The world of Retrosheet: World Series events

With the Cardinals hosting the Rangers to start the 2011 World Series, here are some numbers from the play-by-play data provided by Retrosheet. This consists of 617 games and 47,586 events.

First a look at the type of events* in the play-by-play data and the breakdown of events by baserunners on base.

* Remember that the rough event descriptions used here are not very fine-grained. As the World Series progress, we’ll take a look at some of the more unique plays in more detail

The bases-loaded caught stealing should be an interesting tidbit. (Gene Tenace, 1973 World Series. Well, he was used to being caught stealing, as he had 36 stolen bases in his career and 42 caught stealings).

ID EVENT N bases_empty bases_1 bases_2 bases_12 bases_3 bases_13 bases_23 bases_full
2 generic out 24134 13540 4829 1906 1671 639 634 391 524
3 strikeout 6960 4150 1152 562 430 180 192 139 155
4 stolen base 609 1 452 40 31 3 80 2 0
5 defensive indifferen 22 0 17 2 0 0 3 0 0
6 caught stealing 389 0 326 19 12 4 25 2 1
8 pickoff 166 0 105 16 28 2 13 1 1
9 wild pitch 225 0 94 39 47 14 19 6 6
10 passed ball 67 0 30 16 10 3 6 1 1
11 balk 27 0 20 4 2 0 1 0 0
12 other advance 20 0 7 3 2 3 3 2 0
13 foul error 18 10 4 2 1 1 0 0 0
14 nonintentional walk 3414 2009 534 345 170 116 83 83 74
15 intentional walk 403 0 2 185 2 48 11 155 0
16 hit by pitch 271 149 45 18 26 10 12 6 5
17 interference 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1
18 error 685 347 115 83 61 22 19 22 16
19 fielder choice 244 0 35 83 14 32 43 34 3
20 single 7122 4034 1404 493 468 208 252 100 163
21 double 1663 958 302 116 105 63 56 38 25
22 triple 301 186 32 24 23 10 10 8 8
23 homerun 841 496 147 51 59 17 35 18 18

Below are the plays for the start of game action. Interesting enough, a hit by pitch is more likely than a triple. These two triples occurred almost exactly 10 years apart. Willie Randolph of the Yankees started the 1981 World Series with a triple on Oct. 24. Then in the 1991 World Series, the Twins Clinton Gladden waited until Game Three and started the Oct. 22 contest with a triple.

ID Event N
2 generic out 318
3 strikeout 103
14 nonintentional walk 47
16 hit by pitch 5
18 error 4
20 single 108
21 double 21
22 triple 2
23 home run 9

Game-ending plays are always interesting, but a game-ending and series-ending wild pitch? In fact, in Game Four of the 1927 World Series, Pirates pitcher Johnny Miljus had TWO wild pitches in the inning. The first allowed Earle Combs to move from second to third. The second one allowed Combs to score.

The Pirates did get back at the Yankees a few decades later, when Pittsburgh recorded the only Game Seven, game-ending home run in World Series history.

ID EVENT N bases_empty bases_1 bases_2 bases_12 bases_3 bases_13 bases_23 bases_full
2 generic out 441 174 108 39 56 21 18 11 14
3 strikeout 120 55 24 15 9 3 7 2 5
6 caught stealing 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 wild pitch 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
10 passed ball 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
18 error 3 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
20 single 29 0 0 3 13 1 2 1 9
21 double 5 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 0
23 homerun 14 10 0 2 2 0 0 0 0

Run scoring events. Not since Oct. 14, 1912, has a World Series pitcher balked home a run. But Buck O’Brien balked home Larry Doyle in the bottom of the first, leading to five runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Red Sox ended up losing the game, 5-2.

ID EVENT N RUN SCORING
2 generic out 24134 525
3 strikeout 6960 5
4 stolen base 609 19
5 defensive indifferen 22 0
6 caught stealing 389 5
8 pickoff 166 6
9 wild pitch 225 45
10 passed ball 67 9
11 balk 27 1
12 other advance 20 2
13 foul error 18 0
14 nonintentional walk 3414 77
15 intentional walk 403 0
16 hit by pitch 271 5
17 interference 5 1
18 error 685 129
19 fielder choice 244 29
20 single 7122 1408
21 double 1663 530
22 triple 301 119
23 homerun 841 841

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