Forman. Organized by player, team, year, etc. 



Managed by SABR member David Smith. A tremendous resource with a surprisingly diverse number of statistics and breakdowns. Game-by-game information, including downloadable play-by-play. Anyone can join, and they have a member listserv.



The Baseball Index

The Baseball Index (TBI) is a free catalog to baseball literature.  It encompasses books, magazine articles, programs, pamphlets, films, recordings, songs, poems, cartoons, advertising, or anything else that may be of interest to the baseball fan or researcher. It is an ongoing project of the Bibliography Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to catalog the entirety of baseball literature, from the earliest references to the present day. TBI is the creation of volunteers. Their hours of work and financial contributions have made your TBI research possible.


Remember, TBI is an index to baseball literature. It is a guide to what has been written about baseball subjects. It does not include the full-text of the sources referenced.

2014 Emerald Guide to Baseball
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) offers the Emerald Guide to Baseball as a free PDF to the baseball community. The Emerald Guide contains statistics and other information that had been available in the annual Official Baseball Guide published by The Sporting News. In addition to the free PDF (past issues back to 2007 are also available), bound copies are available for purchase. offers a large collection of government historical information.  Most notably they provide U.S. Federal Census records, Birth, Marriage & Death records, and a Social Security Death Index. Monthly and annual subscriptions are available.


A genealogical resources that includes modern obituaries and historical newspapers. Subscriptions available.


Go to Top



Other Useful Places to Surf


Google Books

Enter “baseball” into the search window (or a more specific term, such as the title of the book).


Baseball Almanac

Managed by SABR member Sean Holtz.  Trivia style. Stories, jokes, lists, awards, etc.


Baseball Cards 1887-1914

This web site has a large image collection of old baseball cards.


Baseball Prospectus Cot’s Baseball Contracts

This site tracks Major League baseball contracts, signing bonuses, service time and franchise values. The information is unofficial and has been collected from various published reports.


Milkees Press
A research service by SABR member Stew Thornley, this site contains monographs, including an ongoing list of no-hitters broken up in the ninth inning since 1961, a list of Minnesota Twins uniform numbers, research on the demise of the reserve clause, and articles and information on Minnesota baseball history, including the Minneapolis Millers.


Baseball History
This site, by SABR member David Trombley, has links to league and team histories.


University of Maryland Special Collections
Baseball Rule Books from 1871 to 1910


ARCHIVEGRID: Topics > Baseball
Evolution of Baseball


Go to Top



Historical Newspapers Online



Access: Hennepin County and St. Paul Libraries, which also offer remote access to those with a library card registered with them (does not have to be issued by the specific library, just registered with them).



Historical New York Times

Minneapolis Tribune

Selected Minnesota Newspapers


St. Paul Public Library:


Hennepin County Library (includes Minneapolis Libraries):

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online
The Brooklyn Eagle Newspaper digitized from 1841-1902.

New York Clipper
The New York Clipper was a weekly entertainment newspaper, with outstanding baseball coverage, from May 7, 1853 to July 12, 1924.

Toronto Star Pages of the Past
A subscription provides access to millions of pages from The Toronto Star - pages that previously could be viewed only on a microfilm viewer. Pages of the Past is searchable by the text on the page, or by the date of publication. You can easily seek out birth, death and marriage notices; follow stories of international importance or local significance; view fashion trends, or check on the price of goods over the years.


U. S. News Archives on the Web

A site that provides links to United States news archives available on the web.  Some links may be slightly outdated.


NewspaperArchive is the single largest historical newspaper database online, containing more newspaper pages from 1759 to present than any other service.  Subscription required.


XooxleAnswers Newspaper Archives


Old Fulton New York
This site has New York Newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle up to 1955 as well as newspapers from Binghamton, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Auburn, and Utica.
It has has the New York Clipper, the most-referenced source for pre-professional baseball.


Mid-Continent Public Library
The Mid-Continent Public Library has a non-resident card available for a fee and provides access to historical newspapers such as the Chicago Defender, Atlanta Daily World, Los Angeles Sentinel, New York Amsterdam News, and Pittsburgh Courier.


Go to Top



Magazines and Periodicals


The St. Paul and Hennepin County library databases (also listed above) include useful links to magazines and periodicals.


St. Paul Public Library:


Hennepin County Library (includes Minneapolis Libraries):


For remote access, will need a library card and PIN, which can be obtained when the card is registered with the library.


LA 84 Foundation


Baseball Magazine 1909-1918 (not complete)

Sports in History 1993-2001

Journal of Sports History 1974-2002

Sport Management Review 1998-2004

Other magazine and journals


Library of Congress Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889-1939

This web site has indoor base ball guides from 1903-1926 and Spalding base ball guides from 1889-1939. Not every year is there, but many of them are.


Google Books: The Reach Guide


HighBeam Research


HighBeam Research provides one place where you can access the free Web, online services to which you subscribe (both for-pay services and free services requiring registration) and a proprietary Library archive of 35 million articles from 3,000 respected publishers.


HighBeam Research Offers Basic and Full Membership Options. Full Membership includes unlimited viewing of full-text articles, full use of personalization tools, and the ability to export research to Microsoft Office.


Access my Library


Go to Top



Scholarly Sources and Journals



Specializes in historical scholarly journals.  Articles go back at least to 1869.


Includes journals in law, religion, business, feminist and women’s studies, African American studies, geography, history.


ABNER Library Catalog (Baseball Hall of Fame)

ABNER (American Baseball Network for Electronic Research) is the National Baseball Hall of Fame Online Library Catalog. Library material is not available for loan. However, such material may be used on site at the Hall of Fame’s A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center. Research services are available by contacting the Library.


EBSCO Academic Search Premier

Access: Check your public library web site for remote access.


Has a very strong search engine to filter out publication, age, full text or citations.



American Journal of Sports Medicine 1/1/1992-Current (Citations)

Culture, Sport, Society 3/1/2000-12/31/2003 (Full Text)

International Sports Journal 1/1/2002-6/30/2004 (Full Text)

Journal of Sports Sciences 5/1/1996-Current (Citations)

Journal of Philosophy of Sport 5/1/2003-Current (Citations)

Newsweek 2/21/1983-Current (Citations)

Nine: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture 9/1/2005-Current (Citations)



Access: Check your public library web site for remote access.

Do a search of libraries all over the country for many things including books, Visuals, Articles, Maps, almost anything a library would have in their collection.  There are only citations so the best way to use this database is for finding hard to get items and then using interlibrary loan.


Go to Top



  Databases Databases
Managed by SABR member Sean Lahman.  An outstanding feature is a downloadable encyclopedia database.  (Access, or comma-delimited).


Old-Time Data Inc.: The Professional Baseball Player Databases

The site contains information about ordering a database that contains the entire professional records of players between 1922 and 2004. The data is limited—batting average, home runs, runs batted in for position players, and won-lost record and earned-run average for pitchers, but it is invaluable for finding records of men who did not reach the major leagues.


Chadwick Baseball Bureau: Tidy Baseball Data
A master register of people who have been involved in baseball

Go to Top



Standard Texts




Biographical Sources


Teams Histories


Baseball History – General


Periodicals, Annuals

Go to Top




Ballparks by Munsey & Suppes


Ballpark Digest Ballparks Database


Ballparks of Baseball


Retrosheet Park Directory


Clem’s Baseball: Our National Pastime & Its “Green Cathedrals”


Welcome to Borchert Field


Nicollet Park


Twin Cities Ballparks


Twin Cities Ballparks (booklet - PDF 3.2 MB/11 pages)


Washington Park, Brooklyn


Go to Top




Northern League Organization and Team Histories


St. Paul Saints History 1920-39


Minneapolis Millers
Includes links to all games played by the Minneapolis Millers, 1884 to 1960


North Dakota Baseball History

This is a site maintained by SABR member Terry Bohn with links to research he has done on the early history of baseball in North Dakota.


Protoball: Pre-pro Baseball
The Protoball Chronologies cover the evolution of ballgames from ancient Times to 1870, just before the first professional baseball league began.

Protoball:Pre-pro Clubs and Games in Minnesota
Covers the spread of baseball in


Go to Top





The Deadball Era 

Baseball Hall of Fame Gravesites 

Baseball Necrology 

Go to Top





List of Major League Baseball No-hitters 

Lost in the Ninth: No-Hitters Broken Up in the Ninth Inning Since 1961 

No-Hitters and Official Scorers 

Go to Top





Scouts Research Committee by SABR

Diamond Minds - Information on Scouts from the Baseball Hall of Fame 

Baseball America: 2013 Big League Debuts and Their Signing Scouts

SABR Scouts eGroup
Moderated discussion group for members of the SABR Scouts Committee

Go to Top


Statistics Statistics

The site is the creation Christopher J. Falvey. It is an online application that allows you to view any Major League Baseball season, split by league or division (even wild card races), as an animated, date-by-date race between the various teams you choose.


Tango - Lichtman - Dolphin

If Linear Weights, Run Expectancy, and Runs Created mean something to you, if you are a fan of Pete Palmer or Bill James, then you’ve come to the right place. This is just a dumping ground for research or reports that I’ve done, and people might find interesting. One day, I will post all my research here.


Statistical Studies of Baseball by John F. Jarvis


In the world of professional team sports baseball is unique in several ways. The discrete nature of the game, enabling individual plays to be readily categorized with a modest number of possible outcomes, leads to a very complete statistical record. Likewise, the discrete nature of the game enables detailed simulations to be carried out. The game’s statistical record provides accurate parametrization of the simulator and insight into the game can be obtained from these simulations. A number of statistical studies based on simulator results and full season play-by-play descriptions are linked to this page.


Baseball Prospectus

If you’re not familiar with Baseball Prospectus, here’s what we’re all about: understanding the game better, and innovating in order to do it. Everyone at BP loves the game of baseball with a passion that most people just don’t understand. We feel that this greatest of games is so compelling that we want to know everything about it. We always want to improve our understanding of the game; each player, each play, each pitch, each throw, each hit--what does it really mean? Those arguments that take place in bars about the relative merits of different players? We really want to know the definitive answer to those questions. But we don’t want to kill the joy of the game while we’re looking.


Baseball Think Factory

Baseball Think Factory and its family of affiliated sites is dedicated to providing unique baseball content (information, blogs, links, news, forums, chat) to thinking baseball fans.


Baseball Analysts

An excellent overall baseball site run by Rich Lederer.


SB Nation: Beyond the Boxscore

An excellent site that includes research by Cy Morong.


Hardball Times

Another good statistical site.


Phil Birnbaum

Phil Birnbaum’s website contains a sabermetric research blog.


SABR Statistical Analysis Research Committee


Go to Top




Prints & Photographs Online Catalogs from the Library of Congress


Photographs from the Chicago Daily News 1902-1933

Just about any player who played for the Cubs or the White Sox from 1902-1933 is pictured in this collection.  Many of the photos are also of visiting players from the same era.

Go to Top



Using Your SABR Membership


Go to Top



Library Services


Hennepin County Central Library - Minneapolis

Most of the books with Library of Congress classifications are now on the shelves on the main floor.  The books in the tall shelves in the section closer to 3rd Street are circulating copies.  Books in the shorter shelves closer to the atrium are reference copies or are books in the Popular Library.


Current periodicals and newspapers are on the third floor.  All the microfilm reels for the Minneapolis newspapers are in cases in this area.  All of the St. Paul papers back to 1967 are in these cases, as well.

      Other newspapers—Washington Post, New York Times, are in the stacks area on the other side of the atrium on the third floor.

      In this area are the periodicals A through O.  P to Z are across the hall.


History and Social Services are on the fourth floor.  The stacks contain reference books as well as circulation copies of annual books.  Sports books are in the section GV 877 to GV 971.  Books on the Olympics are at GV 721.5.  Also, check out the oversized (folio) baseball books in the stacks at fGV 863 to fGV 878.

      Other sports books with the Dewey Decimal System (797) are in the stacks, as well.          


James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library—Fourth floor.

      Open by appointment only on Mondays and Wednesdays (10 to 1 and 2 to 4:30) and the first and third Saturday of each month from 11 to 2.

      To schedule an appointment or to have certain materials available, call 612-630-6351.


Go to Top  





Yahoo Groups: Minnesota Baseball

An on-line discussion group centered on Minnesota, although any baseball topic is allowed. Baseball Research & Analysis


The Hardball Times




Baseball America Executive Database

Go to Top


Note:  This research primer is a product of the Research Committee of the Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.