Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics, and the Role of Chance in the Game

Curve Ball: Baseball, Statistics, and the Role of Chance in the Game

by JayBennett (Author), JimAlbert (Author)


A look at baseball data from a statistical modeling perspective! There is a fascination among baseball fans and the media to collect data on every imaginable event during a baseball game and this book addresses a number of questions that are of interest to many baseball fans. These include how to rate players, predict the outcome of a game or the attainment of an achievement, making sense of situational data, and deciding the most valuable players in the World Series. Aimed at a general audience, the text does not assume any prior background in probability or statistics, although a knowledge of high school abgebra will be helpful.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Edition: 1st ed. 2001. 1st softcover printing
Publisher: Springer
Published: 06 May 2003

ISBN 10: 038700193X
ISBN 13: 9780387001937
Book Overview: Springer Book Archives

Media Reviews

From the reviews:

...a most interesting and useful introduction to the subject. It should make enjoyable reading for physicists who are also baseball fans, and it ought to be required reading for baseball managers, executives, and commentators. PHYSICS TODAY

...a smart and energetic collection of essays on baseball statistics. Curve Ball doesn't play misty-eyed homage to baseball's traditions and conventional wisdoms....This is great stuff....Curve Ball makes clear how pleasurable [stats] can be, and arguably how important, to view the great American game with real precision. -- The Wall Street Journal

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Must own! --

In [Curve Ball] Albert & Bennett explain the game in ways the conventional press - even titans such as Bill James - cannot. -- Baseball America

[The book] illustrates how statistical reasoning can be useful in teasing out the role of chance from performance in baseball to better assess ability....Curve Ball represents another advance in the genre of baseball and statistics books. -- Journal of the American Statistical Association

This is a very good, fun and highly interesting book, applying some straightforward, and some more difficult, statistical estimation and modeling concepts to baseball. ... I am a statistician, and mostly Bayesian at that, and this definitely enhanced my interest and enjoyment of the book. ... Initially this book starts out as a sneaky introduction to statistics and Bayesian concepts, however, it turns into a delight for sports fans and statisticians alike. Highly recommended ... . (Richard Gerlach, Gazette, Vol. 31 (5), 2004)

This book treats a wide variety of topics, including: comparing measures of batting ability; the impact of situation on performance; streaks; measuring a player's clutch performance; and did the best team win the World Series. This book has the appealing quality that you can start reading at almost any chapter and enjoy and understand the journey. And for those of us who are not statisticians by training, we can also learn some statistics. (Zentralblatt fur Didaktik der Mathematik, September, 2003)

Curve Ball ... is a necessary addition to any library. ... Written for all followers of baseball, this book caters to those who find joy in reading (and if you are like me, memorizing) the statistics on the backs of baseball cards or who played baseball simulation games ... . For readers possessing no knowledge of statistics, this book is a great way of learning how to view and interpret data from a statistician's standpoint. Readers with statistics backgrounds will enjoy the book ... . (Jonathan L. Templin, Chance, Vol. 15 (4), 2002)