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Retroactive All-Star Game SABR Project

How many All-Star games would Babe Ruth have made? How about Shoeless Joe Jackson? SABR is attempting to find that out, and it's up to you to decide who would have made All-Star games that didn't exist until 1933.

Jim McIsaac

Many of you know SABR. Some of you might even be members. Certainly, a good portion of you are familiar with the organization and what they do. This is one of the coolest.

There weren't All-Star games from until 1933. So Chuck Hildebrandt is heading up what SABR is calling the "Retroactive All-Star Game Project", using first half split numbers from Baseball-Reference in those years, and then having people vote on players, and will incorporate the fantastic baseball simulation game OOTP 14 in their final conclusion post. Here's all the details, straight from Chuck.

Every baseball fan knows that the first All-Star Game was played in Chicago in 1933. But calls for a midseason All-Star contest go back to the offseason of 1915-16, starting with this article that appeared in Baseball Magazine.

We can't go back in time to change history and replay those lost potential All Star Games on the field. But with a good game simulator and the recent availability of midseason stats going back to 1916, we can arrive at a good idea of who would probably have played those All Star Games and how they might have turned out.

That's what we're doing with the Retroactive All Star Game Project: using the statistics available at Baseball Reference for the first halves of the 1916 through 1932 seasons, midseason All Stars will be determined; and using OOTP 14, the games will be played.

And as they did in 1933, the fans-meaning you-will get to vote for the All Star game starters, including starting pitchers, which is how they did it back then.

Starting right now, you can vote for the 1916 All Star starters and pitchers here:

Voting will be open until 3:00am east coast time on 9/27/13; 12 midnight west coast time. At that time, we will count up the votes, put together the rosters, and sim the game.

Then-and here's the best part-the box score and the game account will be posted, written in 1916-style, on the following week. And while you're waiting for that to appear, you'll be able to vote on the 1917 All Stars (link coming). We'll rinse and repeat, every two weeks, until we've played all the All Star games through 1932.

Sound interesting? If you've read this far, you must be. So click on this link:

... and vote today, and be on the lookout in early October for the first Retroactive All Star games story on

Despite how silly the All-Star game voting seems now, this is a ridiculously cool project, and as a OOTP nerd myself I love that SABR is doing this. It's crazy to think that Babe Ruth only made two All-Star games, when he was 38 and 39 - simply because the game didn't exist before then. How many teams would he have made? 15? Did he play enough in the first half of 1925 to keep a remarkable consecutive streak going? Now it's up to you.

If this tickles your fancy as much as it tickles mine, make sure to take the time to vote and keep up with the project all winter long.