I am absolutely confident in reporting that Baseball-Reference.com just announced THE BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK:
We are very pleased to announce that we have added complete NPB stats back to the start of professional baseball in Japan in 1936. This work was compiled from existing sources by Ted Turocy (creator of the Chadwick Baseball Bureau). These stats are updated daily, so you can track Wladimir Balentien’s chase of Sadaharu Oh.
This data was also incorporated into our MLB players pages. So if you go to Ichiro’s page, you will now see a “Show NPB/Minors” link above his batting stats and clicking on that will show you his NPB stats along with his mlb stats.
It was exciting last year when B-R.com published Negro Leagues statistics … but it wasn’t that exciting, you know? Because without a great deal of additional work, it’s very difficult to know what those statistics say. Not to mention that the database is still terribly incomplete. Hall of Famer Cool Papa Bell? No statistics.
Which makes that part of the site just occasionally useful.
But complete NPB stats going to back to 1936?
That, friends, is useful. I don’t even know where to start, but you know the pages for Sadaharu Oh and Charlie Manuel and Wladimir Balentien and Victor Starfin and Warren Cromartie are worth a click. Along with a few thousand others, I suspect we’ll discover in the coming weeks and months and years.
Thank you Baseball Gods!*
* and Sean Forman