Catalogue


Baseball's all-time best hitters : how statistics can level the playing field /
Michael J. Schell.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1999.
description
xxi, 295 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0691004552 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1999.
isbn
0691004552 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4211924
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 283-284) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Michael Schell is Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina and the Director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This is a provocative new look at baseball's best hitters, using a sound statistical approach. It's a 'must read' for anyone who loves our national pastime."-- Pete Palmer, coauthor of Total Baseball and The Hidden Game of Baseball . "This book makes a significant contribution to baseball statistics and will also have the side-effect of getting readers interested in statistical reasoning and in how statistics can be used to clarify comparisons."-- Carl Morris, Harvard University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-03-01:
Schell (biostatistics, Univ. of North Carolina), a professional statistician, here turns his attention from his field of health science to a lighter but more contentious subject, baseball. The rating of players has been an unending argument among diehard fans and specialists, such as those dedicated aficionados of the Society for American Baseball Research, which has given statistical debate more credibility. Now this book from Princeton University Press is a signal that the academics have entered the fray, too. Schell's book, however, makes some strange claims. He ranks current player Tony Gwynn as the best all-time hitter, well ahead of the modern batting king, Ted Williams, and no doubt outraging the ghosts of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Schell's statistics "level" the playing field because they downplay the importance of power, thus favoring Gwynn. Schell is on more solid ground when he proposes players who should be included in the Hall of Fame. All in all, this book is for the hardcore baseball fan, especially one comfortable with complex statistical analysis. For comprehensive baseball collections.ÄPaul M. Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Altogether, a good read. . . ."-- Earl Gutskey, The Los Angeles Times
"[Schell] ranks current player Tony Gwynn as the best all-time hitter, well ahead of the modern batting king, Ted Williams, and no doubt outraging the ghosts of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. . . . All in all, this book is for the hardcore baseball fan. . . ."-- Library Journal
"Buried deep within every true baseball fan is a nerd with a scorecard and a calculator. . . . To refute those who say players from different eras can't be compared because they played in different circumstances, Schell levels the playing field by building models to account for those varying circumstances: ballparks, pitching quality, night games, etc. . . . His conclusions are often surprising but well substantiated."-- Booklist
"[Schell] has provided a wealth of baseball trivia and statistics. The style of writing is engaging and often lively and, in fact, encourages continued debate over the data and conclusions presented. The text will undoubtedly become a part of the baseball statistics fan's library."-- Randall J. Swift, Mathematical Association of America Online Book Review
"[A] trenchant attempt to reorder the hierarchy. . . . [Schell's] calculations produce a new all-time greatest hitter, revealed in sometimes breathless prose."-- Joseph Kahn, New York Times
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist,
Library Journal, March 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Tony Gwynn is the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. That's the conclusion of this engaging and provocative analysis of baseball's all-time best hitters. Michael Schell challenges the traditional list of all-time hitters, which places Ty Cobb first, Gwynn 16th, and includes just 8 players whose prime came after 1960. Schell argues that the raw batting averages used as the list's basis should be adjusted to take into account that hitters played in different eras, with different rules, and in different ballparks. He makes those adjustments and produces a new list of the best 100 hitters that will spark debate among baseball fans and statisticians everywhere.Schell combines the two qualifications essential for a book like this. He is a professional statistician--applying his skills to cancer research--and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball. He has wondered how to rank hitters since he was a boy growing up as a passionate Cincinnati Reds fan. Over the years, he has analyzed the most important factors, including the relative difficulty of hitting in different ballparks, the length of hitters' careers, the talent pool
Main Description
Tony Gwynn is the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. That's the conclusion of this engaging and provocative analysis of baseball's all-time best hitters. Michael Schell challenges the traditional list of all-time hitters, which places Ty Cobb first, Gwynn 16th, and includes just 8 players whose prime came after 1960. Schell argues that the raw batting averages used as the list's basis should be adjusted to take into account that hitters played in different eras, with different rules, and in different ballparks. He makes those adjustments and produces a new list of the best 100 hitters that will spark debate among baseball fans and statisticians everywhere. Schell combines the two qualifications essential for a book like this. He is a professional statistician--applying his skills to cancer research--and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball. He has wondered how to rank hitters since he was a boy growing up as a passionate Cincinnati Reds fan. Over the years, he has analyzed the most important factors, including the relative difficulty of hitting in different ballparks, the length of hitters' careers, the talent pool that players are drawn from, and changes in the game that raised or lowered major-league batting averages (the introduction of the designated hitter and changes in the height and location of the pitcher's mound, for example). Schell's study finally levels the playing field, giving new credit to hitters who played in adverse conditions and downgrading others who faced fewer obstacles. His final ranking of players differs dramatically from the traditional list. Gwynn, for example, bumps Cobb to 2nd place, Rod Carew rises from 28th to 3rd, Babe Ruth drops from 9th to 16th, and Willie Mays comes from off the list to rank 13th. Schell's list also gives relatively more credit to modern players, containing 39 whose best days were after 1960. Using a fun, conversational style, the book presents a feast of stories and statistics about players, ballparks, and teams--all arranged so that calculations can be skipped by general readers but consulted by statisticians eager to follow Schell's methods or introduce their students to such basic concepts as mean, histogram, standard deviation, p-value, and regression. Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters will shake up how baseball fans view the greatest heroes of America's national pastime.
Publisher Fact Sheet
In this engaging & provocative analysis of baseball's all-time best hitters, Schell challenges the traditional list of all-time hitters & argues that the raw batting averages used as the list's basis should be adjusted to take into account that hitters played in different eras, with different rules, & in different ballparks.
Unpaid Annotation
Tony Gwynn is the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. That's the conclusion of this engaging and provocative analysis of baseball's all-time best hitters. Michael Schell challenges the traditional list of all-time hitters, which places Ty Cobb first, Gwynn 16th, and includes just 8 players whose prime came after 1960. Schell argues that the raw batting averages used as the list's basis should be adjusted to take into account that hitters played in different eras, with different rules, and in different ballparks. He makes those adjustments and produces a new list of the best 100 hitters that will spark debate among baseball fans and statisticians everywhere.Schell combines the two qualifications essential for a book like this. He is a professional statistician--applying his skills to cancer research--and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball. He has wondered how to rank hitters since he was a boy growing up as a passionate Cincinnati Reds fan. Over the years, he has analyzed the most important factors, including the relative difficulty of hitting in different ballparks, the length of hitters' careers, the talent pool that players are drawn from, and changes in the game that raised or lowered major-league batting averages (the introduction of the designated hitter and changes in the height and location of the pitcher's mound, for example). Schell's study finally levels the playing field, giving new credit to hitters who played in adverse conditions and downgrading others who faced fewer obstacles. His final ranking of players differs dramatically from the traditional list. Gwynn, for example, bumps Cobb to 2nd place, Rod Carew rises from 28th to 3rd, Babe Ruth drops from 9th to 16th, and Willie Mays comes from off the list to rank 13th. Schell's list also gives relatively more credit to modern players, containing 39 whose best days were after 1960.Using a fun, conversational style, the book presents a feast of stories and statistics about players, ballparks, and teams--all arranged so that calculations can be skipped by general readers but consulted by statisticians eager to follow Schell's methods or introduce their students to such basic concepts as mean, histogram, standard deviation, p-value, and regression. Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters will shake up how baseball fans view the greatest heroes of America's national pastime.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Technical Notes
Preface
Introduction: In the Dugoutp. 3
The Methodp. 13
On Deck with the Qualifying Playersp. 15
First Base - Adjusting for Late Career Declinesp. 29
Second Base - Adjusting for Hitting Feasts and Faminesp. 45
Third Base - Adjusting for League Batting Talentp. 67
Home - Adjusting for Ballparkp. 103
The Findingsp. 133
The Adjusted Top 100 Hittersp. 135
Top Hitters by Positionp. 157
Best Single-Season Batting Averagesp. 173
The Ballparksp. 185
On Base Percentagep. 213
The Hall of Famep. 227
Where Would the Current Stars Rank?p. 241
Afterword: Post-Game Wrap-Upp. 249
Abbreviations and Glossaryp. 253
Right- vs. Left-Handed Hittingp. 257
League Batting Averagesp. 259
Ballpark Effect Batting Averagesp. 269
League Base on Balls Averagesp. 275
Referencesp. 283
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem