# Runs Tallied

The homer hitter is the only player who scores or drives in a run without the assistance of a teammate. This new statistic gives the circuit clout full recognition.

Runs Tallied (“RT”) is a simple measure of offensive production (“tally” was Henry Chadwick’s term in the first box score). The team with the most runs tallied invariably wins the game; the player who tallies most for his team has been most valuable toward this victory.

Runs Tallied reinstates the primacy of the home run – the only scoring a player accomplishes without the aid of a teammate. It is based on the premise that all other runs are collaborative efforts. Virtually all team runs, aside from home runs, are a combination of a run scored and a run batted in (except for defensive lapses [“DL’s”] or double play grounders [“GIDP’s”], which score those runs not batted in). The batters or baserunners contributing to these runs are equally important; no run can exist without both of them. So a “non-homer” team run is generally ½ R and ½ RBI (occasionally ½ R and ½ DL), while a home run is one full run tallied.

The ultimate offensive payoff for team and individual is in Runs Tallied, as is shown by the following formula: [(R – HR) ± 2] + [(RBI – HR) ÷ 2] + HR = RT.  This formula separates the contributory tallies (runs and RBI) from the solo tally (home runs). This formula can be further reduced to:

Note that this simplified formula gives a credit of one RT for a home run, since a home run produces both a R and a RBI for the player. In other words, the simple averaging of runs and RBI results in Runs Tallied (RT). No computer – not even a calculator – is needed here.

The essence of RT is that home runs are already given their true doubled value when runs and runs batted in are added. The well-known “strength” of Runs Produced (subtracting homers or R + RBI – HR = RP) is actually its fatal weakness. Let’s go to two examples to see this:  the 1988 statistics of Kirby Puckett and Jose Canseco, and the all-time bests of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.

 G R RBI HR RP RT Puckett 158 109 121 24 206 115 Canseco 158 120 124 42 202 122

Canseco’s 1988 supremacy is reaffirmed by the RT. His singular 40/40 season added up to 0.77 Runs Tallied per Game – the best in the majors.

Interesting applications of the RT could include RT/Team, RT/Game, RT/Plate Appearance, but what is undeniable is this: However gaudy the hitting or base-running, if a player does not tally runs, it’s all window dressing. For the score, after all, is the essential stat.

Gehrig’s famous 301 Runs Produced (1931) get knocked down a peg by Babe Ruth (who else?) and his all-time single-season (1921) RT:

 G R RBI HR RP RT Gehrig 155 163 184 46 301 173.5 Ruth 152 177 171 59 289 174

Ruth’s 1.14 Runs Tallied per Game is also an all-time best, but Gehrig’s 0.89 RT/G reigns supreme career-wise. New Hall of Famers Johnny Bench (0.56 RT/G) and Carl Yastrzemski (0.55 RT/G) and all-time hit leader, Pete Rose (0.49 RT/G!) are surprisingly low in this latter category.

The comparisons, as with all statistics, are endless (see accompanying charts). Perhaps they will be done by a new generation of statisticians, without PC’s, armed only with baseball cards and minds, following this simple commandment: Average those runs and RBI! It’s all right there – in RT.

BARRY CODELL is a nursing home director in Chicago, winner of the Governor’s Award for Innovation in Gerontology, and the inventor of the base-out percentage (BRJ, 1979).

(Click images to enlarge)