Thursday, October 28, 2010

A History Lesson For Baseball Reference

I tried to go through the proper channels, but I'm afraid that has ultimately failed, so as a last resort, I'm just going public with this information.

This is Roy Schalk's baseball reference page. He is not Ray Schalk, even though the picture shown is actually of Ray Schalk. To my knowledge, these two players aren't even related. Ray Schalk was a Hall of Fame catcher who played from 1912 until 1929. The first seventeen of those years were with the White Sox. The last year was spent with the New York Giants.

Roy Schalk played with the New York Yankees in 1932. His next shot at the majors came with the White Sox in 1944 and 1945. Roy Schalk was a second baseman and occasional shortstop.

This 1936 card of Roy Schalk is an error. You can even see (Ray) listed under Roy's name in the PSA description. The card was actually supposed to be Ray Schalk, but was misspelled "Roy". Therein lies decades of confusion.

Below is an actual picture of Roy Schalk, with the White Sox in either 1944 or 1945. These two players could not look any different.

I e-mailed baseball-reference.com and got a basic reply saying that it would be looked into. Nothing has happened in several months, so I took it upon myself to point out the correction. It may not mean much to the average visitor to the site, but that doesn't mean that it should go uncorrected. Every player deserves the same type of treatment, whether he played one game or thousands.

If it seems like I'm stepping on toes, I'm not trying to. I'm a stickler for detail when it comes to baseball related items. I would expect that website would be the epitome of stickler-ish detail.

Now you know. And yes, knowing is half the battle.

12 comments:

confessionsofasportsjunkie said...

I will have to email them as well. Maybe a few emails can get something done.

deal said...

it may take time to make the change - I have mailed corrections to retrosheet, that have been made - and I was even credited as a researcher - there is a BB card blogger who contributes frequently to the BR blog who may be helpful to email - Andy (http://www.blogger.com/profile/05644396308532248413). It does not have his email - but maybe you can track him down via his blogs.

oh and definitely a good find.

thewritersjourney said...

Excellent post, Steve.

night owl said...

I have Andy's email if you need it.

White Sox Cards said...

I have Andy's e-mail address. I didn't want to play the friend card. I was hoping to get this accomplished by the normal channels available. Most people don't have the luxury of knowing someone who contributes to the site to address these types of concerns.

I understand that a picture correction for a middle infielder that only played in three seasons spread out over fourteen years isn't a top priority. I'm just hoping that the public forum of this will eventually get things done.

Collective Troll said...

You are a one of a kind fan Steve!!! I spend hours a week on Baseball Ref and I never noticed that before, but I will say that I take what I find on BR to be FACT, and I think most people do. An error or incorrect info is very dangerous, regardless of when the player played or how often. Good luck clearing this up and thanks for your attention to details! Cheers!

Matthew Glidden said...

Very nice catch and kudos for your patience. It's not exactly Wikipedia accessibility. :-)

It's good to see Andy writing regularly about cards on B-R. After talking with other collectors and having my own (very minor) exchange with one of the behind-the-scenes folks, it feels like stat and research folks keep hobbyists at arm's length.

White Sox Cards said...

Most people consider B-R to be exactly what it states... reference.

It is good to see cards becoming a bigger presence on B-R and I love the fact that Andy is a HUGE part of that. If my beef was merely a hobby orientated issue, then I could shrug it off. Someone at B-R chose to put pictures of the players on each player page, which I absolutely applaud. When any piece of information is falsely presented on that site, I would hope that when pointed out, steps would be taken to correct the false information, especially when the correct information is essentially handed to them.

Maybe the site's name should be changed to baseball-stats, if the only information that gets corrected is statistical based.

Johngy said...

I have sent stuff on corrections a few times. Once I told them about Larry Colton being traded to the Cubs. I heard it directly from Larry (and it was also in his book). He never pitched for the major league team though. It took BR a long time to finally put it on their site, but eventually it was put there.

White Sox Cards said...

Hopefully that's the same case here.

Brian Cooper said...

I am Ray Schalk's biographer. That's correct: Ray Schalk and Roy Schalk are not related.

White Sox Cards said...

Brain,

Thank you for the verification! :-)

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