Baseball fans love numbers. They love to swirl them around their mouths like Bordeaux wine.
I’m not sure what the original intention was behind this graphic by Hartwell. If the idea was to use it for comparisons, it seems like an awkward way to lay it out. If does look cool, though, so if that was the whole point, well… mission accomplished.
This infographic appears to have been published in March 2017, based on fans surveyed during the 2016 season. While I’m curious about the methodology behind the survey itself (e.g. how do you define “baseball fan”?), the results below are interesting.
I posted another graphic several weeks ago that included the same information that can be found in this one. I do think that this chart is easier to read than the last one, however, which is what makes it worth the added share. I think this one better depicts things like the dip in runs scored through the Dead Ball era and the relative leveling-off of run production in more recent years.
I’m not sure of the author of this chart, other than it is posted somewhere on a statistical software site, JMP.com. Click on the image below to link to a larger version.
Someone (unknown) once commented, “Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics.” There’s no doubt statistics drive the game. Here’s a good general timeline on how that has played out over the years.
A pitcher’s Earned Run Average (or ERA) is the average number of earned runs that a pitcher gives up per nine innings pitched (as the typical game lasts nine innings).
An earned run is a run that is not scored as the result of a defensive error, such as a fielding error or a passed ball.
A pitcher’s ERA is calculated by dividing the number of earned runs he has allowed by the number of innings he has pitched, then multiplying by nine. For example, if a pitcher is charged with 21 earned runs over the course of 90 innings pitched, his ERA would be 2.10.
(21/90) x 9 = 2.1
An ERA under 3.00 is generally considered to be excellent. The lower a pitcher’s ERA, the better.
The lowest all-time career ERA in baseball history was 1.82, by Ed Walsh, who pitched from 1904 to 1917. The lowest career ERA during the live-ball era (that is, post-1920), belongs to Mariano Rivera, who pitched from 1995-2013 and posted an ERA of 2.21.
A player’s batting average is determined by dividing the number of base hits a player has by the total number of at-bats. For example, if a player has 500 at-bats and collects 150 hits in those at-bats, his batting average would be .300 (150/500 = .300). Keep in mind that walks and sacrifice plays (i.e. sacrifice bunts and sacrifice flies) do not count as at-bats, and therefore, do not factor into a player’s batting average.
A batting average of .300 or above is considered an excellent batting average, and an average of .400 for a season is deemed nearly impossible. The last player to hit .400 for a season was Ted Williams, who finished the 1941 seasons with a .406 batting average.