The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Learn Something New Everyday

Baseball Almanac - Hall of Fame Fast Facts

So I was wondering tonight if pitchers have a fair shot at getting in the Hall of Fame. Checking out the evening's box scores I realized that as good a pitcher as Mike Mussina is (he almost threw a six hit shutout and is 7-1), he isn't likely to get into the Hall of Fame. And the thought struck me that it must be really hard to get into the Hall of Fame as a pitcher. Such a player has to win a lot of games, avoid losing a lot of games, have a good number of strikeouts and shutouts and such, AND, (and this is key) help himself by winning some major championship caliber games -- playoffs and World Series. So I wondered, if 10-11 pitchers are on every 25-man roster, are a similar proportion in the Hall of Fame? Do pitchers have a similar likelihood of getting into the Hall of Fame given their frequency in the game? What would constitute evidence of bias?

But along the way to finding out, something else happened. I learned that trivia lovers record all kinds of statistics about the Hall, including, the number of inductees from each team. Guess which team has the most inductees?

Nope, not the Yankees. The Giants! And the funny thing is, it's not even close. 23 Giants players are in the Hall. The runner up is the Cardinals with 16. After that the Yankees have 15 and the Cubs (yes the Cubs!) have 14 to round out 4th place. The Cubs have as many players as the Negro Leagues. Which tells you something about the voting process and the influence of large media markets. How many Cubbies fans around the world think that players like Ron Santo, Dick Williams, and Dave Kingman are Hall of Fame material?

Now let's looks at team performance. The Yankees have lost more Series than all but four other teams have been in total. They have won 26 Championships. Overall, they have been in the Series 39 times. The Cubs have been in 10, which isn't shoddy, but have only won it all twice -- and we all know how long that's been. The Giants have been in 17 Series (3rd place on the all-time list) with a neck squeezing record of 5-12.

Go figure!

Oh, and the fraction of pitchers in the Hall? 31%

The fraction on a typical Major League roster? 44%

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