Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ted Williams 1941 .406 season is missing 84 plate appearances.

Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 consecutive games in 1941. That record still stands. DiMaggio's data in baseball-reference.com includes all of his plate appearances (PA).

DiMaggio's hitting streak. Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ted Williams had a batting average (BA) of .406 in 1941. It is not a record for average stats that qualify for leading the league but it is the most recent and probably last .400 BA. Williams' data in baseball-reference.com is missing 84 of his plate appearances (PA).

What the heck, you ask? Some background and perspective:

Joe DiMaggio, 26 home runs (361-335) have left and gone away. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. Monday, July 15, 2019
https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/event_finder.cgi?request=1&year=1941&year_to=1941&id=willite01&divisory=1&from=button&type=b&event=modPA

More Williams Pages

Batting Finders & Advanced Stats


Years                    Event Type

1941 to 1941         Plate Appearances     Get Results

Ted Williams: 522 Plate Appearances in 1941

GPARABH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPBAOBPSLGOPSBAbipWPALIRE24
143606102456185333371011471927300610.406.553.7351.287.3787.9.9693

522 Plate Appearances (PA) v. 606. That's a difference of 84 PA.

The is no indication of which games are missing in the resulting list. Maybe we can figure out some of them. Let's look at the Home Run Log for Ted Williams. It contains all 521 of his career home runs and we can look at those for 1941.

First let's run Event Finder for 1941 but for the default of Home Runs instead of Plate Appearances.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/event_finder.cgi?request=1&year=1941&year_to=1941&id=willite01&divisory=1&from=button&type=b&event=23

Here's what we get:

Ted Williams: 29 Home Runs in 1941

But with this additional caveat:

The home runs listed here are only for games we have play-by-play data (100% complete from 1974-present). Prior to 1974, our home run log for this player may have additional data.

GPARABH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPBAOBPSLGOPSBAbipWPALIRE24
3437513737003751000000001.0001.0004.0005.0004.21.1545

That's 29 v. 37 home runs in 1941 for Ted Williams. If we click home run log for this player into another browser tab we get:

Summary of 521 Home Runs

If we cruise down to 1941 we see all 37 Ted Williams home runs. All have:

#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcher

They also have inning, RBI, Pos.

Since we're suspicious that some are from games with incomplete play-by-play data we see that some are missing: score, out, ROB, WPA, bWE, Notes.

The first such entry for the Ted Williams Home Run Log:

1941-06-12 (2)BOS@SLBJohnny Niggeling

The Event Finder has:
1941-06-06BOS@CHWJohnny Rigney


1941-06-17 (1)BOSDETBud Thomas

So sure enough, that home run is in a game that is completely missing in the Event Finder list. But what about PA which did not result in Ted Williams hitting a home run? We have no idea about them.

Let's try:

Batting Finders & Advanced Stats


Let's limit that to 1941:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/batter_vs_pitcher.cgi?request=1&submitter=1&batter=willite01&min_year_game=1941&max_year_game=1941&post=1&throws=any&c1gtlt=gt&c2gtlt=gt&orderby=PA&orderby_dir=desc&orderby_second=Name&orderby_dir_second=asc

Sorting the list of 1941 pitchers faced by Ted Williams by home runs shows a bunch who did not give up any home runs to Williams. One is Alex Carrasquel: 3 PA, 0 for 2, plus a BB.

If we click that link we get all career PA between the two. Or do we?

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/batter_vs_pitcher.cgi?batter=willite01&pitcher=carraal01

Ted Williams vs. Alex Carrasquel

Batter vs. Pitcher Data is complete back to 1974 and mostly complete back to 1925. Data runs from 1925 to 2019 for regular season data, 1933-Present for the All-Star Game, and 1903-Present for the Postseason.

Only one game in 1941:

Cr#YearDateTmOppInnRoBOutPit(cnt)Play Description
81941reg1941-08-15BOSWSHtied 0-0t112-1Popfly: Unknown out on play
9ahead 0-3t3---1Strikeout
10down 4-3t6---0Walk

But wait. In the Home Run Log for Williams:

1941-09-01 (1)BOSWSHAlex Carrasquel
1941-09-01 (1)BOSWSHBill Zuber

If we click that date:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS194109011.shtml

Monday, September 1, 1941
Venue: Fenway Park
Game Duration: 2:47
Day Game, on grass
First game of doubleheader
Red Sox 13, Senators 9
HR: Ted Williams 2 (33).

PitchingIPHRERBBSOHRERABFGSc
Alex Carrasquel511664213.522719
Vern Kennedy00002005.172
Bill Zuber, L (2-4)2.15661115.9013
Walt Masterson0.22111006.605
Team Totals818131383214.624719

Williams hit two home runs. The Washington pitchers Carrasquel and Zuber allowed one home run each. But there is no play-by-play.

Let's look for the game in retrosheet.org.

The 1941 Boston Red Sox Regular Season Game Log


Boston Red Sox 13, Washington Senators 9 (1)

Game Played on Monday, September 1, 1941 (D) at Fenway Park

Play by play events deduced from newspaper accounts. Fielding credits from
box score event files.

https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1941/B09011BOS1941.htm
HR: Williams 2 (33,5th inning off Carrasquel 0 on 0 out,8th inning off Zuber
1 on 1 out).
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRBFP
Carrasquel5116642127
Kennedy00002002
Zuber L(2-4)2.156611113
Masterson0.22111005
Totals818131383247

RED SOX 5TH: Williams homered ...

RED SOX 8TH: FINNEY BATTED FOR POTTER; Finney walked; DiMaggio struck out; Fox doubled [Finney to third]; Cronin singled to
left [Finney scored, Fox scored]; Williams homered [Cronin scored]; Foxx singled; Doerr doubled [Foxx to third]; MASTERSON REPLACED ZUBER (PITCHING); Peacock out on an unknown play; S.Newsome walked; Finney doubled [Foxx scored, Doerr scored, S.
Newsome scored]; DiMaggio singled [Finney to third]; Fox out on an unknown play; 7 R, 7 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Senators 9, Red Sox 13.

unknown play Ah, that's the reason for the disconnect. Most, but not all, plays are known.
Is there a practical way to get the details?
https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/W/Pwillt103.htm
The Ted Williams page at retrosheet.org lacks the rich set of options present in baseball-reference.com.
retrosheet.org does include Pitcher Matchups Alex Carrasquel is listed ... and with two home runs allowed to Ted Williams.
PitcherR/LABH2B3BHRBBIBBSOHBPSHSFAVGOBPSLG
Alex CarrasquelR39122221014000.308.449.615

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/batter_vs_pitcher.cgi?batter=willite01&pitcher=carraal0
Ted Williams vs. Alex Carrasquel
YearPAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSSHSFIBBHBPGDPmissGmissYr
1939430000010.000.250.000.250000005
1940330000001.000.000.000.000000012
1941320000011.000.333.000.333000003
194213125110010.417.462.6671.128000000
19491000000101.000000000
RegSeason24205110042.250.375.400.77500001
baseball-reference.com does show three missG for 1941. We only found the one in which Williams homered off Carrasquel.
Argh.