Baseball Reference’s Play Index is Free Through April 15

Next week the TechGraphs team is kicking off the opening week of Major League Baseball with content devoted to the grand old game. We’ll feature apps, websites and all tech that will soak you in all that is baseball. There is some interesting stuff in store, so be sure to check back with us next week.

In the meantime, here’s a little something for you to enjoy as you count down the hours until your team’s first pitch.

Baseball Reference is offering its holy grail of baseball statistics, Play Index, free through April 15. Sign up here and enter the coupon code “analytics”. An active Baseball Reference account is needed to sign up.

Play Index features five main search functions: Season Finder, Game Finder, Split Finder, Streak Finder and Event Finder. There’s also a tool that spits out a list of batter versus pitcher results. Almost anything you ever wanted to know can be found at Play Index, if you know where to look.

Need some examples of the power of Play Index? Check out @AceballStats on Twitter.

More Pedro Guerrero, please.

Baseball Reference also put together 34 searches you need to know that you can check out.

Let’s walk through a search together, you know, to get acquainted. Before I read the comments on the free trial page, I never knew I wanted to know the career leader in walk-off home runs. But now I’m obsessed. Commenter Richard Chester responded to the original inquiry from the comments with steps to reach the results.

  1. Go to Event Finder -> Batting by Team.
  2. The Search Form will have 2014 in the drop down, All Teams and Home Runs. Click on Get Report.
  3. Here are some fun results. But this is only 2014 and home runs in general. Let’s specify this further. Click walk-off, which is in the middle, above the results. In the Search Form in the upper left, change the year to 1938, click the to? button and set the range up to 2014. Get the report.

As you can see, Jim Thome has the most career walk-off home runs in MLB history with 13. Frank Robinson and Mickey Mantle are right behind him with 12. Albert Pujols and David Ortiz lead active players with 11.

Roy Face, who pitched 16 seasons from 1953 to 1969 and went 18-1 in ’59 despite never starting a game, has allowed the most walk-off homers with 16.

I can litter this page with nuggets of data. Yankee Stadium has hosted the most walk-off dingers (145). May is the most common month that walk-off taters occur. And the Cleveland Indians lead all teams with 178 walk-off homers. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second with 170. Scroll down a little further on the page and every walk-off homer recorded from 1940 is chronicled, in order. Was there a walk-off in your honor on the day you were born?

Play Index subscriptions are $36 for one year.

Seth loves baseball and anything with Sriracha in it. Follow him on Twitter @sethkeichline.

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