Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way

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An essential experience of being a baseball fan is the hopeful anticipation of seeing the hometown nine make a run at winning the World Series. In Paths to Glory, Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt review how teams build themselves up into winners. What makes a winning team like the 1900 Brooklyn Superbas or the 1917 White Sox or the 1997 Florida Marlins? And how are these teams different? What makes each championship team a unique product of its time? Armour and Levitt provide the historical context to show how...
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Overview

An essential experience of being a baseball fan is the hopeful anticipation of seeing the hometown nine make a run at winning the World Series. In Paths to Glory, Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt review how teams build themselves up into winners. What makes a winning team like the 1900 Brooklyn Superbas or the 1917 White Sox or the 1997 Florida Marlins? And how are these teams different? What makes each championship team a unique product of its time? Armour and Levitt provide the historical context to show how the sport's business side has changed dramatically but its competitive environment remains the same.

Utilizing new statistics to evaluate a player’s value and career patterns, Armour and Levitt explore the teams that took risks, created their own opportunities, and changed the game. How did the Washington Senators achieve the unthinkable and blow past Babe Ruth’s Yankees in 1924 and 1925? How did the 1965 Minnesota Twins quickly rise to the top and why did they just as suddenly fall? Did Charlie Finley assemble the last old-fashioned championship team before free agency, or was the Moustache Gang another example of winning by building from within? Why did the star-laden Red Sox of the 1930s keep falling short? In exploring these teams and more, Armour and Levitt analyze the players, the managers, and the executives who built teams to win and then lived with the consequences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574885606
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel R. Levitt is a baseball researcher devoted to resolving historical questions about pitch counts and the lowest single-season ERA, but during the day he manages capital markets for a national commercial real estate firm. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mark Armour is a Red Sox fan who works in the sorftware industry and dreams of the day when he can talk about his team's path to glory. He has published articles with the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Ned Hanlon, Opportunist: The 1899 Brooklyn Superbas 5
2 A Great Off-Season: The 1915 Philadelphia Phillies 21
3 Turmoil and Determination: The 1917 Chicago White Sox 39
4 Clark Griffith - Patience: The 1924 Washington Senators 75
5 Rags to Riches: A History of the Relief Pitcher 91
6 The Height of Folly: The 1930s Boston Red Sox 112
7 Following the Recipe: The 1948 Boston Braves 128
8 What Happened? The Vagaries of History: The Postwar Boston Red Sox 148
9 An Unexpected Drop-off: The 1960s Minnesota Twins 176
10 Player Growth and Decline: Patterns in Aging 204
11 Plans Gone Awry: The 1971 California Angels 217
12 Brilliance and Bombast: The 1970s Oakland Athletics 233
13 The New Specialist: The Fireman vs. the Closer 260
14 Unfulfilled Promise: The Early 1980s Montreal Expos 276
15 A Change of Plans: The 1997 Florida Marlins 295
16 Translating Minor League Ability: An Outside View 311
17 Unheralded Dynasty: The 1990s Atlanta Braves 321
Conclusion 341
App. 1 Player Valuation Methodology 347
App. 2 Measuring Park Effects 357
App. 3 Defensive Efficiency Record 364
App. 4 S-Curve Methodology 365
App. 5 Win Probability Added 371
App. 6 Offensive Winning Percentage 374
App. 7 Minor League Translation Methodology 377
Bibliography 381
Index 391
About the Authors 407
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