Swydan: The origin of Andy Andres’s Sabermetrics 101 course

From Paul Swydan at FanGraphs on May 23, 2014, with mention of SABR member Andy Andres:

Professor Andy Andres remembers the first year that he and his colleagues, David Tybor and Morgan Melchiorre, taught the Sabermetrics 101 course at Tufts University. One of the more memorable lectures came on October 18, 2004, which was a pretty memorable night in New England. Though Game 5 of the American League Championship Series had started around 5 pm, Sabermetrics 101 — which met in the evenings — was still in session. At least for a time.

“We felt like we had to get through the lecture,” Andres recalls. “So Tybor and I, he’s got the radio, and every half inning we’d write the line score [on the blackboard].” But then in the eighth inning, David Ortiz belted a homer into the Monster seats. Andres and Tybor consulted, but determined that since Melchiorre had been lecturing about Derek Jeter’s defense at the time that they should let him preach, hoping the good karma would continue to rub off on the team. But they weren’t the only ones who had learned of Ortiz’s feats. “One of the girls in the back of the room, went ‘Wahooooooo, Ortiz just hit a home run!” Class dismissed. “We immediately shut it down, and switched to FOX,” Andres says.

A decade later, he is still at it. Tybor and Melchiorre taught the course with him for three years, but it has been Andres’ show ever since. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the genesis of the course was Moneyball. The trio had pursued their PhDs together at Tufts, and wound up all playing softball together, and after the book’s release they were sufficiently lathered up to make teaching about the game a reality.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-story-of-sabr101x/

Originally published: May 23, 2014. Last Updated: May 23, 2014.