Customer Reviews: Bill James' Baseball Abstract, 1985
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on March 22, 2013
Bill James career as a baseball writer started with his annual "Baseball Abstract". At first (in 1979, I think) these were photocopies stapled together.

Each abstract is primarily an analysis of the previous season and a look ahead to the next season, with team-by-team and some player-by-player analysis. So, this book is great if you are about to draft your 1985 Fantasy Baseball team.

However, the book is also filled with a great many side articles and diversions. The article about the Red Sox, for example, veers off into an analysis of leadoff hitters, and driving in runners from 3rd base.

I bought this book for the section on minor league statistics, as research for this year's version of Baseball Mogul [...]. This is a great early analysis of how minor league stats can be used to predict major league stats -- the precursor to modern concepts such as Major League Equivalencies (MLEs).
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on December 27, 2013
A great look back at some players from 25 or so years ago and the beginnings of serious statistical analysis in baseball. If you love baseball, and really, really want to understand what you're watching... these books are for you.
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on November 20, 2015
The interesting thing about this book when I first started reading these annual editions as a teenager is that when I was reading them back in the 1980's, I never thought of someone actually using the information to make player personnel or in-game manager decisions. I thought of it as a cool way to rank players and as something to fill my need for baseball knowledge but not much else. And it did take another 15-20 years before his ideas started to become more mainstream and used by decision makers in the game.
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