T Nation

Baseball Stats! Wow!

Let me start off by saying that I am VERY ignorant about the All American Sport of Pro Baseball. But I am truly amazed and dumbfounded by the dizzying array of individual and team stats and numbers! (Not to mention that they actually keep track of things like the wins and losses a player may have had against each individual team).Questions:

1)When and why (roughly) did all this stat and data keeping start?

2)When a guy comes into the league, ROUGHLY how many stats are kept on him starting at day one?

3)It seems like all this data and stat keeping can be an industry in and of itself. Is it?

Fascinating! I just really would like you guys thoughts.

I find this topic amazing myself. “Who has the most victories on Tuesday nights, when it rains, and the games last longer than 4 hours?” - It is crazy to me that there is probably an easy answer to this question.

IMO, stats give the commentators something to talk about btwn pitches. I love baseball, but it gets a little nuts sometimes.

stats have been kept since the 1870s i think… maybe alitte before then. However, only official stats the are recognized are from after this period. For example Cy young has won more games as a starting pitcher then anyone else in history yet his stats arent really reconized. Stats on all games r kept so even if a player has one mlb at bat then hes in the record books. Its pretty easy now with computers but i’m sure it was pretty hard for the elias sports beaureau to keep track w/o them. the stats system began when people from other cities wanted to follow players in other cities again in the 2nd half of the 1800s.

Now you know what a degree in mathematics is good for. :slight_smile:

I’m not a baseball fan, but my dad is. When I’m home we laugh about the reducilous stats that are kept.

"And now stepping up to the plate is Johnny Nohit. He's 60% in the rain at home against left handed pitchers on an odd day in an even month while chewing gum when addendance is less than 75% and his mother is in the stands"

Ko’s the baseball fan, I’m the football nut. Also, I may not be into baseball, but I LOVE baseball movies. Like Bull Durham and Eight Men Out (and maybe The Natural) - oh, and Field of Dreams. Wierd, but just a fact.

And I can spew out the facts and numbers on these movies as fast and furious as the baseball commentators on the game itself. Scary. Very scary.

Despite the somewhat absurdity of most baseball stats, I think that stats are part of what keep the game popular and exciting, especially for North Americans. Some sports writers theorize that soccer won’t/can’t make it in North America because there are virtually no stats to keep track of, which, in our North American way of watching sports, is essential in the enjoyment of the game.

It’s for all the fantasy sports gurus out there like me! I’m proud yet ashamed to admit that if you ask about one of these stats, I can probably give an answer. This passion for sports/statistics comes out of a lot of things:

  1. I taught myself how to read and do math with baseball cards by matching players’ names with their faces (which I easily recognized from watching on TV) and, for example, adding the totals from each season to get their career statistics. My older brother nicknamed me “Twib,” which stands for “This Week in Baseball.”

  2. I have watched Sportscenter, Baseball Tonight, NFL Primetime, and any other sports show that I could possibly find on TV for as long as I can remember. Even more pathetically, I’ll watch the same episode more than once if I’m home sick or just bored.

  3. Like I said, fantasy sports are a good time. When you play them, it all of a sudden makes every game interesting (kind of like gambling, I guess:))

  4. Plus, it’s gotten to the point that the majority of the statistics we see in our lives most commonly are all negative: rates of obesity, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, rape, j-walking, etc., etc. Personally, I think it’s kind of cool that someone knows that John Doe is hitting .286 (2 for every 7) against pitchers named Fester in night games during the month of August played in the town of Burnt Scrotum, NM.

I have a friend that is supposed to be a spors journalist. All he does is talk about sports and statistics. Billy Assclown is hitting .350 when he is in a state that begins with a vowel after eating steak on tuesdays and thursdays after skipping wednesday practice do to sleeping with a stripper from every nationality which was actually a dare from the bullpen coach who said it could not be done. You have to love this country.