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Old 12-06-2001, 02:23 AM   #1
Steve Kuffrey
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Post How do I make a historical league or use an imported past season in the game?

FAQ CREATING A HISTORICAL LEAGUE-Steve McCarthy
WHAT DO I NEED TO CREATE A HISTORICAL LEAGUE?
Okay, so you have just downloaded the best baseball game on the market and you are dying to replay the 1927 season, or any other season for that matter. What steps do you have to follow and how much will it cost for the seasons?
The good news is the steps are quite simple if you follow them properly and the great news is that once you have bought OOTP3 you can have every season since 1901 right at your fingertips free, yes free of charge.

MAKE SURE YOUR GAME IS UP TO DATE
STEP 1- Ensure you have the latest patch for the game. If you just downloaded it you most likely do. If not, or you are not sure, check out the OOTP3 downloads page
<a href="http://www.sportplanet.com/ootp3/downloads.html" target="_blank">http://www.sportplanet.com/ootp3/downloads.html</a>
At the time I wrote this the latest download was called version 3.1a To confirm you have version 3.1a installed on your computer start up your OOTP3 game and when the screen with the words "Let's Play Ball" pops up you will see the version number written in the bottom of that screen. If it is the same as the newest patch listed in the downloads page you are ready to proceed to step 2. If not, you need to download the newest patch and then unzip it to your OOTP3 folder. It will overwrite the old OOTP3.exe file and update your game. Do not worry it will not damage your elisence registration in any way.

THE LAHMAN DATABASE
STEP 2 - Now that your game is totally up to date it is time to download the file that gives you all the historical stats the game uses to create old seasons. The file is called the Lahman database. It can be downloaded by visiting this site. <a href="http://www.baseball1.com/" target="_blank">http://www.baseball1.com/</a>

On the lefthand side is a column. At the top of the column is an option to "DOWNLOAD DATABASE" Click on that to visit the version 4 download page. In the center of the page are 3 different files you can download. You want the one called Generic (comma-delimited) version (3.77 mb) Its direct address for download is here <a href="http://www.baseball1.com/new_db/lahman_gv_40.zip" target="_blank">http://www.baseball1.com/new_db/lahman_gv_40.zip</a>

Once you have downloaded this file you have to extract it to a folder of its own. I will assume you already have a program called WINZIP and are somewhat familiar with it. Unzip all the files contained in the database to a folder called STATS. You can actually use any folder name you like but the game defaults to STATS so lets keep things simple. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THIS FOLDER IS NOT STORED WITHIN THE MAIN OOTP3 FOLDER and you know the exact path to it....ie C:/stats.

Once you have downloaded the file you are almost set to get your historical league created.

FROHIKE'S FIX FOR SOME DATABASE ERRORS
There is one more small file you should download. It is made by an OOTP veteran named Frohike and cleans up some small problems that occur within the Lahman database.
Visit his site at <a href="http://frohikesplace.freehomepage.com/frames.html" target="_blank">http://frohikesplace.freehomepage.com/frames.html</a> and download a file created on May 27. Frohike explains what this file will do.

(I) Finished importing all the seasons. Milwaukee was the only team I had problems with. 1901, 1998, 1999 and 2000. I adjusted the batting.csv file so OOTP3 will now properly import those players. Unfixable problems are the 1902 Baltimore team. OOTP3 puts in NY AL team instead of Baltimore. Also 1968 Oakland team, again OOTP3 puts in the KC team instead. But those can be worked around easily. Just sign the FAs and rename the team and move it into the proper division if necessary. Anyways, download the file here. Put the file into the folder of wherever your V4 of the Lahman Database is. Make sure to back up the current batting.csv on your harddrive. If you experience problems with other teams, let me know, Ill see if I can fix it.. The actual file is located at this address <a href="http://y42.briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/battingdb/lst?.dir=/" target="_blank">http://y42.briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/battingdb/lst?.dir=/</a>

Basically what the file does is correct some minor problems with Milwaukee in 1901 and 1998-2000. This fix will allow the players to be placed on their proper teams. Once you download the file extract it to the STATS folder (or whatever you called the place where you are storing your unzipped Lahman database). Click on yes to overwrite the file when prompted.

For creating a new league based in 1901, 1902 or 1968 see the notes later in this section.

That is it you have downloaded everything you need and ready to create your historical league.

CREATING MY HISTORICAL LEAGUE


What steps to follow to import a new league?
Now that you have your Lahman Database downloaded you ready to start a historical league. Select the Create New League option from the File menu within the game and then select Historic League.
Detailed instructions on each of the choices you are given when creating your league can be found in Chapter 14 of the OOTP3 manual. But here are the quick notes to get you started:

PATH TO DATABASE - this is the folder on your computer where you unzipped the Lahman Database you download as described above. If you put the files in a folder called C:/stats do nothing as that will already be typed in for you. If not click on the words "Path to Database" and type in the exact path to where the files are stored. (REMEMBER THESE ARE THE UNZIPPED FILES FROM LAHMAN NOT THE ZIP FILE YOU DOWNLOADED TO YOUR TEMP DIRECTORY OR WHATEVER YOU MAY CALL IT)

DATABASE VERSION - Do nothing here as 4.x is already listed. This means you are using version 4 of the database which is the one you downloaded from the instructions above.

LEAGUE NAME - Click on the words League Name and then just type in whatever you want you league to be called. It can be as simple as 1930 or Joe's Baseball League. Call it what you want.

IMPORT YEAR - Click on the words import year and type in the season you want to import. If you want to start in 1930 then simply type 1930

The ADJUST HITTERS AND ADJUST PITCHERS PLUS THE MAKE BAD numbers allow you to limit the ratings assigned to players who did not play much in the season you are importing. I usually sett the adjust hitters number to 100 AB and pitchers to 60 innings pitched and put the make bad numbers at half of that. These settings will make the players who had limited action in the season you import have limited skills. This way a player who was 3-for-5 on the season would not become a superstar. To change any of these settings click on the word and type in the new number you want to use..

TALENT RATINGS BASED ON: I always select remaining career. Let's say I start a league in 1930. Using remaining career will base all players ratings only on what the accomplished in 1930 or later. If you use entire career it will base a players stats on his whole career and not just what he accomplished from 1930 until he retired. But it is entirely up to you what option you want to go with.

MAKE GENERIC L/R SPLITS - Yes means the game will automatically make random splits in how the players perform...ie a righthanded batter will have a slightly higher rating against a lefthanded pitcher than against a righthander.

IMPORT LEAGUE- When everything else is entered click on this button and your league will be created. Relax and go have a drink depending on the speed of your computer it may take anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour to import all the players. Once it is done you are ready to play. Enjoy!


WHY DO ALL THE PLAYERS HAVE A NEGATIVE NUMBER FOR THEIR AGE?
There is a simple solution for this problem.. If all players in your league have negative ages then you have either downloaded the wrong or a corrupted Lahman database file or you are not using the latest patch of the game. Check to ensure you have the newest version of the game by visiting the main OOTP site at <a href="http://www.sportplanet.com/ootp3/" target="_blank">http://www.sportplanet.com/ootp3/</a> and clicking on the downloads section. At the time of this writing (late June 2001) the latest version is called 3.1
You check your version by opening your game. When the "Let's Play Ball" screen comes up at the bottom of it will be the version number. If it does not say 3.1 visit the download section and save the latest patch.
If the version of your OOTP3 game is up to date then visit the Lahman database site at <a href="http://www.baseball1.com/" target="_blank">http://www.baseball1.com/</a> and follow the instructions listed above to download that file. Before installing the new Lahman file it is advisable to delete all the old Lahman database files you had stored.
WHY ARE A FEW OF THE PLAYERS LISTED WITH A NEGATIVE AGE OR NO AGE AT ALL?
Due to the limitations of the Lahman database a few players that are created in leagues from 1901-1915 may not have an age. The reason for this is that the Lahman database does not list a birthdate for these players. To correct this problem you can edit the age for any player and assign him a birthdate. To edit a birthdate follow the steps below
1- From the team roster menu click on the name of the player you want to edit
2- You will now see that players general information screen. In the top left corner just below the player's name is a button labelled "Editor" Left click once on the button.
3- You can now edit any of the information on a player you want. To edit his age click on birthdate and type in a new birthdate. Lets say the year you are playing is 1905 and you want the player to be 25 years old. Type the following in 1,2,1880 This will make the player born January 2, 1880. It is very important you use the proper punctuation and put a comma after each number. The format is MONTH, DAY, YEAR. The year must be 4 digits.
4- Right click on the page anywhere and you return to the team roster. The player is now 25 years old.

WHAT DO I DO FOR 1901, 1902 and 1968 TO WORK PROPERLY?
There are some minor glitches in the game when starting a new league in 1901 or 1902 players will not be assigned to the Baltimore franchise. If the team has no players on it you will find them all in the free agent pool. Simply sign them from the sign free agent screen to Baltimore. The same occurs in 1968 with Oakland.
Why are the outfield fielding positions incorrect and how can I fix them?
The Lahman database does not have much in the way of fielding data included so outfield positions, throwing arm ratings and defensive range ratings for players are generated more less at random. You can edit all of these by clicking on the player you want to edit from the team roster screen and then clicking on the button called EDITOR which is located just below the players name.
<a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a> is a great source of information for fielding percentages and can help you calculate range ratings on players since it shows the players range rating in relation to the league average for each season.
A file available here is great for outfield positions as it lists year-by-year the outfield games played by field for every major leaguer. It is available here <a href="http://207.213.225.147/lahman/lahman.htm" target="_blank">http://207.213.225.147/lahman/lahman.htm</a>
The direct link to the file is <a href="http://207.213.225.147/ootp3/outpos.zip" target="_blank">http://207.213.225.147/ootp3/outpos.zip</a>
WHAT IS BASEBALLREFERENCE.COM
Only the best possible site you can visit if you want stats to aid you in rating your historical players yourself. The information it contains is amazing. <a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a>
Check it out.

ADVANCED TIPS
THE FIRST SEASON

LEAGUE IS CREATED. NOW WHAT?
The first season of your new career league requires the most work. The first step I take is to look thru every team and check all fielding ratings and percentages, as well as speed and stolen base ratings for hitters plus I look thru the pitchers and switch any relievers that should be starters.

EDITING PLAYERS
An excellent source of info for the ratings check is <a href="http://www.baseballreference.com" target="_blank">http://www.baseballreference.com</a>
It is a tool I use throughout my career. You certainly do not need to edit the ratings to have an enjoyable league but if you are looking for total realism it is a good idea.

The biggest area needing attention is usually fielding percentages. Currently OOTP3 will only import a players fielding percentage for the season he is created (ie the first year of year league for all current players and only the rookie season fielding percentage for all draftees down the road) rather than using his career stats. This gives you some terrible fielding percentages and also gives you a lot of players out of position. For example, Jimmy Foxx is imported in 1925 as a catcher despite only playing 108 of his 2148 games behind the plate. Since he played catcher in his first season if you start your league in 1925 or earlier he will be a catcher. The ramifactions of this can mess your realism up quite a bit. In this case if I was assigning players to their original teams Foxx, a Hall of Famer, may never reach the majors becasuse he would be buried behind Mickey Cochrane on the A's depth chart.
Frank Chance is another great example of this. I started my league in 1901 and Chance was imported as a left fielder since he played the majority of his games in the outfield that season. Tinker to Evers doesnt have the same ring to it without him.

Speaking of outfield positions if you really want to get accurate there is a spreadsheet available that breaks down outfielders games played by field. It is quite time consuming to manually input the proper outfield positions but for those striving for total accuracy here is a link to where you can download. <a href="http://207.213.225.147/ootp3/outpos.zip" target="_blank">http://207.213.225.147/ootp3/outpos.zip</a>

The game currently just randomly (as far as I can tell) assigns RF, LF, and CF to the outfielders right now. The reason is the Lahman database is limited in that it does not break down the positions by field.

The other big thing I look for is players who only played a handful of major league games. I try to delete them from my file altogether for a couple of reasons. First, I dont want them dominating the league. Version 3 is a huge improvement on version 2's problems in this area but cup of coffee pitchers especially seem to still become superstars too often. Second after 5 or 10 seasons each teams minor league rosters will be overloaded if you dont delete some players. The easiest way to delete the players is release them to the free agent pool and then from the league setup screen click on 'edit free agents'. You can delete them in that screen. If you are using finances I do reccomend turning them off while you are doing the releases so teams are not penalized the extra salary. Once all players are released you can turn the finances back on.

I also make some changes to batting and pitching ratings and potentials. You simply use common sense and with version 3 you do not have to make a lot of changes in this regard but on occassion I find a player I think is rated too good or too poorly.

Every year after the first season I always edit the rookies. If you choose to assign them to their original teams it can be a real pain finding them all. I prefer to select to have a draft of the rookies because it is much easier to compare the ratings and delete the ones who only played a handful of games.
First thing you do after procceeding to next season and importing the real rookies is run the coach/scout and free agent signing periods. Once they are completed you will be prompted to start the amateur draft. Before doing so go to league setup and choose edit free agents. All your rookies for the draft will now be listed in the free agent pool.
Next I open up Baseball Reference on my web browser. This site is a fantastic tool. Let's say I am importing the rookies for 1931. I can go to this link <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/ML_1931_debut.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/ML_1931_debut.shtml</a> and I have the career stats of every player in my 1931 rookie file.is now simple to edit the rookie pool. I delete all players with less than 200 career at bats or 100 innings pitched. I also make all my fielding percentage changes, position changes and ratings adjustments at this time. It is a very quick process and far easier than trying to find them all on their original teams. You will now find yourself with a pool of usually 3 rounds worth of draft picks. It is quite easy to make all selections yourself if you really want all players on their original teams.

If you follow these steps you will end up having the best players in real life remain the best players in your sim league. Of course, there are always surprises like injuries or guys coming out of nowhere to become stars, but for the most part results will be quite good.

FINANCIALS
Some historical simmers prefer to have finances turned off so that there will be no free agency. If so, obviously you can skip this section. Is it better to turn finances off? I guess it depends on what you want from your career sim. If you want team rosters to be as close to real life as possible then it is advisable you dont use the financial engine. If you want to have a lot more player movement in your league than finances will work well for you with some tinkering.

OOTP3's handling of financials is a huge improvement over version 2 but is still not perfect. You will likely find that some teams will start to run out of money 8 or 10 years into your league. Deleting all the players I discussed in the previous sections helps because it keeps the player pool smaller but you do have to occassionally give teams a cash infusion.
I do a couple of things. First prior to starting the Coach/Scout hiring or Free Agency each season I check every clubs financial situation and if they are in trouble I help them a little bit. If there are old players making huge money in the minors I edit their contracts down to reasonable numbers. I also give each team a raise in merchandise and tv revenue whenever a number of teams are losing money. To do this simply increase the last year revenue in each of these two categories. You can not edit this seasons income but if you edit last season the changes will affect this year. A last resort if needed is to give the team in trouble a lump sum of cash.

I set my cash maximum at $50 million in the league setup screen. This allows the teams to build up a war chest of cash. I find a lot of the times teams are very cyclical in their spending. A club will operate on a tight budget for several years then when they have some decent talent and big money to spend they go all out on signing free agents. A few years later when the cash crunch hits that club immediately stops signing free agents. I like this aspect as it helps teams become mini-dynastys. Another thing I do sometimes is give the Yankees and whoever else dominated the era I am playing far bigger revenue numbers so that even though I am playing in a Free Agent replay the right teams of the era are still the best clubs.

If you stay on top of the revenues and keep the teams breaking even or making money it makes the league run smooth and you wont have those superstars free agents going unsigned.
ERA MANAGERS
The era manager feature is a huge benefit to deadball simmers. It allows pitchers to not tire as much so relievers are not as prevelant. It allows makes it easy to use a 3 or 4 man rotation. I usually make only 2 changes to the era manager and individual team management settings
1- If my sim is starting in 1901 or 1902 I set the rotation size to 3 rather than 4 since all teams went with really just 3 starters in those years.
2- For any deadball era sim I set steals to not often for every team since otherwise you get too many stolen bases. Leaving everything else at default works quite well.

LEAGUE NORMALIZATION FACTORS
There are a number of different ways to deal with these numbers. I will outline a simple solution that has worked great for me and given me very accurate numbers regardless of the era I am playing.

The first thing I do is download Lee's excellent spreadsheet for historical sims. It is available from OOTPWorld and also from Stat Based Baseball (http://www.sportplanet.com/sbb/). This file was designed for OOTP2 but works great with OOTP3 after you do some small modifications. Step 1 is to key in the adjusted numbers that Lee reccomends for the season you are using. Next thing I do is lower the number for hits by 1500. I have found that this is necessary to get realistic league batting averages. I then make a backup copy of my league by zipping up all the files inside my .lg folder. The reason I make the backup is so I can test my stat results to see if I need to modify the league normalization factors. Set all teams to computer owned and quick sim the season. When you are complete you can print out your league batting and league pitching reports to see the team totals. Unfortunately, OOTP does not presently calculate league totals but you can add them up pretty quick to compare to the real-life league totals for the season you are simming. Real life totals are available at Baseball Reference.com.

If my numbers for all the categories are pretty close than I am ready to start for real. If my batting averages or another category is off then I simply make some small adjustments to the league normalization numbers and quick sim again. Remember the normalization numbers do the opposite of what you want. Need more homers than lower the Home Run number by 50-100 and if you need less than raise the number. There is no need to touch at bats. Just hits, doubles, triples, home runs, walks and strikeouts.

Realistically, you should expect to be able to get within 10% of real life numbers. You may choose to add real life stadiums rather than the generic parks. If so they will affect your stats so you should make those changes prior to making a backup copy and running your test sim.

Personally, instead of using the real stadiums I create 2 generic stadiums, one for each league. This allows me to adjust for the difference in stats between AL and NL totals. There are many seasons where there is a huge discrepancy in the league totals from the two leagues. By modifying the stadium factors for one of the leagues it allows you to get realistic stats for both leagues. Simply create 2 new stadiums from the Edit Stadium menu. Name one American League Park and one National League Park. Set the attendance for both stadiums at a reasonable number (say 45,000) and set all modifiers (AVG, HR, triples, doubles) to 100.
If you have your league setup pretty good with fairly realistic stats for the NL and the AL is good except you have too few homers then you can simply change the HR park effect number for the AL stadium to 105 or 107. This will increase homers in the American League but wont change your National League numbers.

Once you have your park effects and your league modifiers set you are ready to begin your season.
ADVANCED NOTES - SECTION 2
CHANGES FOR SEASON 2 AND BEYOND
Once your first season is complete I follow the following checklist for every succeeding year.

1- MAKE A BACK COPY OF YOUR LEAGUE FILE. I have never had a problem yet but I am always careful to have a back-up just in case.

2- PROCEED TO NEXT SEASON

3- Before beginning COACH/SCOUT hiring (assuming you have financials turned on) take a moment to check every teams financial situation to ensure there will be enough cash to sign all of your free agents. It should not be a problem for the first 5-7 years but teams can get into debt after that time. Run COACH/SCOUT HIRING and FREE AGENCY

4- If you choose a draft for rookies before proceeding to the draft go to the free agent pool. IF you do this after the free agent signing period all the rookies will be visible in the free agent pool. It makes it real easy to edit them and delete all the players who only played a handful of games. Also you can make minor ratings and potential adjustments at this stage to ensure the best players are really the best players. If you chose to assign players to their original teams rather than a draft I still reccomend deleting the guys who played only a few career games. You will have to check each team manually and release the players from their clubs and then delete them. A little more time consuming but well worth it in the long run.

5- Before running spring training I do my LEAGUE NORMALIZATION FACTORS for the next season. My system is as follows. First off I know my results are pretty realisitc because I ran a couple of tests to get the right numbers prior to my first season. All I do is total up my sim stats...league totals for both American and National League in batting average, home runs, doubles, triples, walks and strikeouts.
I then compare those numbers to the next season I am about to sim. If I need a few more homers in both leagues I lower the league normalization Home Run total (remember on this screen lowering a number increases the total you will get in your sim). If I need a few more in just one league I raise the park effect on homeruns for that league in the edit stadium menu. (Remember in the edit stadium screen the higher the number the more homers there will be).
Just small changes, maybe 5% or so is all that is needed in the League Normalization Screen and just 3 or 4 points in the edit stadium screen.

6- Run SPRING TRAINING and move on to your next season.
I hope that helps you enjoy the historical sim aspect of OOTP3. Any questions just post them on the OOTP messageboard and myself or someone will certainly answer them for you. Enjoy!.
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Old 01-26-2002, 08:10 AM   #2
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*DBLC Atlanta Braves - 2011, 2014 East Division Champ, 2012, 2013 NL Wildcard
Baseball Maelstrom-Montreal Expos-2013 Tourney winner, 2014 WC Team
Sparky's League - Tampa Bay D'Rays
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Old 03-10-2002, 12:56 AM   #3
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