Spring 2019 Baseball Research Journal

  • Hits in Consecutive At-Bats: Investigating the Nineteenth Century By Brian Marshall

    While playing for the Cleveland Indians over the course of four consecutive games in July 1920, Tris Speaker got hits in eleven consecutive at-bats, setting both the American League and major league record. Although Speaker is now tied for third on that list, this article’s subject is what happened regarding the hits in consecutive at bats record before Speaker’s feat, not after.

  • Team Batting Average: A Comprehensive Analysis By Douglas Jordan and David Macias

    It’s July 1 of any year. Your favorite team has played about half the season and has been struggling at the plate recently. The team batting average is .234 compared to the league average of .246. This solitary datum indicates that the team’s batting average is well below the league average. But what is the history of team batting average over the course of the season? Has the team been consistently below average or is this a result of their recent struggles at the plate?

  • American League or National League: Who Owns New York City? By Dusty S. Turner and Gabriel B. Costa

    New York City’s storied history of great American and National League baseball give each league claim to be the apple of the Big Apple’s eye. Throughout the last century, both leagues have fought on the diamond, in World Series, in fan attendance, geography, and even most recently, social networking websites.

  • All The Duckys in a Row: In Search of the Real Ducky Holmes By Joan Wendl Thomas

    Much to the author's surprise, there were five professional baseball players known as Ducky Holmes. Numbers four and five never advanced beyond the minor leagues, but their very existence plunged her study down a multitude of wrong-way paths. Here is an attempt to set the record straight and clarify the true identities of the players called Ducky Holmes.

  • An Ever-Changing Story: Exposition and Analysis of Shoeless Joe Jackson's Public Statements on the Black Sox Scandal By Bill Lamb

    When it came to his involvement in the corruption of the 1919 World Series, Shoeless Joe Jackson rarely told the same story twice. When the fix first came to light in late-September 1920, Jackson, along with teammates Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams, abjectly admitted that he had agreed to join the conspiracy to throw the series in return for a gamblers' payoff. And that he had accepted $5,000 of a promised $20,000 bribe before the start of Game Five. But once in the hands of experienced legal counsel, Jackson's story changed.

  • Sweet! 16-Year-Old Players in Major League History By Chuck Hildebrandt

    Fifteen players have played in Major League Baseball at the age of 16. In this article, we take a look at those players and their contributions to the game.

  • An Examination of MLB Play Call Challenges By Anne C. Marx Scheuerell and David B. Marx

    The replay review system has changed Major League Baseball. The goal of the instant replay system was to reduce the impact of umpire error, while minimizing the time needed to review plays. In this paper, the authors will examine the effects that replay review has had on the game and its strategies.

  • File and Trial: Examining Valuation and Hearings in MLB Arbitration By Navneet S. Vishwanathan

    The 2018 season was certainly an interesting one in the American League East. The Boston Red Sox put forward a historically strong championship team and the New York Yankees followed up their 2017 ALCS campaign with a wild-card finish. However, off the field and in the conference room, the excitement of the division began well before Opening Day. Here, in the realm of arbitration, three cases illustrate the peculiarities of a financial system suffused with new trends, uncertainty, and risk aversion.

  • World Series Game Situation Winning Probabilities: An Update By Douglas Jordan

    This is a brief update to the article, “World Series Game Situation Winning Probabilities: How Often Do Teams Come Back From Behind?” that appeared in the Fall 2014 Baseball Research Journal. The original paper calculated the probabilities of winning the World Series for all possible game combinations; the update includes data for the five World Series played in 2014–18.

  • Playing With The Boys: Gender, Race, and Baseball in Post-War America By A.J. Richard

    Even with the success of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, female players of color were largely invisible. Three African American women, however, broke gender and racial barriers by playing in the Negro Leagues. By playing professional baseball with men, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, Toni Stone, and Connie Morgan directly challenged the belief that women were the “weaker sex.”

  • Philadelphia in the 1881 Eastern Championship Association By Robert D. Warrington

    The Eastern Championship Association (ECA) was formed in 1881 by baseball clubs from New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Two teams from Philadelphia were among its members, including the first one with the nickname Phillies.

  • Barney Dreyfuss Buys Pittsburgh By Bob Bailey

    In 1899 Barney Dreyfuss purchased the Pittsburgh National League club, arranged a trade with the team he previously owned, the Louisville Colonels, and spirited away all of Louisville’s best players, including Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, and Rube Waddell. This established the Pirates as one of the dominant National League teams for more than a decade. However, the acquisition of the team was much more complicated than is commonly believed.

  • How Many Hits Did Ty Cobb Make in His Major League Career? What Is His Lifetime Batting Average? By Herm Krabbenhoft

    Among baseball’s most iconic career numbers are 714 and 4,191, the first Babe Ruth’s official career home runs total and the second Ty Cobb’s official career hits total. But if you look at many baseball statistics sources today, including websites and encyclopedias, you will find Cobb’s number has been altered. This paper seeks to use all available evidence to determine the most accurate total for Cobb’s lifetime hits, at-bats, and batting average.