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Old 11-03-2013, 11:28 AM   #21
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #22
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As I was putting this project together, there were several different areas I had to think very deeply about, in order to inject as much realty into the English baseball universe as possible (and reasonable). One crucial area is the makeup of the players themselves.

Being an English League starting out in 1888, there's no way any team was going to be a multicultural melting pot of white, black, Asian and Latino players. Practically every player at that point in history represented in a league like this has to be white. It's a terrible thing that Caucasian exceptionalism (for lack of a better term) stunted the game from the very beginning and hindered its growth for six-plus decades in America. As it turns out, a very similar situation existed in England in their own professional sports like cricket, football and boxing. There's no reasonable expectation that English baseball could have been any different. So right out of the gate and for the foreseeable future, nearly all players in the Baseball League have to be white. (Unlike American baseball, though, there was an isolated exception here and there through the early 20th Century. But it was absolutely uncommon.)

But even beyond the racial composition, think about what the very beginnings of the Baseball League entail. These are mainly industrial teams that have evolved from factory workers. Some of the players got paid to play before the 1888 inception of the League, but none of them can play baseball for an exclusive living. The work was far too unsteady in pre-League days. So, almost by definition, these players were actually semi-pro, as early American professional baseball players were at the start. So, of course, all the players have to come from England.

But even further to the point, because they are actually semi-pro players representing a club born of local industrial outfits, they all have to come from the city they play in. Right? Because it is completely illogical that a player would travel all the way across England to play baseball for a local factory team for £2 a week at the most, which is what the best players made in those days.

When you tell OOTP to have all your players come from whatever country, and fill the roster with fictional players, the game has the players come from all over that country. That's obviously not workable for this league. Since they can't come from all over England, I had to manually change their place of birth by exporting the rosters, opening the .txt in Excel, making the bulk changes (don't forget the city code as well), saving the file as a .csv and importing the roster back into the game. Works like a charm.

Here are some sample rosters:

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By the way, you might have noticed that Stoke Ramblers has no natural first baseman. Hey, I'm only "God". They have free will. If they want to play without an actual first baseman, that's up to them. No wonder they finished in a tie for eighth. Maybe they'll fix that for 1889.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #23
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Another thing you may have noticed above is that almost nobody on any of the four rosters above is a big guy by modern standards. No one is over 6' 2", or over 220 lbs. In fact, the tallest guy in the whole league is 6' 3", and the biggest guy is the aptly named Bertram Bull, a 6' 2" 235-pound reserve first baseman for West Brom.

This is by design, too. When OOTP fills a team with fictional players, it acts as though it's 2013, even when the league is set in the 1800s. This creates a situation where you have pitchers who are 6' 10", and hulks who are 6'6" and 275 lbs. That wasn't happening in 1888. So I brought down the sizes on all the players who were created.

So, how did I do that on a bulk basis?

First thing I did was download the entire database of major league players from Baseball-Databank.org. It's in a .csv file that's easily importable into Excel.

I then grouped the players by decade born, and determined the average height and weight for all players born in the decade, from the 1980s back to the 1850s.

Then, using the 1980s as the base for average height and weight, I determined the factor by which to adjust both measures based on the year the guy was born. The factors I used were:

Code:
	Height	Weight
1980s+  1.000	1.000
1970s	1.000	0.963
1960s	0.995	0.915
1950s	0.995	0.902
1940s	0.989	0.900
1930s	0.989	0.896
1920s	0.979	0.882
1910s	0.979	0.875
1900s	0.968	0.849
1890s	0.963	0.831
1880s	0.963	0.838
1870s	0.952	0.832
1860s	0.947	0.820
1850s	0.941	0.812
According to this table, the average guy born in the 1850s was only 94.1% as tall and 81.2% as heavy as the average guy born in the 1980s. So when OOTP gives me a guy for my league who born in 1858 and made him 6' 7" and 255 lbs., like this guy, this adjustment brings him down to 6' 2" and 207 lbs.—a lot more reasonable of a player size for a really, really big guy playing in 1888. Skeptical? Take a look through a typical roster from 1888 and see if it doesn't work.

Finally, the process itself of implementing this adjustment was a bit of an interesting hack to figure out. There are lots of players to change, so what I did was create a table of years between 1847 and 1990 and assigned these adjustment factors to each birth year; developed a VLOOKUP in excel to look up the player's year of birth versus the year in my table; and pulled the corresponding factor from my table to adjust down the height and weight appropriately.

I have to export the rosters each season to Excel to make this adjustment, and to make sure I am not adjusting the same players every year, I developed an IF statement looking for his number of pro years. If pro years equals "0", it makes the adjustment; if it's "1" or more, it doesn't, because I already made it when they were rookies themselves.

For you Excel geeks, here's the formula I use for height:

=ROUND(IF($X17="",0,IF($X17>0,Q17,Q17*(VLOOKUP($K17,$ES$19:$EU$172,2,FALSE)))) ,0)

Weight is the same, except for different dependent cells.

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:52 PM   #24
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That's some good work on their h/w stuff right there. For their locales I had the same problem with leagues based in Canada (albeit exagrated since OOTP thinks everyone lives in Toronto/Montreal). Would it be realistic to have everyone hailing from say jsut Derby, and not a speakling from neighbouring towns, with the lone transient that came from a county over/Scot highlands/Ireland/whatever?
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:10 PM   #25
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:12 PM   #26
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiancreed View Post
That's some good work on their h/w stuff right there. For their locales I had the same problem with leagues based in Canada (albeit exagrated since OOTP thinks everyone lives in Toronto/Montreal). Would it be realistic to have everyone hailing from say jsut Derby, and not a speakling from neighbouring towns, with the lone transient that came from a county over/Scot highlands/Ireland/whatever?
Good question. That obviously has to come eventually, soon, as the League starts to establish itself throughout Britain as the best baseball in the country. To start with, at least the first couple of years, everyone comes from the city because they all work at the factory, and there's no robust intercity or metropolitan transit system at the time. You basically live within walking or trolley distance of work. And these guys families' have been there at factories for a couple generations, three or four some of them, so their families are pretty well-seeded right in the city. It's a rough lineage, spawning the kind of guy that baseball attracts in droves.

As top-flight baseball becomes more a professional sport on its own, independent of the semi-pro influence, that's when you start to see some migration from around Britain to cities with top clubs.

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Old 11-03-2013, 11:26 PM   #28
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The last descriptive post to share at this time is the scheduling issue.

Being semi-pro players with regular jobs in iron, shipbuilding and textile factories in the midlands, they couldn't just up and travel around with a team for several months a year—well, not in 1888, anyway. The league is just starting, and it's not even a fait accompli it's going to succeed in the long-term yet, given the ongoing row between the pro and anti factions of the professionalism argument.

So, to work around this issue, the league set up games to occur only around the weekends, with one game on Friday and a doubleheader (a splendid American innovation) on Saturday. Why no games on Sunday? That idea was a huge taboo in England, a country that closed down in its entirety all day on Sunday to allow you ample time to commune with the Lord, all day long, because what else are you gonna do? Everything's closed.

So the English League developed a sixty-six game schedule over the course of 22 weeks, with 1:00pm games on Friday (attended mostly by professionals, office personnel and shift workers), and 1:00pm doubleheaders on Saturday (attended mainly by day shift workers enjoying their newly-won Saturday afternoon off), starting the first weekend of May and ending the last weekend of September.

Because of the financial success of the first year, with some teams clearing a profit—not just revenue, but profit!—of over £500, there's already talk after the first year of expanding the schedule to include weekday games to get even more attendance by shift workers and professionals, and creating a true professional ballplayer class. But cooler heads prevailed for 1889, and it will continue to be a 66-game 22-weekend schedule for the indefinite future.

Here is what the schedule looks like for the defending co-champion Derby County Rams for the upcoming 1889 season. (Note: the Saturday games indicate a 4:00pm start time, but that is actually the second game of the doubleheader, the first game of which starts at 1:00pm):

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Old 11-06-2013, 06:11 PM   #29
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The 1889 Baseball League Season Is About To Commence!

Derby County, Burnley Seek to Fend Off Rivals and Pass By The Other

Future Bright For Bolton Wanderers, Aston Villa Villans

The cold rains of April give way to the only slightly less cold rains of May as the best base ball teams in the north and midlands, and indeed the country, seek to replicate the successes of last year and prove once and for all that base ball is ready to take its rightful place as the summer sport of Britons.

The very best that the game has to offer are lined up at the starting line, awaiting the blast of the gun, and away they will fly, towards the finish line with bats in hand, the prize of the league championship beckoning as their fitting reward.

Both Derby County and Burnley figure to be in the mix from the very beginning. With some of the best talent in the league, the Rams figure to array Vivian 'Mad Dash' Sharp, Theophilus Hurley and venerable old man Fred Holmes, still a sprightly tit in centre field, at the plate to inflict maximum damage to opponents, whilst the pitcher staff headed up by Boy Wonder Brendan Phillips figure to keep opposing batsmen in right check. The cupboard looks a little bare for the Rams, though, so this is the year they need to strike the iron hot and hard on the unwitting foe.

The Clarets, last year's co-champions with a stupendous end of season rush to the line, return the three Freds to their squad. Freds Britton and James lead the pitcher staff, and Stanley leads the batsmen's charge into the fray. Not to be outdone, yet another Fred, the young Harrison, seeks to pick up the mantle to lead the Clarets into the Nineties and beyond.

Waiting in the wings are two clubs from opposite ends of the league's land seeking to insinuate themselves into the top of the proceedings. The Rovers of Blackburn were on the outside looking in on the co-champions' feast last year, but they return a stronger side with Richard Jarvis, Victor Evans and the unfortunately malnamed Ebenezer Ironmonger leading from the plate, with Augustus Perowne and the young Edmund Parker leading the moundsmen. But don't overlook the Wolves of Wolverhampton! Despite a paltry 48% winning record in '88, they look to be much stronger this year with perhaps the best young pitcher for to-day and to-morrow on the mound, 21 year old Kinnard O'Donnel, he of stout Irish stock and with the strong hands of an expert miner. Do not be surprised to see them making a run for glory.

The future is not now for Aston Villa and Bolton. They may surprise all and steal victory at the finish line, but that is doubtful. However, return to these pages two years hence and we may be crowning either one of the champions, as they have the best young stock of future talent in Charles Boyce, Ernest Spinks and Doug Birkett for the Villans, as well as Edward Janes, William Ratcliffe and Gareth Cowan for the Wanderers.

On the other side of the ledger, pity the poor Blues of Everton. They may not be long for this league, and indeed may not make it out of 1889 alive. Don't be surprised to see the club wind up entirely and take their football side down with them.
.

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Old 11-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #30
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Baseball League 1889: Clubs



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Old 11-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #31
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Baseball League 1889: Club Locations


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Old 11-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #32
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Baseball League 1889: Results


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Old 11-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #33
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Baseball League 1889: Final Table and Voting Results


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Without a vote, Sunderland from the Baseball Alliance were chosen to replace Everton for 1890. West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Stoke all retain their positions in the League; rejected were Bootle, Darwen, Grimsby Town and Newton Heath, all of the Alliance; and Sunderland Albion of the Northern League.

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Old 11-06-2013, 11:07 PM   #34
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Baseball League 1888: Team Batting, Pitching, Fielding


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Old 11-06-2013, 11:23 PM   #35
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Baseball League 1889: League Leaders


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Old 11-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #36
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Baseball League 1889: Co-Champions

Aston Villa Villans

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Burnley Clarets


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Old 11-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #37
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Baseball League 1889: Top Game Performances


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Old 11-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #38
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Baseball League 1889: Top 20 Batsmen and Pitchers


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Old 11-07-2013, 08:52 AM   #39
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Baseball League 1889: Top Prospects

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Old 11-07-2013, 08:54 AM   #40
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Baseball League 1889: Financial Report


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