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  • Player Height

    Split it between pitchers and hitters*. Pitchers weighted by innings, hitters by PA. Then broke it down by decade. Every decade, and every year except 1878 and 1880, pitchers are taller.

    Each decade, hitters have grown taller. The same is true for pitchers, except in the 1920s, when they were 0.2 runs shorter than the previous decade.

    What do you make of this? And what might account for that blip?

    *Non-pitchers

    Code:
    Decade	Pitchers	Hitters
    1870	69.79		68.92
    1880	69.92		69.52
    1890	70.67		69.83
    1900	71.49		70.08
    1910	72.31		70.40
    1920	72.11		70.55
    1930	72.53		71.30
    1940	72.88		71.64
    1950	73.01		72.09
    1960	73.61		72.37
    1970	74.00		72.42
    1980	74.38		72.67
    1990	74.44		72.72
    2000	74.54		72.78
    "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

    - Alvin Dark

  • #2
    I've posted similar data on here as well. PArt of the problem, at least with the more modern data, is the numbers are likely to be fudged for pitchers. There is a stigma against pitchers under 6 feet tall so a lot of pitchers are listed at 6 ft tall when in fact they are not actually 6 feet tall. For instance Roy Oswalt is listed as 6ft tall and many say he is not. In fact there was a time in Houston's development history that they were believed to be mining the under 6 feet tall pitcher pool since many other teams wrote off pitchers under 6 feet tall.

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    • #3
      As for the blip a couple of things come to mind.

      The Lahman database isn't complete when it comes to height and weights and it isn't totally accurate. They don't use halves so everything is rounded. Whereas a place like Baseball Cube has a much more complete height database and also uses halves.

      But if that is not the problem then I would say that part of the problem is that Slim Love pitched 513 innings in the 1910's while he only pitched 4.1 innings in the 20's. The other and more likely bigger problem was WWI and influenza.


      The 20's come up short against the 10's when it comes to 6 ft 2 inches or taller. With most noticeablly coming up short at the 6ft 4 inches department. A roughly 6,000 innings to 2,000 innings disparity.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
        As for the blip a couple of things come to mind.

        The Lahman database isn't complete when it comes to height and weights and it isn't totally accurate. They don't use halves so everything is rounded. Whereas a place like Baseball Cube has a much more complete height database and also uses halves.

        But if that is not the problem then I would say that part of the problem is that Slim Love pitched 513 innings in the 1910's while he only pitched 4.1 innings in the 20's. The other and more likely bigger problem was WWI and influenza.


        The 20's come up short against the 10's when it comes to 6 ft 2 inches or taller. With most noticeablly coming up short at the 6ft 4 inches department. A roughly 6,000 innings to 2,000 innings disparity.
        1. How much effect might you expect the Lahman problems to have?
        2. Is there a downloadable database from the Baseball Cube site?
        "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

        - Alvin Dark

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
          1. How much effect might you expect the Lahman problems to have?
          2. Is there a downloadable database from the Baseball Cube site?
          1. I don't know but when you are dealing with decimals I would think it has the potential to skew the numbers. The teens had 510 pitcher seasons missing height data. The 20's had 387 seasons missing. For instance the Lahman database does not have Babe Adams' height. The cube lists him as 5'11. He played more innings in the teens and thus would lower the teens more than the 20's.

          2. I don't know.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
            1. I don't know but when you are dealing with decimals I would think it has the potential to skew the numbers. The teens had 510 pitcher seasons missing height data. The 20's had 387 seasons missing. For instance the Lahman database does not have Babe Adams' height. The cube lists him as 5'11. He played more innings in the teens and thus would lower the teens more than the 20's.

            2. I don't know.
            The Baseball Cube is missing a lot of player heights from that era too. However, I can make use of the SABR bio database that has a lot more heights, and uses fractions. There's a lot of stuff missing from the 1870s and 1880s, so the numbers don't look too plausible there, but as it progresses through time, they become more realistic.

            Using that, I have an average of 72.12 in the 1910s for pitchers, and 72.04 in the 1920s.

            The gap closed when moving from the Lahman database, but the 1910s are still ahead. There was a slight drop in pitcher height from the 1990s to the 2000s, but it's only about 0.02 inches, and the 2000s are incomplete, as the data I have only goes through 2007.

            To get the 1920s ahead of the 1910s in height, we'd have to use your alternate theory.
            "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

            - Alvin Dark

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            • #7
              I think that in the 20's, starters innings started to drop. That would mean that bullpens were pitching more and factoring more into the weightings.

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              • #8
                And don't forget the effect it had on the "heightings".

                Your Second Base Coach
                Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

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