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Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers : Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home Runs - Michael J. Schell

Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers

Adjusted Batting Performance from Strikeouts to Home Runs

Hardcover Published: 27th February 2005
ISBN: 9780691115573
Number Of Pages: 408

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Over baseball history, which park has been the best for run scoring?1 Which player would lose the most home runs after adjustments for ballpark effect?2 Which player claims four of the top five places for best individual seasons ever played, based on all-around offensive performance.3 (See answers, below).

These are only three of the intriguing questions Michael Schell addresses in "Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers," a lively examination of the game of baseball using the most sophisticated statistical tools available. The book provides an in-depth evaluation of every major offensive event in baseball history, and identifies the players with the 100 best seasons and most productive careers. For the first time ever, ballpark effects across baseball history are presented for doubles, triples, right- and left-handed home-run hitting, and strikeouts. The book culminates with a ranking of the game's best all-around batters.

Using a brisk conversational style, Schell brings to the plate the two most important credentials essential to producing a book of this kind: an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball and a professional background in statistics. Building on the traditions of renowned baseball historians Pete Palmer and Bill James, he has analyzed the most important factors impacting the sport, including the relative difficulty of hitting in different ballparks, the length of hitters' careers, the talent pool from which players are drawn, player aging, and changes in the game that have raised or lowered major-league batting averages.

Schell's book finally levels the playing field, giving new credit to hitters who played in adverse conditions, and downgrading others who faced fewer obstacles. It also provides rankings based on players' positions. For example, Derek Jeter ranks 295th out of 1,140 on the best batters list, but jumps to 103rd in the position-adjusted list, reflecting his offensive prowess among shortstops.

Replete with dozens of never-before reported stories and statistics, "Baseball's All-Time Best Sluggers" will forever shape the way baseball fans view the greatest heroes of America's national pastime.

Answers: 1. Coors Field 2. Mel Ott 3. Barry Bonds, 2001-2004 seasons

Industry Reviews

"Baseball fans, ever fascinated with statistics, should enjoy rifling through this information-packed work."--Library Journal "Michael J. Schell has produced what may be the most rigorous effort yet to compare baseball players from various eras. And in the process, he has offered a tantalizing suggestion that steroids may not have affected the game as much as many people assume."--Christopher Shea, The Boston Globe

Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Fair Ball!: Why Adjustments Are Neededp. 1
The Methods
Manager's Game Plan: Method for Identifying the Best Battersp. 11
New Ball!: Historical Changes in Offensive Eventsp. 28
Calling It a Career: Examining Player Agingp. 45
Talent Search: Measuring the Spread in Player Performancep. 58
Home Park Advantage: A Closer Look at Park Effectsp. 69
The Findings
Swing, Batter!: Adjusting Batting Averagep. 101
Hit . . . and Run: Adjusting Double and Triple Totalsp. 108
This One's Outta Here!: Adjusting Home Run Totalsp. 118
Changing the Score: Adjusting Run and RBI Totalsp. 131
The Count: Adjusting Walk and Strikeout Totalsp. 149
Stealing the Show: Adjusting Stolen Base Totalsp. 162
Putting It All Together: First, a Look at Traditional Measuresp. 168
Fantasy League: Baseball's Best Battersp. 177
The Players Take the Field: Accounting for Player Positionp. 189
Final Score: Updates for the 2004 Seasonp. 204
Post-Game Report: Conclusionsp. 209
Appendices: Statistical Methods
The Piecewise Linear Regression Methodp. 219
Moving Average Smoothing of Datap. 226
The Multiple Changepoint Regression Procedurep. 228
How to Estimate Ballpark Effectsp. 235
Transformations of Offensive Event Averagesp. 247
How to Adjust for Doubles and Triplesp. 257
Predicting Runs and RBIs from the Batting Recordp. 260
Adjustment Data
Hp. 265
Event Performance Spreadsp. 266
Event Park Effectsp. 267
Home Run Park Effectsp. 284
Player Results
Best Individual Seasonsp. 297
Best Careersp. 327
Adjusted Career Offensive Averagesp. 356
Glossaryp. 380
Referencesp. 387
Player Indexp. 389
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691115573
ISBN-10: 0691115575
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 27th February 2005
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.02
Weight (kg): 0.68