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Baseball's Complete Players: Ratings of Total-Season Performance for the Greatest Players of the 20th Century Paperback – December 15, 1999
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"gauges a players actual productivity for a given completed season, factoring playing time into its formula. Very interesting stuff"--Sports Collectors Digest
About the Author
Michael Hoban is a professor of mathematics and dean of the Schalaefer School at Monmouth University.
Top customer reviews
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It would be easy to keep pointing out more absurd statements the author makes, for instance: despite the HEQ score,Ellis Burks in 1996 did not have the 32nd best season of history; Coors Field grossly inflated his stats. One last point: of Hoban's top 20 offensive seasons, all but one was during the big hitting era of 1920-39. I would ask those readers who gave this book a good review: Is it really plausible that 95% of the greatest seasons in baseball history just happened to be in this era? This is simply not believable . This book is not worth the time of a serious fan of baseball. If you want a real analysis of baseball greatness, read Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract.
The fielding stats section is, if anything, even more misguided. And how can a book call itself "Baseball's Complete Players" when it leaves out 40% of the player population -- the pitchers?
Forty years ago, this might have been an interestingly flawed look at player analysis. But today, in the light of universally available computer analysis and the ongoing SABRmetric revolution, it is a tedious and self-important dinosaur of a book (the writing is excessively self-congratulatory and very repetitious) that can only mislead the average fan while driving more sophisticated observers up the wall with its myopic assumptions and questionable conclusions.
Do I agree with the author's methods and results? I am not sure - the jury is still out on that. But the question is not really whether I agree or not. The value of the book is that it raises some very important questions about some of the assumptions made by some analysts over the years. Assumptions like adjusting for era and ballpark. And these questions are raised in an intelligent and understandable way.
And perhaps the most important thing of all is that I found it very difficult to argue with the author's conclusions about the best offensive and defensive players of the century. And his deliberately simple counting approach has much to recommend it. I would not have believed before reading this book that it would be possible to achieve these results by a relatively simple counting process. But, of course, that is the genius of the book - making somewhat complicated maneuvers seem so simple that anyone can understand (and criticize)them.
Agree or disagree all you want. But you must read this important book if you think that you know something about the analysis of baseball numbers.
A significant contribution to the field.
In order to determine who was or is better than someone else, read this book and follow the author's HEQ or Hoban Effectiveness Quotient and let the number talk for themselves.
The book in incredibly detailed, yet easy to follow and understand. You get a whole new perspective on the way baseball is played. This book is more than the typical statistical breakdown.
A great value at a great price. By the way the answer is Schmidt and it isn't even close.