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Old 01-27-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
moonlight graham
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Absurdly large all-time greats quickstart: 5000 players, 114 teams

This project was inspired in part by Captain Walrus's all-time greats quickstart. CW observed that the oldest franchises are significantly advantaged in the default 30-team all-time quickstart that comes with the game because they have so much more history and so many more players to draw from. His solution was to split the pre-expansion franchises into two teams each. However even this leaves some of the expansion teams at a disadvantage. So I took it a step further by dividing each franchise into the eras set forth in this Bill James article:*

1876-1892 (Era 1 - Early)
1893-1919 (Era 2 - Deadball)
1920-1946 (Era 3 - Liveball)
1947-1968 (Era 4 - Integration)
1969-1992 (Era 5 - Expansion)
1993-2015 (Era 6 - Modern)
*When it comes to the dividing lines, I actually cared mostly about run environment whereas James took a ton of different factors into account. But as it turns out, I think these are also the most natural dividing lines as far as run environment is concerned.
Every player from 1876-2015 who had at least one season of 2 fWAR or greater is assigned to a team and an era. (Pitchers could qualify by either fWAR or RA9-WAR.) In deciding which season to pick for each player, I didn't have a particularly rigorous method. I basically eyeballed it. The major factors I considered were as follows:
  • I tried to put each player with his "signature team" if he had one. The factors I used to determine that team were WAR, WAA, and PA/IP. In cases where a player's best season was not with his signature team but was significantly better than his next best season in terms of WAR, I would be more likely to go with the better year from the secondary team. So Scott Rolen is on the Cardinals since his stint with St. Louis is only a notch or two below his stint with Philadelphia, but his best season was clearly with St. Louis. On the other hand, Roger Clemens is not a Blue Jay because that just seemed silly. Kevin Brown isn't a Padre. It's all a highly unscientific balancing test. For lesser known players who aren't necessarily associated with a certain team, I was more likely to just pick the best season.
  • If I could pick an earlier season from a player's career without sacrificing too much WAR, I did so. My thought was that it would increase the multi-year playability of the league if the best players were generally younger. So Barry Bonds's season is 1993, Babe Ruth's is 1920, and so on.
  • Finally, I tried to make sure that everyone was within their proper era, if they had one. That is, if the bulk of their production occurred in one era then ideally their season should be from that era. So Tom Glavine doesn't get his 1991 season even though it's his best, because the bulk of his production came from Era 6, not Era 5.
So that's how I thought about it. The end result is that not everyone's very best season is chosen, but everyone is well within their prime.

The next question was how to handle the "rump teams." That is, sticking strictly to the era dividers above creates a few rosters that are too small to field a team. For the 1961-62 expansion teams, I just added the pre-1969 players - who strictly should be in Era 4 - into Era 5.*
*Incidentally, HOU5, LAA5, and NYM5 are all strong teams, although I'm not sure how much of that is because of the "extra" players they get from their pre-1969 years.
The real trickiness was how to handle Era 1. Not only is it the shortest era, but the American Association teams didn't start until 1882 at the earliest, plus there were many now-defunct teams constantly starting and folding across multiple leagues.* What I ended up doing was grouping Era 1 players by region rather than strictly by franchise. Some of the teams, like BLN1, CHC1, CIN1, and LOU1, are composed almost entirely of player seasons from the franchise in question. (Baltimore gets a couple DC players and Louisville gets a few Hoosiers, but they could have fielded complete teams without the outsiders.) On the other end of the spectrum, PIT1 has more players from Columbus than Pittsburgh, BSN1 includes a sizable Providence contingent, CLV1 covers the entire Great Lakes region (Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse etc). NYG1 is composed of all the New York players (Giants, Bridegrooms, Metropolitans etc), PHI1 includes Phillies and Athletics alike. You get the idea. Finally, I assigned player seasons from defunct teams after 1892 (mostly Colonels, Orioles, and Spiders) to Era 1, even though strictly speaking they belonged in Era 2.
*I ignored player seasons that occurred in the National Association, the Union Association, and later the Federal League. I also largely ignored player seasons from WW2 years.
The next step was to name the teams and figure out what parks to put them in. I decided to simply import actual historical teams - one per franchise per era - and then clear the real rosters and import all the players I'd chosen using the above methods.* The main thing I looked for in choosing these team seasons was a diversity of ballparks.** But only up to a point - I didn't go out of my way to choose teams from 19th century ballparks that we have little information about, and I resisted the temptation to put LAD4 in the Coliseum.
*I set the import to neutralize players' stats because that seemed like the thing to do when mixing such wildly different eras.

**I wanted to maximize the number of parks to make scheduling easier and simply because I really like the 3D models of all the old parks.
If the park wasn't a consideration then I generally just picked a good team from the era in question. The main thing to understand is that the years in the team names are mostly meaningless apart from indicating which year the park factors and uniforms are from etc. So for example the SEA6 team is named the Seattle 2001 Mariners, but the team is composed of player seasons from 1993-2015, it's merely based in the 2001 ballpark. I'm not a huge fan of this naming convention but I couldn't think of any better options. I don't really like "Seattle Era 6 Mariners" for example.*
*If you'll indulge the lament of a Seattle fan: the whole time I was putting this league together I was planning to play as SEA6 and expecting to be pretty competitive - Griffey, Edgar, Ichiro, and Felix all in their primes, peak Mike Cameron, peak Moyer, peak Seager, 2001 Bret Boone etc. Maybe this was naive given the gaping chasm of futility that was the Bavasi and Zduriencik years, but it seems like a good team on paper! Turns out it's one of the very worst of the 114 teams. Which is basically a microcosm of being a Mariners fan - investing a lot of time and energy into something only to be met with hilariously comprehensive (and yet in hindsight completely predictable) failure and disappointment.
So here are the 114 teams, split absurdly into 6 divisions of 19:

Northeast
BOS2 Boston 1903 Americans
BOS3 Boston 1946 Red Sox
BOS4 Boston 1949 Red Sox
BOS5 Boston 1977 Red Sox
BOS6 Boston 2013 Red Sox
BRO2 Brooklyn 1899 Superbas
BRO3 Brooklyn 1941 Dodgers
BSN1 Boston 1877 Red Caps
BSN2 Boston 1897 Beaneaters
BSN3 Boston 1937 Bees
NYG2 New York 1905 Giants
NYG3 New York 1921 Giants
NYY2 New York 1904 Highlanders
NYY3 New York 1927 Yankees
NYY4 New York 1961 Yankees
NYY5 New York 1977 Yankees
NYY6 New York 2011 Yankees
PHA2 Philadelphia 1905 Athletics
PHA3 Philadelphia 1929 Athletics

East
ATL5 Atlanta 1992 Braves
ATL6 Atlanta 1998 Braves
BAL4 Baltimore 1966 Orioles
BAL5 Baltimore 1969 Orioles
BAL6 Baltimore 1997 Orioles
MIA6 Miami 2014 Marlins
NYG1 New York 1891 Giants
NYM5 New York 1986 Mets
NYM6 New York 2015 Mets
PHI1 Philadelphia 1887 Quakers
PHI2 Philadelphia 1915 Phillies
PHI3 Philadelphia 1932 Phillies
PHI4 Philadelphia 1952 Phillies
PHI5 Philadelphia 1976 Phillies
PHI6 Philadelphia 2011 Phillies
TBR6 Tampa Bay 2008 Rays
WSH2 Washington 1910 Senators
WSH3 Washington 1930 Senators
WSN6 Washington 2014 Nationals

Central
BLN1 Baltimore 1895 Orioles
CIN1 Cincinnati 1884 Red Stockings
CIN2 Cincinnati 1904 Reds
CIN3 Cincinnati 1940 Reds
CIN4 Cincinnati 1965 Reds
CIN5 Cincinnati 1975 Reds
CIN6 Cincinnati 2012 Reds
KCR5 Kansas City 1977 Royals
KCR6 Kansas City 2015 Royals
LOU1 Louisville 1890 Colonels
MIN4 Minnesota 1965 Twins
MIN5 Minnesota 1991 Twins
MIN6 Minnesota 2010 Twins
PIT1 Pittsburgh 1891 Pirates
PIT2 Pittsburgh 1902 Pirates
PIT3 Pittsburgh 1925 Pirates
PIT4 Pittsburgh 1960 Pirates
PIT5 Pittsburgh 1971 Pirates
PIT6 Pittsburgh 2015 Pirates

Great Lakes
CHW2 Chicago 1905 White Sox
CHW3 Chicago 1920 White Sox
CHW4 Chicago 1954 White Sox
CHW5 Chicago 1983 White Sox
CHW6 Chicago 1994 White Sox
CLE2 Cleveland 1906 Naps
CLE3 Cleveland 1920 Indians
CLE4 Cleveland 1948 Indians
CLE5 Cleveland 1976 Indians
CLE6 Cleveland 1995 Indians
CLV1 Cleveland 1892 Spiders
DET2 Detroit 1909 Tigers
DET3 Detroit 1935 Tigers
DET4 Detroit 1968 Tigers
DET5 Detroit 1984 Tigers
DET6 Detroit 2013 Tigers
MON5 Montreal 1979 Expos
TOR5 Toronto 1985 Blue Jays
TOR6 Toronto 2015 Blue Jays

Midwest
CHC1 Chicago 1876 White Stockings
CHC2 Chicago 1906 Cubs
CHC3 Chicago 1935 Cubs
CHC4 Chicago 1967 Cubs
CHC5 Chicago 1984 Cubs
CHC6 Chicago 2008 Cubs
COL6 Colorado 2007 Rockies
KCA4 Kansas City 1958 Athletics
MIL5 Milwaukee 1982 Brewers
MIL6 Milwaukee 2011 Brewers
MLN4 Milwaukee 1957 Braves
SLB2 St. Louis 1916 Browns
SLB3 St. Louis 1922 Browns
STL1 St. Louis 1886 Browns
STL2 St. Louis 1899 Perfectos
STL3 St. Louis 1931 Cardinals
STL4 St. Louis 1949 Cardinals
STL5 St. Louis 1985 Cardinals
STL6 St. Louis 2013 Cardinals

West
ANA6 Anaheim 2002 Angels
ARI6 Arizona 1999 Diamondbacks
HOU5 Houston 1986 Astros
HOU6 Houston 2015 Astros
LAA5 Los Angeles 1961 Angels
LAD4 Los Angeles 1966 Dodgers
LAD5 Los Angeles 1974 Dodgers
LAD6 Los Angeles 2009 Dodgers
OAK5 Oakland 1988 Athletics
OAK6 Oakland 2001 Athletics
SDP5 San Diego 1984 Padres
SDP6 San Diego 2010 Padres
SEA5 Seattle 1982 Mariners
SEA6 Seattle 2001 Mariners
SFG4 San Francisco 1959 Giants
SFG5 San Francisco 1987 Giants
SFG6 San Francisco 2002 Giants
TEX5 Texas 1977 Rangers
TEX6 Texas 2011 Rangers

A few drawbacks of the setup and methods I've described:
  • Most obviously, the league is comically large. So large that a team can't even play all the other teams once in a season. Although now that I think of it, you could try setting the typical series length to one game and see what happens. On the other hand, come playoff time we get a fun 32-team bracket and five rounds of postseason baseball, so the size issue isn't all bad.
  • Relocations are clunky. Captain Walrus handled this really elegantly by splitting his franchises at the point of their relocation. So Senators and Twins were mostly kept separate, same with Browns and Orioles, Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Giants and San Francisco Giants. Unfortunately the eras we're using don't easily allow for this because the relocations happen right in the middle of Era 4, meaning that for these franchises, players from before and after the relocation are all mixed together.* This messiness leads to Jackie Robinson in Los Angeles rather than Brooklyn. We run into a similar problem in Era 6, where Vladimir Guerrero ends up in DC rather than Montreal. I don't particularly like it, but in the case of the Nats, I like it better than taking 12 years worth of players away from WSN6 and giving them to MON5.**
*In choosing where to base these teams that straddle a relocation, I stuck with the ballpark diversity criteria. We get MIN4 rather than WSH4 so we can get a team in Metropolitan Stadium rather than a second team in Griffith Stadium. We get SFG4 rather than NYG4 so we can get Seals Stadium rather than a third era at the Polo Grounds. Which in turn means we get LAD4 rather than BRO4, to keep the Giants and Dodgers symmetrical. Since neither SLB4 nor BAL4 would net us an additional park, I just went with Baltimore because the team made such an improvement after leaving St. Louis, plus I figured there are more Orioles fans than Browns fans out there who might be downloading this.

**There are other, even more ridiculous "solutions" to the Expos/Nationals problem, most of which involve Bryce Harper playing outfield in Puerto Rico. It's pretty clear to me that one Expos team and one Nats team is better than two Expos teams and no Nats team, although I suppose if you're, say, a Mets fan, your mileage may vary. But for the rest of us, Vlad and his Montreal teammates in DC is the least bad option that I've come up with.
So how is the actual gameplay with this league? I've had quite a bit of fun with it but I won't lie, there's some weird stuff going on. I'm pretty new to OOTP and I have some questions about some of the strange outcomes I'm getting with this league.* I'm hoping some of this stuff is fixable.
  • What the fresh hell is up with all the strikeouts? Some batters are pushing 300 and a bunch of pitchers are cracking 400.
  • The Yankees in particular seem completely backwards: NYY3 is bad, NYY6 is terrible, whereas NYY2 and NYY5 are good.
  • Why is Griffey so bad? Why is Ruth so mediocre? Same with Bob Gibson. Why is Harry Brecheen so good? Why are the Diamondbacks good?
  • What on earth is going on with CIN2? Their team AVG is consistently ~50 points higher than the next best team in the league. Dick Hoblitzell is a perennial threat to hit .400. So are Edd Roush and Cy Seymour, and Hans Lobert is also an elite hitter. My first guess would be the ballpark, but then Noodles Hahn is consistently one of the best pitchers in the league with an ERA often under 2.00!
*It's not all wacky. Some things that seem right: SEA5 is the worst team. CHC5, CLE5, and SLB2 are terrible. Pedro is the best pitcher.
When I played the default all-time greats quickstart, I thought the results were reasonably close to what it might be like in real life. Hitters' stats were held down some by facing only elite pitchers, but pitchers' stats suffered more due to the multiplier effects of nearly every lineup slot being occupied by an elite hitter. Moreover, the best hitters were still the best hitters and the best pitchers were still the best pitchers. That's definitely not the case with this league right now, even though in theory the stats should be closer to real life because the overall talent distribution is closer to real life.

Anyway, I apologize for the length of this post. It's big, like the league I made. I had a lot of fun putting this together and I hope other folks are able to get some enjoyment out of it too. I love that the depth of OOTP makes this kind of thing possible. I'm really curious to hear any feedback for how to improve the quickstart as a whole, and to learn more about some of the weird results I mentioned above. Thanks and enjoy!

Download the quickstart here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/goanpzp876...quick.zip?dl=0

Last edited by moonlight graham; 01-29-2017 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:23 PM   #2
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I'll be downloading this later this evening! Looking forward to it!
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
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On Indians where's Andrew Miller and so on from 2016 Team? Cubs Chapman/Baez/Zobrist and so on 2016 Team? Southeast Division? California? Full Minor Leagues? Looks great.
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Last edited by mgom27; 01-27-2017 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:52 PM   #4
moonlight graham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgom27 View Post
On Indians where's Andrew Miller and so on from 2016 Team? Cubs Chapman/Baez/Zobrist and so on 2016 Team? Southeast Division? California? Full Minor Leagues? Looks great.
I didn't include any 2016 seasons since as I understand it, 2015 is the last historical season that OOTP17 has in its database. Importing a 2016 player would essentially import the player as he was projected to play prior to 2016, whereas a 2015 player's ratings would be grounded in his actual 2015 performance. At least that's how I thought of it, but again I'm new to the game so I might be making some faulty assumptions. When OOTP18 comes out I'm going to do an update that adds in 2016 seasons and Baez will definitely be part of that. As for Zobrist, he is with TBR6 since the Rays were his signature team and he had his best years with them. Chapman is with CIN6 for the same reason.

As of now Miller is with NYY6 for his 2015 year. Your asking about Miller reminded me of something I forgot to mention though, which is that I ignored multi-team seasons, mostly because my spreadsheet wasn't really conducive to mucking around with them. But again, in general I'm looking for a player's best season with his best team, and I figure it's going to be relatively uncommon that a partial season fits that bill.

As for full minor leagues, I decided to follow the lead of the default all-timers quickstart and forgo them in favor of a reserve roster only. I actually I haven't messed around with MiLB at all yet so it'd be well beyond my capabilities to set it up on this scale. Besides, basically every useful player in the history of MLB is already present and accounted for here, so if we stuck with historical guys for the minors it would be almost entirely scrubs, although I guess that's not so different from the real minors. I did enable the amateur draft and international/indy free agents so multi-year GMs will hopefully be able to fill roster holes that open up that way.
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:33 AM   #5
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Their are some Guys that are on 2 Teams and you have Bryant on the Cubs so Baez others could be put on one of the Cubs Teams.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:18 PM   #6
moonlight graham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgom27 View Post
Their are some Guys that are on 2 Teams and you have Bryant on the Cubs so Baez others could be put on one of the Cubs Teams.
He definitely could! Bryant is on there for his 2015 year (although that will probably be updated to his 2016 when OOTP18 comes out). Baez has only one season over 2 WAR and it's 2016. Since the dataset I was working with only extends through 2015, that's why Baez is nowhere to be found, but he could definitely be added in if folks are so inclined.

I just double checked the player database and couldn't find any duplicate players that are on more than one team so if you're seeing some, I'm curious where. Part of the whole thing I wanted to do was only have one season from each player.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:05 PM   #7
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Thanks and theirs other Cubs/Indians from Last years World Series Rosters that might be needed. Also Zobrist played on 2015 Royals.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the work you put into this. I have been kicking around doing a massive league myself - with the existing 30 organizations having minor leagues and running a full draft. The player pool, while a bit bigger than my initial idea, will work well with that setup. Looking forward to tweaking this for my idea as well as using your original 114 teams.
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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How do you move this quickstart from the downloaded file to the game?
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