Help:Submitting early baseball research

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PLEASE NOTE: All new entries for the Spread of Baseball Project should be directed to

This page will walk you through entering and editing information for articles relating to early baseball. If you're ready to enter the information, you've probably already done the research. If not, please see the Spread of Baseball project pages on the Origins Committee website for help:


[edit] Getting started

For help or instructions on general editing of the encyclopedia, visit the Introduction to editing in the encyclopedia page, or click on "Help" at the left of any Encyclopedia page. That article contains a link to a screencast that you may find helpful in editing the Encyclopedia: view the editing screencast.

[edit] Logging in

The SABR Encyclopedia requires that you be logged in to edit pages. Anyone can create an account, so you need not be a SABR member to make changes. Just click "log in / create account" at the upper right of the page. You will need to decipher an image to create an account, but only once. We use this feature to prevent unwanted commercial traffic away from the site.

[edit] Adding information

Early baseball in Wisconsin page

The process to add information is very straightforward. First you need to find the page for the region of your research, which will most likely be a U.S. state or a country (examples: "Wisconsin", "Colombia"), then add your new information. You'll add the information using a form that's no more complicated than what you use to buy something online or send an email.

[edit] Getting to the information entry page

Start by going to the Early baseball page. From there, choose the region for which you want to add data. In the example picture to the right, we will be adding data for Ohio.

Once you are on a region page, you will see three lists: early games, early clubs, and predecessors games. At the end of each list is a link to add new information to that list. You can see the links circled in red on the Ohio screenshot to the right (click to enlarge). Clicking on a link will take you to a page for adding data; the next section will tell you what information to enter there and how to submit the information for review.

[edit] Adding information

There are three areas in which you can add information: games, clubs, and predecessors games. The process for entering information is very similar for all three.

[edit] Adding games

Add game information entry page

Once you've clicked one of the links to add information, you'll be on a form screen like the one at right. The screenshot uses the example of adding a game (again, you can click to enlarge the screen).

On this screen, you can enter the information you've found in your research. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Date – only fill in a date if you are sure of the date. If the date is unclear, use the Date note box instead. For example, if you know that a game was either played on the 4th or 5th of October in 1845, you would enter this:
    • Year: 1845
    • Month: 10
    • Date: (leave date blank)
    • Date note: Either the 4th or 5th
  • City, State, and Country should be the modern name, if available. If you don't know, it's OK to leave them blank. They need to be the modern name because these fields are used for mapping.
  • Site is the particular location (such as a field, or the name of a parcel of land) where the game was played, if you know it. "Elysian Fields" is a good example of a site, but "Hoboken" or "Washington Heights" is not.
  • Was NY Baseball should be your best estimate of whether the game played was the same one we know today. If you're not sure, that's OK, but be sure to choose one of the options.
  • Played by locals asks whether the game was played by people living in the area, or by a traveling team of some sort. Soldiers playing while deployed are not considered locals.
  • Team 1 and Team 2 are the names of the teams, if any. If the game was intramural, please enter "intramural" for team 2. If you only know the name of one team, enter that one as "Team 1" and leave "Team 2" blank.
  • Scores are easy enough fields – if you know the scores, enter them here.
  • Length is a free form field – you can enter a length in innings, in hours, or any other metric.
  • Added by – put your name here if you wish to be credited publicly.
  • Reviewed will be unchecked when you enter new information. The box will be checked once someone has reviewed the information and made the entry officially part of the database.

Once you are finished with the basic data, you should move on to the the summary box below. This summary should include a description of why you believe the game took place on this date, and what evidence you have found for whether or not it was played under New York base ball rules. Please cite sources. Games added with no source information will not be added to the database.

You are strongly encouraged to quote directly from newspaper accounts. All newspapers from the era of baseball's early spread are out of copyright, and having the text on the page allows future researchers to see the totality of evidence.

You don't need to use any specially codes for markup, but do leave a space between each paragraph so that the information formats correctly after everything is complete.

When you are done with the summary, click on Save page. This will take you back to the page for the region you are working on. The information you entered will be in gray until it is reviewed.

You will also see these items at the bottom of the page - here is an explanation of what they mean:

  • Edit Summary: Intended as a short description of the changes you've made, this is recorded in the article's history, but not on the page itself. This is optional.
  • Watch this page: This allows you to keep track of new changes to a page. You can view pages you're watching by clicking on "my watchlist" at the top of any page.

The same basic process can be repeated for adding clubs and predecessors games – see below for specific information on fields that are different. You can find the links for "Add club," and "Add predecessor game," at the bottom of each respective section.

[edit] Adding clubs

This section only lists the fields that are different than the fields for for games. Please see above for information on fields that are the same.

  • Date for clubs refers to the specific date the club was formed, if you know it for sure. This will likely differ from the date of the first game, but if you have that information as well, be sure to enter it in the notes field at the bottom.
  • Nickname – if the club had an official nickname, this is the place for it. Not all clubs did, and it is OK to leave this field blank.

[edit] Adding predecessor games

This section only lists the one field that is different than the fields for for early baseball games. Please see above for information on fields that are the same.

  • Name of game – if the account gives a name for the game played, list it here.

[edit] Including original source documents

Since almost all of the games and other events we are researching in this project occurred before 1923, contemporary accounts are in the public domain. This means that, if they are available, we are free to include either full text or scans of articles in the Encyclopedia. As an example, this game in Arkansas has a nice scanned newspaper article.

You can get copies of articles into the Encyclopedia in two ways:

  1. Retype – the simplest way is to type the entire article in. However, it's nice to have an scanned version available as well.
  2. Upload images yourself – this is a bit more technical, but feel free to do it this way if you'd like. There is help available on uploading in the help page on adding pictures to articles, and you can see how to include an image on the page in the page for the Arkansas game

[edit] Final steps

Once you have added information, it will be automatically brought to the attention of the review committee – you need not take any further action. You may receive an email asking for more information, or you may not. You can check back to see if your information is added to the database.

[edit] Example: Wisconsin

There are a number of entries for the state of Wisconsin, and they are all formatted in the proper way, with sources properly noted using footnotes or lists of publications. If you prefer to work from an example, you can see the "behind the scenes" view of these pages by pressing "edit" at the top of any of the games or clubs in the state. Special thanks to Dennis Pajot for sending in such good and interesting accounts of Wisconsin early ballplaying.

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