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, almost all of it occurring  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 his "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. 

SABR's Origins Committee launched its 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. 'SABRpedia' data on early games and clubs were transferred to Protoball.org.

A primary mover in creating the Pre-Pro data base has been Bruce Allardice, who has single-handedly contributed over 11,000 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 spring of 2024, the data base included data on nearly 13,000 clubs and over 5,000 individual games. Some of them, of course are incomplete. Most of the data pertains to base ball prior to the establishment of the first professional 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. The data base includes some games played by rules other than those of "modern" (Knickerbocker) rules.

-- Larry McCray and Bruce Allardice