Morong: Baseball’s elite, its ‘millionaires’

From SABR member Cyril Morong at Cybermetrics on April 6, 2012:

So what is a baseball “millionaire?” (warning to the hard core-this is probably an example of what Bill James called a “junk stat,” perhaps less valuable than a junk bond).

This came about while I was working on a post about who might have been the most surprising triple crown winner (I hope to post that in a day or two). I came up with a point system for this. A player would get 10 points for each time he led his league in HRs, 9 for a 2nd place, etc. The same was done for AVG and RBIs. So the player had a career total number of points for each stat (data from the Lee Sinins Complete Baseball Encyclopedia). A tie for 1st was still worth 10 points. Then those three numbers were multiplied times each other (meaning if a player never finished in the top 10 in one of these stats, his total will be zero).

There are only 4 millionaires. Ruth is the leader.

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Originally published: April 13, 2012. Last Updated: April 13, 2012.