Bakalar: Another baseball mystery: why do players seem to live longer?

From Nicholas Bakalar at the New York Times on August 7, 2019:

Major League Baseball has its problems. Attendance has slipped, fans complain the pace of play has slowed, players are convinced the baseballs are juiced and even the people running it admit its fusty rules could use an upgrade.

Yet its players might take comfort in one promising bit of news: they appear to have longer life spans than other Americans.

That’s the tantalizing possibility raised by a study published by Harvard researchers in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The sample size used to draw its conclusions is not large — a review of 10,451 major leaguers who died between 1979 and 2013 — and the differences in longevity with the general population are not great. But the scientists determined that, based on their sample, major leaguers live 24 percent longer than the average male. They have also found some limited evidence that players at some positions — notably middle infielders — might live longer than others.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 7, 2019. Last Updated: August 7, 2019.