WASHINGTON — David Vincent played a huge role in the history and progress of baseball statistics, especially in the District, but most fans had no idea who he was.
Vincent, 67, passed away Sunday after a lengthy battle with cancer, per the Society for American Baseball Research.
His official role most recently was the Nationals’ lead official scorer, a role he’d held since the team came to Washington in 2005, but he also served as an official scorer for “thousands” of amateur and minor league games.
In addition to his work scoring games, Vincent played a significant role is the digitization of baseball records and statistics, specifically the home run logs. A record of every home run hit since 1871 is available on Baseball Reference thanks largely to Vincent’s work.
The stat legend, known as “The Sultan of Swat Stats,” was regarded as one of the world’s foremost home run historians, but he was also extremely well-versed in umpire data. He wrote or contributed to countless articles on the various umpires throughout Major League Baseball, including The SABR Book on Umpires and Umpiring.
Vincent contributed a great deal to the baseball database we collectively enjoy, and without his efforts, the game would not be as well-documented as it is today. Baseball stat lovers will sorely miss him.