Friday, January 26, 2007

Baseball is Better Now

Dan Fox over at Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article looking at, among other things, why the game of baseball has improved over the past century. Most of it is fairly obvious, but he goes in some depth about it and presents an interesting read. The evidence he came up with was:

-The increasing size and changing demographics of the talent pool
-The evidence of increased athletic prowess in sports with absolute rather than relative accomplishments
-The standardization and increased efficiencies in strategies and styles of play
-Better technology and medical care
-Decreasing variation in measures such as batting average as a sign that player skills are moving toward the "right wall" of human ability
-Direct (albeit) relative measurement along multiple metrics including relative EqA, fielding statistics, and pitcher hitting

Seems about right, but the reason I am wanted to share the article was one chart in particular. He looked at the average age and weight of players at their debut, in each decade:

Average Height and Weight By Decade of Debut
Decade Height (in) Weight (lb)
1870s ----68.9------162.9
1880s-----69.8 ------170.0
1940s ----72.2------183.0
1950s ----72.6------186.1
2000s----73.7 -----196.8

So nearly 30 pounds heavier and 4 inches taller...

Read the article, he looks at whether or not the increase in bulk of players is directly correlated with the decrease in triples. I thought it was a pretty interesting read

No comments: