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Define the Eras: Hitting or Pitching

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  • #16
    The hitters of the 1990s are not doing bad at all, it's not just home runs. The NL batting average from 1990-1999 was .261. The NL batting average in the previous decade 1980-1989 was .254. Going seven points higher in one decade is a fair leap considering there were no major rule changes. Especially when you consider ther are probably more hitters in the 1990s going for the long ball. I'm sure the words expansion will appear, the ball, the strike zone, all to be considered but all that doesn't change the fact, seven points in a decade is a fair leap.

    NL batting average.
    1960-69----.254
    1970-79----.258
    1980-89----.254
    1990-99----.261

    I used the NL since I went back to the 1960s and it was an easier comparison than the AL over that period with the DH coming into baseball during that period.

    Batting average of DH only
    1980-89-------.263
    1990-99-------.272

    The 1990s hitters have more than home runs going their way in the 1990s.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 03-18-2006, 02:43 PM.

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    • #17
      --We are not comparing the 20s to the 90s so much as we are to all of baseball history. It was a decade very tilted in favor of batters. Batters approach, at least early in the decade, was the same as it had been in the previous one but the level of batting success was much higher - because conditions favored hitters.
      --The 1890s were an even more explosive offensive decade than the 1990s - and HR were even less common than the 1920s. Conditions can favor batters without being condusive to the HR ball.

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      • #18
        A systematic sketch of the eras

        Eras: I'll going to put the time in and try to be as comprehensive as possible. I'll try to report all the important statistics and we can pick them apart.

        I'll put the highlight the historical zenith in each respective category in RED, the nadir in BLUE. I won't comparatively include the pre foul strike rule eras because with that rule difference (along with many others) comparison of the rate stats is irreconcilable.

        I'll do it by rate stats first (batting average/on base percentage/slugging/home run percentage/ERA):

        The Nascent Years
        1876-1892
        .253 .305 .338 0.60% 3.32

        The Wild 90's
        1893-1900 (Foul strike rule- 1901 NL, 1903 AL)
        .287 .353 .383 0.73% 4.32

        The Deadball Era
        1903-1918
        .253 .316 .332 0.45% 2.83
        NOTE: The deadball era would easily be the lowest in OPS- making it the worst era for hitters in baseball history.

        The Birth of the Modern Game
        1919-1939
        .281 .344 .396 1.33% 4.11

        WWII
        1940-1945
        .260 .328 .362 1.36% 3.65

        The Golden Age
        1946-1960
        .259 .332 .387 2.29% 3.94

        The Decade of The Pitcher
        1961-69
        .249 .314 .374 2.42% 3.56

        The Game Finds Balance
        1970-1992
        .258 .324 .383 2.29% 3.79

        The Homerun Era
        1993-2004
        .267 .337 .423 3.10% 4.47

        Caveat: The Designated Hitter rule skews things a bit. The AL line since 1973 has gone .265/.333/.407, the DHless NL .259/.326/.392. Therefore, eras like 1919-39 should go up EVEN MORE in relative terms, since those kind of numbers were being put up with pitchers hitting.

        Guys: This took A TON OF TIME. I'd also like to go back and research the fluctuations of stolen bases, runs (as well as on a per game/rate basis) another time.

        Thoughts on my lines of demarcation, or general responses?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by csh19792001
          The Golden Age
          1946-1960
          .259 .332 .387 2.29% 3.94
          First of all, great work Chris. It helps us see much more clearly which eras fit into different categories.

          A few things with eras I would have done differently though. I would have probably included 1919 and the 1920s as separate from the 1930s and the early 40s. I would have made the eras 1919-1929 (or '28) could be "The Birth of the Modern Game", and then 1930-1941 could be "Offense continues" or something like that. I don't know why you included 1940 and 1941 in the WWII era either, players really started getting called 1942-1945. After that, very minor. You just should have included 1961 in "The Golden Age" and 1969 should have been in "The Game Finds balance".

          One more question, why exactly do you call 1946-1960 "The Golden Age"?
          Last edited by 538280; 03-19-2006, 07:43 AM.

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          • #20
            --There was a very significant difference in the two leagues in the 1930s. The AL enjoyed two decades of rabbit ball, but the NL made a change to their ball in 1931 after the offensive explosion peaked in 1930. The senior curcuit saw offense levels drop to historical norms nearly a full decade before the AL.

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            • #21
              The AL and NL pretty much had the same ball in use by 1934 or so.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by leecemark
                --There was a very significant difference in the two leagues in the 1930s. The AL enjoyed two decades of rabbit ball, but the NL made a change to their ball in 1931 after the offensive explosion peaked in 1930. The senior curcuit saw offense levels drop to historical norms nearly a full decade before the AL.
                This gives some info on those changes in the 1930s.
                Attached Files

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