About the Pre-Pro Data Base

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Protoball's "Pre-Pro" data base serves as a reservoir for information on games, clubs, and other information on the evolution of base ball, most of it prior to the first professional league formed in 1871. This data base originated in a suggestion from Craig B. Waff that he systematically scour archived sources to compile a Games Tabulation for modern base ball prior to the Civil War. Craig ultimately listed nearly 1700 early games, drawn from more than 3300 published accounts, in version 1.0 of the "Games Tab." The portal for this initial version, uploaded in 2008, is at http://protoball.org/The_Craig_B._Waff_Games_Tabulation.

Sadly, we lost Craig to a heart attack in 2012. His family estimates that he had by then collected 800 additional games. We are working to see if that work can result in version 2.0 of the Waff Games Tab Data-Base.

SABR's Origins Committee launched is Spread of Base Ball project shortly thereafter. The idea was to record, in one place, data on the earliest known base ball games, and clubs, across the United States and around the world. When SABR later decided not to continue to support the SABRpedia, where these data were posted, the data on early games and clubs was transferred to Protoball.org.

A primary mover in creating the Pre-Pro data base has been Bruce Allardice, who has single-handedly contributed over 8000 new entries to the data base. Richard Hershberger is another major contributor; he has tabulated about 750 early clubs and shared them with Protoball.

As of the fall of 2020, the data base includes data on over 8900 clubs and over 4000 individual games. Some of them, of source are incomplete. Most of the data pertains to base ball prior to the establishment of the first profession league in 1871, but where the local origin of the game came later, it has been added. Protoball users are encouraged to help correct and extend data in the data base. At present, the data base includes some games played by rules other than those of "modern" (Knickerbocker) rules.

-- Larry McCray, August 2015