Drooker: Sittin' at the hot stove with the 'Bill James Handbook'
From SABR member Don Drooker at Mastersball on November 29, 2013:
Many baseball fans from the "Baby Boomer" generation haven't really bought into the immense change in how statistics are viewed. They still look at the game with their eyes and are only concerned with the numbers on the back of the baseball card. For those of us more immersed in the details of the game, the man who guided us through the wilderness is Bill James. Starting in the late 1970s, he published an annual "Baseball Abstract" that began the task of analyzing data in new and different ways. By 1985, he wrote the first "Historical Baseball Abstract" and that 700+ page volume still sits on the bookshelf in my office.
For fantasy baseball players who play in keeper leagues, Bill also helps us get through the winter while we're longing for box scores. Each November, "The Bill James Handbook" gives us a review of the season, lifetime stats of every major league player and numerous articles and lists to make the "hot stove" season tolerable. The 2014 version is available now and at 570 pages, offers just about something for everyone. The Old Duck has an annual exercise, where I take my initial cursory glance at the book and begin discovering information that surprises and enlightens me.
So, here are some random observations from my first time through the pages ...
This page was last updated December 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm MST.