• Story Name: Greatest Hitters
  • Story Topics: Sports,
  • Datafile Name: Hitters 1920 -1950
  • Methods: Outlier, Regression, Polynomial Regression, Scatterplot,
  • Abstract: In 1954 Branch Rickey wrote an article for Life Magazine entitled Goodbye to some old baseball ideas. He criticized some traditional baseball statistics and proposed some of his own that he thought more useful. For individual hitting Rickey proposed the sum of on-base average (OBA) and extra-base power (EBP). These were defined as
                       hits + bases on balls + hit by pitcher
          OBA = -------------------------------------------------
                     at bats + bases on balls + hit by pitcher
                      total bases - hits 
          EBP = ---------------------- 
                           at bats 
    Rickey pointed out that OBA measured the ability to get on base - the hitters first responsibility, and that EBP was a better measure of power that the traditional slugging average (total bases/at bats) because hits (part of the ability to get on base) were subtracted from total bases. EPB is the number of extra bases per appearance at the plate. Questions can be raised whether Babe Ruth and Ted Williams , who lead in OBA and EBP respectively, are outliers even among outstanding hitters. The same question can be raised about the sum of EBP and OBA, which Rickey used for his overall ranking. Also, the question can be raised and answered from the point of view of correlation whether OBA and EBP are distinct components of hitting ability.
  • Images:
    Babe Ruth

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