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Roger's Baseball Articles



















Roger F. Weber Home








































Major Articles

 
67 pages of studies, articles, etc. about baseball

Recalculating the home run record

In this statistical study, I balance variables and determine the true single season home run leader.

Determining the best MLB stadium 2006

A report in which I objectively try to determine the best major league baseball stadium as of 2006.

Ballpark Identity Loss

   A researched article published at http://baseballparks.com. It examines the recent ballpark building boom and its reputation in the future.

The Best Baseball Teams of All Time

   A major statistical study to determine the best baseball team between 1902 and 2004. This article is being published at http://baseball-almanac.com.

The baseball player formula

A complex very conceptual and SABRmetrically designed formula to determine the best players based on the classic 5 tools of baseball






Full Articles

The most forgettable teams of all time

Trading outs for bases: Getting the job done?

The real value of baseball's Triple Crown

Bad teams can't make the playoffs - right?

A History of food at the ballpark

Renewed ballpark factors

Investigating the Black Sox

Save your ignorance

Small ball

The 165 Most Important Moments in Baseball History

Blue Skies, Green Fields, White House

How to Build a Baseball Team

A Brief History of Baseball

Random Baseball Article #1

Stat Sheets

Ballpark stats 1

Ballpark stats 2

The Best Baseball Players Ever (5 tool formula)

Baseball-Politics Correlation

Best ballparks ever calculations

The Best Baseball Players of All Time

Wins per million dollars for MLB teams 2005

Player Value Calculator

Random Baseball Stats #1

Random Baseball Stats #2

Baseball player formula formula sheet

Baseball player formula calculations

Home run study adjustment calculations #2






Baseball Notes

The 21 Best baseball movies

Top 5 MLB Ballparks

The 21 Worst Seats in Baseball

The Next 16 Major League Cities

Random Notes #1

Random Other

Current Ballpark Grading Criteria

Huge Baseball Test

Condensed Baseball Record Book

Scorecard #1

Scorecard #2








































An orange ray slowly floats across the evening sky and gives way to a deep navy illuminated by four sets of light towers. A plane of varying shades of green is accented by deep brown dirt. I breathe in the sight, smelling the sweet scent of freshly shaved grass and hot dogs. Standing up, I hear my feet crunch on peanut shells as I reach to pay the drink vendor. On either side of my seat is a cupholder. I use the one on my right. My seat is angled that direction.

 

I can hear the baseball smacking into the catcher's mit. "Strike three." A chorus of cheers arises around me, blocking the sound of the steamboat briskly passing a few hundred feet in front of me. An organ begins to chime a hokey tune when the scoreboard lights up. "Time for the scoreboard mascot race," it blares.

 

Making my way quickly down the concourses, I join a mob squeezing through the exits. On my way out, I pass eight foot statues of heroes and others I've never heard of, stars that donned uniforms years ago on the same field I just sat three feet from this evening. Those thoughts quickly pass from my head, though, as a saxophonist and a drummer fill my ears with the a jazzy rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," As we near the car, some fans in front of us peel off the sidewalk into one of the local bars. I turn around one last time to see the massive, but unobtrusive production of steel I just spent three hours exploring. Smiling, I think to myself, "I get to come here again tomorrow."

 

The preceding is an example of a fun evening at the ballpark. I have loved baseball since a young age and have always had a fascination with stadia. Many times I have tried to establish ten part formulas or comparative grading systems to determine the best major league baseball stadium.

 

I figured that ballparks, which house baseball, a game so intertwined with the world of statistics, should be graded through statistics. But statistics can only describe part of the story. While thinking about what statistics to include in a scoring system for major league ballparks, I forced myself to think about why people go to baseball games.

 

People go to watch the game of baseball in a comfortable setting, to spend an evening with family, friends and fellow fans experiencing all the sights and sounds of the ballpark. Fans want to watch the game in an interesting setting, knowing they can get to and from the park easily, but also knowing they get to see beautiful sights. Fans want to stuff their stomachs full of hot dogs, peanuts, ice cream and a six dollar soft drink of their choice. Die hard fans want to experience the history of the game, building on their own knowledge and discussing the importance of on base percentage and batting average with fans around them, some while keeping a scorecard of the game.

 

Choosing ways to compare stadia is difficult. Because there are certain teams I like more than others, I want to keep my own bias out of the study. I use only objective statistics to determine the results. Giving weight to those statistics about parks is difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

Criteria

 

I divided the criteria into seven categories: History, setting, aesthetics, fans, and amenities, scoreboard and concessions. The final three I group into one since they all in part measure the comfort and modernity of a ballpark. Each of these categories is divided among several subcategories.

 

To determine weights for each section, I use the following reasoning:

 

The average age of current MLB teams is 75 years. But the average age of the ballparks is just 20. Because more modern parks strive so hard to keep older touches from previous parks in them, I am counting history 25/75 of the total of Comfort, Concessions and scoreboard.

 

To many fans, this may seem too little weight on history. History is also explained through other weights. A scoreboard receives extra weight if it has a place where historical facts can be placed.

 

This rating system is also based greatly on what parks are enjoyable to attend many times during a season. A park's history is very interesting for a few visits, but after a while, sitting behind a pole may be a greater nuisance than the knowledge that great players played in the venue is a benefit. Fans also tend to forget that the play currently occurring in ballparks is giving them history. Just because a park is new does not mean that it will never develop a great history.

 

The split between comfort, concessions and scoreboard is fairly arbitrary. I give slightly more weight to comfort, since a fan's entire experience can be defined by his ability to get to his seat and be comfortable in his seat.

 

The look and aesthetics of the park is something primarily focused on during the two and a half minutes between innings (2:30 is the time ESPN and FOX set between innings for commercials, etc.). Multiplying this time times the 19 inning breaks during a nine inning game, counting before and after the game, is 47.5 minutes. Therefore, I weigh aesthetics as 47.5/167 the total of comfort, concessions and scoreboard.

 

The average distance of MLB parks to the center of the city whose team they house is 4.17 miles. Walking four miles will take about 45 minutes for the average person, and driving this distance at 25 MPH takes 10 minutes. The average of those two together gives a result of about 27 to 28 minutes to commute to and from the park. Adding a trip home gives about 55 minutes in commute time. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the average MLB game takes 2 hours and 47 minutes, or a total of 167 minutes. The view from the park, determined by its location, is also a focus of fans between innings. These time totals are factored into the weight of the location, which I measure as 32.5/175 the total of comfort, concessions and scoreboard.   

 

A park's fans cannot be measured or compared by the same standards. Some fans enjoy lively atmospheres. Others like the ability to spread out. Some fans spend more time with friends at the game than others. This is one set of criteria that could only add bias to the results if I gave it a large weight. Therefore, I only give it 12.5/75 the weight of the three amenity descriptors.  

 

Compiled into percentage values, the weights are as follows:

Category                                  Weight             Percent

History                         25                    15.1

Comfort/Amenities                    30                    18.1

Concessions                             22.5                 13.6

Scoreboard                              22.5                 13.6

Location/View                          32.5                 19.6

Aesthetics                                 21                    12.7

Fans                                         12.5                 7.5

 

 

Inside the Criteria

 

Each of these seven criteria is divided into sub-criteria that I think can to a degree weigh a park's strengths in that area.

 

 

History

 

The park's age is factored in the equation for two reasons. First, baseball fans tend to respect older stadia more than glitzy new parks. Second, because so much of the grading is based on amenities, it is only fair that older parks have an initial advantage because when they were built, today's technologies did not exist.

 

The age of Yankee Stadium is often confused. From 1974 to 1976, Yankee Stadium was almost completely torn town and rebuilt. The age of Yankee Stadium is 30 years, not 83, although the Yankees do a nice job of remembering the history that took place on the same site.

 

I also measure the quality of history in the park. I measure a great team as one that won the World Series or held a winning percentage of .670 or better. Included in the rankings is the number of "great teams" that played in the park.

 

Perhaps the most important statistic I measure in this section, though, is a park's historical uniqueness. I measure this by determining the number of parks built before this particular stadium with essentially the same design.

 

Baseball stadia are used for 162 games, which means that it is important for a park to be different from others, so it doesn't get boring. I broke down the parks that exist into certain categories. There are 11 parks that were unique in their structure. But the others were broken down into the following groups:

 

            My name for the group #          description

            Half cookie cutters                    2          Like the 1970s cookie cutter parks

Without the filled outfield

            Square multipurpose                 2          Football stadia in which one side of seats is

                                                                        Removed and a corner is behind home plate