The first meeting of Retrosheet, Inc. was held in Arlington, TX on June 17, 1994. The collection of game accounts in hand that fall was about 50% of games played from 1901 through 1983. Fewer than 10,000 games had been computerized and none had been proofed and released at that point.
The principal topic of discussion at our second meeting in 1995 was how to distribute data files once they were available. Copying files to floppy disk (remember them?) was the primary option. At the 1997 meeting (our fourth), it was announced that our first two released seasons, 1982 and 1983, were available on our very own website. This was an exciting development and major step for the organization.
In 2001, the website expanded greatly when the section with game logs, box scores and player statistics opened. This addition made the Retrosheet website one of the most visited Internet sites for baseball. As Jayson Stark said a few years later:
"Do we even remember life before Retrosheet? ... For triviologists like myself, it's like hitting the lottery every time I click on it."
By the time of the 10th meeting in 2003, the collection of game accounts represented 63% of the games played from 1901 through 1983. The computerized games had grown to 68,485 with at least one game in the computer for every year in that time span. Retrosheet volunteers had proofed and released 19 complete seasons of data.
During the 20th meeting in 2013, it was announced that we now had game accounts for 82% (96,139 of 116,961) of the 1901 to 1983 games. 74% (86,949) of those had computerized. For 1901-2012, our volunteers had computerized 84% of the games played (152,745 of 182,757), and we had released 62 seasons play-by-play accounts.
The 25th meeting in 2018 was momentous as the Board was expanded from five to seven, Tom Shieber and Scott Fischthal were the new members. It was also announced that we have now released play-by-play accounts for 97 seasons (1921-2017), For the period of 1901-2017 we have play-by-play accounts for 180,530 of the 194,908 games played, which is ove 92% of the total.
The following links will take you to various items of interest in the history of the organization.
Who We Are (general description)
Meetings (with minutes, photos and presentations)
Board members (with photos)