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Old 04-06-2003, 05:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to create a historical league

FAQ CREATING A HISTORICAL LEAGUE

WHAT DO I NEED TO CREATE A HISTORICAL LEAGUE?
Okay, so you have just downloaded the best baseball game on the market and you are dying to replay the 1927 season, or any other season for that matter. What steps do you have to follow and how much will it cost for the seasons?
The good news is the steps are quite simple if you follow them properly and the great news is that once you have bought OOTP5 you can have every season since 1901 right at your fingertips free, yes free of charge.

THE BASICS

MAKE SURE YOUR GAME IS UP TO DATE

STEP 1- Ensure you have the latest patch for the game. If you just downloaded it you most likely do. If not, or you are not sure, check out the OOTP Developments updates and downloads page. It can be found here <a href="http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/ootp/downloads.html" target="_blank">http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/ootp/downloads.html</a>

At the time I wrote this the latest download was called version 5 To confirm you have version 5 installed on your computer start up your OOTP5 game and when the title screen pops up you will see the version number written in the bottom of that screen. If it is the same as the newest patch listed in the downloads page you are ready to proceed to step 2. If not, you need to download the newest patch and then unzip it to your OOTP folder. It will overwrite the old OOTP.exe file and update your game. Do not worry it will not damage your elisence registration in any way.

THE LAHMAN DATABASE
STEP 2 - Now that your game is totally up to date it is time to download the file that gives you all the historical stats the game uses to create old seasons. The file is called the Lahman database. It is important that you download the "comma-delimited" version and NOT the access version. It can be downloaded from this address. http://baseball1.com

Once you have downloaded this file you have to extract it to a folder of its own. I will assume you already have a program called WINZIP and are somewhat familiar with it. Unzip all the files contained in the database to a folder called STATS. You can actually use any folder name you like but the game defaults to STATS so lets keep things simple.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THIS FOLDER IS NOT STORED WITHIN THE MAIN OOTP5 FOLDER and you know the exact path to it....ie C:\stats.
Once you have downloaded the file you are all set to get your historical league created.

CREATING YOUR HISTORICAL LEAGUE

What steps to follow to import a new league?
Now that you have your Lahman Database downloaded you ready to start a historical league. Select the Create New League option from the File menu within the game and then select Historic League.
Detailed instructions on each of the choices you are given when creating your league can be found in the OOTP5 manual. But here are the quick notes to get you started:

PATH TO DATABASE - this is the folder on your computer where you unzipped the Lahman Database you download as described above. If you put the files in a folder called C:\stats do nothing as that will already be typed in for you. If not click on the words "Path to Database" and type in the exact path to where the files are stored. (REMEMBER THESE ARE THE UNZIPPED FILES FROM LAHMAN NOT THE ZIP FILE YOU DOWNLOADED TO YOUR TEMP DIRECTORY OR WHATEVER YOU MAY CALL IT)

DATABASE VERSION - Do nothing here as v5 is already listed. This means you are using version v5 of the database, which is the one you downloaded from the instructions above.
LEAGUE NAME - Click on the words League Name and then just type in whatever you want you league to be called. It can be as simple as 1930 or Joe's Baseball League. Call it what you want.

IMPORT YEAR - Click on the words import year and type in the season you want to import. If you want to start in 1930 then simply type 1930

The ADJUST HITTERS AND ADJUST PITCHERS PLUS THE MAKE BAD numbers allow you to limit the ratings assigned to players who did not play much in the season you are importing. I usually set the adjust hitters number to 100 AB and pitchers to 60 innings pitched and put the make bad numbers at half of that. These settings will make the players who had limited action in the season you import have limited skills. This way a player who was 3-for-5 on the season would not become a superstar. To change any of these settings click on the word and type in the new number you want to use.

TALENT RATINGS BASED ON: I always select remaining career. Let's say I start a league in 1930. Using remaining career will base all players’ ratings only on what the accomplished in 1930 or later. If you use entire career it will base a players stats on his whole career and not just what he accomplished from 1930 until he retired. But it is entirely up to you what option you want to go with.

MAKE GENERIC L/R SPLITS - Yes means the game will automatically make random splits in how the players perform...ie a righthanded batter will have a slightly higher rating against a lefthanded pitcher than against a righthander. I normally set this to No because I found it makes lefthanded hitters a little too good in the league and righthanders not quite as good as they should be since there are so many more righthanded pitchers. The real life batting stats the ratings are based on already account for the player’s true stats against both righty and lefthanded pitching so this effect becomes doubled if you choose to make generic rating splits.

IMPORT LEAGUE- When everything else is entered click on this button and your league will be created. Relax and go have a drink depending on the speed of your computer it may take anywhere from 3 minutes to 20 minutes to import all the players.

LEAGUE SETUP MENU
Once it is finished you are prompted to create a schedule. Go to the league setup menu and select Edit Schedule from the Editor Menu. You can simply click on generate schedule and input the number of games you want to play.

On the league setup menu you can also decide how you want to play with regard to finances being on or off, scouts being used, simulate minors etc.

Here are the choices

League Mode - Career. Replay will allow you just to play one season

FINANCIAL SYSTEM - Enabled gives you full finances and free agency

Coach/Scouts - I usually enable the coaches and scouts

Simulate Minors - If your system is running slow turning this option off will help you speed up the sim.

Computer Trades= I usually enable them and set the trading frequency to normal. In the early years of your league when teams don't have much minor league depth there may not be many deals made. Have patience the trades will pick up a few seasons into the league.

Injuries - I usually enable them but set them to very low early in my career, particularily in early 1900's sims since there is little roster depth. By the fifth year I have the injury frequency set to normal.

Position Player Fatigue - A nice feature to force you to rest players but you might want to disable it for one season if your teams have little depth. Turn it on a year or two into the league though.

Rating System - Your call. How much information do you want to be given and how much do you want to have to work for by analyzing stats and watching games?

OTHER SETTINGS
You can customize the awards and division names in your league. The only thing I dont reccomend changing is the league abbr (AL and NL are the default for historical leagues). Also do not change any team short names if you want to assign rookies to their reallife teams. The game uses these shortnames (like NYY) in conjunction with the Lahman database to determine who should be on which team.

POSSIBLE ISSUES
IF YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE PROBLEMS HERE IS THE LIKELY SOLUTION

WHY DO ALL THE PLAYERS HAVE A NEGATIVE NUMBER FOR THEIR AGE?
There is a simple solution for this problem. If all players in your league have negative ages then you have either downloaded the wrong or a corrupted Lahman database file or you are not using the latest patch of the game. Check to ensure you have the newest version of the game. (see above for url)
If the version of your OOTP5 game is up to date then check to make sure you are using the proper version of the Lahman database. Before installing the new Lahman file it is advisable to delete all the old Lahman database files you had stored.

WHY DO SOME/ALL TEAMS HAVE NO PLAYERS?
The cause of this is the same as above. If you are using the wrong database or set the database version incorrectly in league setup it will put a number of the players into the free agent pool rather than assign them to their proper teams. If this happens at league creation your best bet is to scrap the league and start over with the proper database. Note- There are a few exceptions and they are noted here. 1901 Milwaukee, 1902 Baltimore and possibly 1968 Oakland will have empty rosters if you start a league in any of those 3 years. Simply go to the free agent pool and sign all free agents to the club in question. Remember to turn off finances before you do it though. It is an issue with the database and will not hurt your league at all as long as you sign all free agents to mentioned team prior to doing anything else with your league.

WHY ARE A FEW OF THE PLAYERS LISTED WITH A NEGATIVE AGE OR NO AGE AT ALL?
Due to the limitations of the Lahman database a few players that are created in leagues from 1901-1915 may not have an age. The reason for this is that the Lahman database does not list a birthdate for these players. To correct this problem you can edit the age for any player and assign him a birthdate. To edit a birthdate follow the steps below
1- From the team roster menu click on the name of the player you want to edit
2- You will now see that players general information screen. In the top left corner just below the player's name is a button labelled "Editor" Left click once on the button.
3- You can now edit any of the information on a player you want. To edit his age click on birthdate and type in a new birthdate. Lets say the year you are playing is 1905 and you want the player to be 25 years old. Type the following in 1,2,1880 This will make the player born January 2, 1880. It is very important you use the proper punctuation and put a comma after each number. The format is MONTH, DAY, YEAR. The year must be 4 digits.
4- Right click on the page anywhere and you return to the team roster. The player is now 25 years old.

Why are the outfield fielding positions incorrect and how can I fix them?
The Lahman database does not have much in the way of fielding data included so outfield positions, throwing arm ratings and defensive range ratings for players are generated more or less at random. You can edit all of these by clicking on the player you want to edit from the team roster screen and then clicking on the button called EDITOR which is located just below the players name. <a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a> is a great source of information for fielding percentages and can help you calculate range ratings on players since it shows the players range rating in relation to the league average for each season.

DO I HAVE TO PLAY THE SAME SCHEDULE YEAR AFTER YEAR?
The answer is No you dont. The game will create a different schedule for you each season. The dates of the games will be the same but the order of the teams will change.
There are also some good schedule.dat files available from Historically OOTP and Big City Baseball. These will give you staggered days off and the proper mix of games within and outside of the division. A readme file to explain how to use them is included.
You could also manually key in your own schedule (although it is quite a long process) in the edit schedule option from the league setup menu. Simply clear the existing schedule and starting making your own by clicking on the add game or add series button. There are a number of text files available from <a href="http://www.sportplanet.com/sbb/hootp/" target="_blank">http://www.sportplanet.com/sbb/hootp/</a> to give you the schedule from a past season you can use as your guide to create these.

WHAT IS BASEBALLREFERENCE.COM
Only the best possible site you can visit if you want stats to aid you in rating your historical players yourself. The information it contains is amazing. <a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a>


ADVANCED USER TIPS

THE FIRST SEASON

MY LEAGUE IS CREATED. NOW WHAT?
What you do from here is up to you. The OOTP5 game engine will give you a very enjoyable career play experience by doing nothing as far as editing players but if you want more realistic results consider doing some or all of the following.
The first season of your new career league requires the most work. The first step I take is to look thru every team and check all fielding ratings and percentages, as well as speed and stolen base ratings for hitters plus I look thru the pitchers and switch any relievers that should be starters.

EDITING PLAYERS
An excellent source of info for the ratings check is <a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a>
It is a tool I use throughout my career league. You certainly do not need to edit the ratings to have an enjoyable league but if you are looking for total realism it is a good idea.
The biggest area needing attention is usually fielding percentages. Currently OOTP5 will only import a players fielding percentage for the season he is created (ie the first year of year league for all current players and only the rookie season fielding percentage for all draftees down the road) rather than using his career stats. This gives you some terrible fielding percentages and also gives you a lot of players out of position. For example, Jimmy Foxx is imported in 1925 as a catcher despite only playing 108 of his 2148 games behind the plate. Since he played catcher in his first season if you start your league in 1925 or earlier he will be a catcher. The ramifications of this can mess your realism up quite a bit. In this case if I was assigning players to their original teams Foxx, a Hall of Famer, may never reach the majors becasuse he would be buried behind Mickey Cochrane on the A's depth chart.
Frank Chance is another great example of this. I started my league in 1901 and Chance was imported as a left fielder since he played the majority of his games in the outfield that season. Tinker to Evers doesn’t have the same ring to it without him.
The other big thing I look for is players who only played a handful of major league games. I try to delete them from my file altogether for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t want them dominating the league. Second after 5 or 10 seasons each teams minor league rosters will be overloaded if you don’t delete some players. The easiest way to delete the players is release them to the free agent pool and then from the league setup screen click on 'edit free agents'. You can delete them in that screen. If you are using finances I do reccomend turning them off while you are doing the releases so teams are not penalized the extra salary. Once all players are released you can turn the finances back on.
Every year after the first season I always edit the rookies. If you choose to assign them to their original teams it can be a real pain finding them all because they will be on a team. If you do a draft you can go to the free agent screen immediately following the free agent signing period and all the rookies will be listed there. The the easiest way to do it is by going to the Baseball Reference website. This site is a fantastic tool. Let's say I am importing the rookies for 1931. I can go to this link <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/ML_1931_debut.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...31_debut.shtml</a> and I have the career stats of every player in my 1931 rookie file. It is now simple to edit the rookie pool. I generally delete all players with less than 200 career at bats or 100 innings pitched. I also make all my fielding percentage changes, position changes and ratings adjustments at this time. It is a very quick process and far easier than trying to find them all on their original teams. You will now find yourself with a pool of usually 3 rounds worth of draft picks. It is quite easy to make all selections yourself if you really want all players on their original teams.
If you follow these steps you will end up having the best players in real life remain the best players in your sim league. Of course, there are always surprises like injuries or guys coming out of nowhere to become stars, but for the most part results will be quite good.


FINANCIALS
Some historical simmers prefer to have finances turned off so that there will be no free agency. If so, obviously you can skip this section. Is it better to turn finances off? I guess it depends on what you want from your career sim. If you want team rosters to be as close to real life as possible then it is advisable you don’t use the financial engine. If you want to have a lot more player movement in your league than finances will work well for you.
OOTP5's handling of financials is a huge improvement of version 3 and requires little to no editing. Here is what I do. First, I set my cash maximum at $50 million in the league setup screen. This allows the teams to build up a war chest of cash. I find a lot of the times teams are very cyclical in their spending. A club will operate on a tight budget for several years then when they have some decent talent and big money to spend they go all out on signing free agents. A few years later when the cash crunch hits that club immediately stops signing free agents. I like this aspect as it helps teams become mini-dynastys. Another thing I do sometimes is give the Yankees and whoever else dominated the era I am playing far bigger revenue numbers so that even though I am playing in a Free Agent replay the right teams of the era are still the best clubs.


ERA MANAGER SETTINGS
The era manager feature is a huge benefit to deadball simmers. It allows pitchers to not tire as much so relievers are not as prevelant. It allows makes it easy to use a 3 or 4 man rotation. I usually make only 2 changes to the era manager and individual team management settings
1- If my sim is starting in 1901 or 1902 I set the rotation size to 3 rather than 4 since all teams went with really just 3 starters in those years.
2- For any pre 1940 era sim I set steals to not often for every team since otherwise you get too many stolen bases. You go to the team setup menu for each team in your league to set this. It is under manager tendancies. Leaving everything else at default works quite well.


LEAGUE NORMALIZATION FACTORS
There are a number of different ways to deal with these numbers. I will outline a simple solution that has worked great for me and given me very accurate numbers regardless of the era I am playing.
First I make a backup copy of my league by using the backup league option from within the game. The reason I make the backup is so I can test my stat results to see if I need to modify the league normalization factors. Set all teams to computer owned and quick sim the season. When you are complete you can print out your league batting and league pitching reports to see the team totals. Unfortunately, OOTP does not presently calculate league totals but you can add them up pretty quick to compare to the real-life league totals for the season you are simming. Real life totals are available at Baseball Reference.com.
If my numbers for all the categories are pretty close than I am ready to start for real. If my batting averages or another category is off then I simply make some small adjustments to the league normalization numbers and quick sim again. Remember the normalization numbers do the opposite of what you want. Need more homers than lower the Home Run number by 50-100 and if you need less than raise the number. There is no need to touch at bats. Just hits, doubles, triples, home runs, walks and strikeouts.
Realistically, you should expect to be able to get within 10% of real life numbers. You may choose to add real life stadiums rather than the generic parks. If so they will affect your stats so you should make those changes prior to making a backup copy and running your test sim.
Personally, instead of using the real stadiums I create 2 generic stadiums, one for each league. This allows me to adjust for the difference in stats between AL and NL totals. There are many seasons where there is a huge discrepancy in the league totals from the two leagues. By modifying the stadium factors for one of the leagues it allows you to get realistic stats for both leagues. Simply create 2 new stadiums from the Edit Stadium menu. Name one American League Park and one National League Park. Set the attendance for both stadiums at a reasonable number (say 45,000) and set all modifiers (AVG, HR, triples, doubles) to 100.
If you have your league setup pretty good with fairly realistic stats for the NL and the AL is good except you have too few homers then you can simply change the HR park effect number for the AL stadium to 105 or 107. This will increase homers in the American League but wont change your National League numbers.
Once you have your park effects and your league modifiers set you are ready to begin your season. Reinstall your backed up league and also open your OOTP5 folder and delete the contents of the News and Player folders. Do not remove the folders but you must remove all files in them or your history will show things that occurred in your test sims.

SECTION 2
CHANGES FOR SEASON 2 AND BEYOND

Once your first season is complete I follow the following checklist for every succeeding year.

1- MAKE A BACK COPY OF YOUR LEAGUE FILE. I have never had a problem yet but I am always careful to have a back-up just in case.

2- Click on PROCEED TO NEXT SEASON

3- If you choose a draft for rookies before proceeding to the draft go to the free agent pool. If you do this after the free agent signing period all the rookies will be visible in the free agent pool. It makes it real easy to edit them and delete all the players who only played a handful of games if you so choose. Also you can make minor ratings and potential adjustments at this stage to ensure the best players are really the best players. If you chose to assign players to their original teams rather than a draft I still reccomend deleting the guys who played only a few career games. You will have to check each team manually and release the players from their clubs and then delete them. A little more time consuming but well worth it in the long run.

4- Before running spring training I do my LEAGUE NORMALIZATION FACTORS for the next season. My system is as follows. First off I know my results are pretty realisitc because I ran a couple of tests to get the right numbers prior to my first season. All I do is total up my sim stats...league totals for both American and National League in batting average, home runs, doubles, triples, walks and strikeouts.
I then compare those numbers to the next season I am about to sim. If I need a few more homers in both leagues I lower the league normalization Home Run total (remember on this screen lowering a number increases the total you will get in your sim). If I need a few more in just one league I raise the park effect on homeruns for that league in the edit stadium menu. (Remember in the edit stadium screen the higher the number the more homers there will be).
Just small changes, maybe 5% or so is all that is needed in the League Normalization Screen and just 3 or 4 points in the edit stadium screen. IMPORTANT: I NEVER HIT RECALCULATE TOTALS. It just does not give you the results you desire if you are looking for historical accuracy.

NOTE – Many users may find it much easier to download a program made by IatricSB called the Era Calculator. It recommends the settings you should use each year and does almost all the legwork for you. It can be found under the files tab at the Boys of Summer league. It is located here <a href="http://www.boys-of-summer.com/" target="_blank">http://www.boys-of-summer.com/</a>

5- Run SPRING TRAINING and move on to your next season.


SUMMARY

Obviously there is no right or wrong way to do things. One of the great things about OOTP is it is so easy to customize for your personal needs. What I have listed above is a guideline you can start with. If you have a great suggestion that works for you or a question about setting up your historical league please share it with the OOTP message board.

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Steve Kuffrey
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*No longer an active league.

Last edited by Steve Kuffrey; 05-05-2006 at 08:10 PM.
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