The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

by Bill James


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743227223
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 05/06/2003
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 1024
Sales rank: 250,918
Product dimensions: 7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Bill James made his mark in the 1970s and 1980s with his Baseball Abstracts. He has been tearing down preconceived notions about America’s national pastime ever since. He is currently the Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox, as well as the author of The Man from the Train. James lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife, Susan McCarthy, and three children.

Read an Excerpt

from Part 2: Player Ratings and Comments

Introduction to the Player Ratings

There are three things that I need to discuss before I can explain how I arrived at the player ratings which appear throughout this section. Those three things are:

  1. Runs Created.
  2. Win Shares.
  3. The Meaning of Statistics.

Those three things will be the next three articles, after which we will get to:

  1. The Ratings System Used Here.
  2. Clutch Performance.
  3. Win-Based Analysis of Fielding.

Copyright © 2001 by Bill James

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The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Sloe_butt_Thoreau More than 1 year ago
Having a nook has saved me alot of space, but this was one book, in hindsight, that I wish I had purchased in treeware so I could navigate back and forth in it easier. Mayhaps as I build my nook skills it will be easier. But I've got to say that if I'd had this nook 10 years earlier I would have alot more space on my bookshelves for other stuff. Bill, your work is impeccable. It motivated me to go and get the Strat-O-Matic's new hall of fame edition and I've been playing games with them ever since. So much so that I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome. And you're sure not gonna cover my deductibles now are you? I love the seriously lighthearted way this book is written, and packed with so many interesting tidbits that non-baseball nerds could never in a million innings appreciate. If I had it to do over again I'd get a hard copy of this book rather than have nooked it. But i'd definitely buy it again. It is awesome in every respect. Thank you for all your hard work. Let's read 2!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most baseball writers will tell you all about what the 'consensus' is when it comes to talking about baseball players throughout history. Bill James takes a much different approach, he looks at the basic raw statistics, comes up with methods to compare players across history and then, applies the 'consensus' and where available, the opinions of various contemporaries of those ballplayers. His revelations about comparing some players all-star, MVP, and Cy Young votes with their statistics in their time are sometimes mind-blowing. Yogi Berra, for instance, was great when he played, was recognized for it, yet, when he retired his accomplishments were belittled. This book is a great place to get some real information about players and their place in history. It may not give you all the answers, but, it forces you to re-think many pre-conceived notions. This book is NOT for someone who doesn't like to think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bill James takes what the average baseball fan knows about the game, throws half of it in the garbage, and makes you see the other half in a whole different light. Was baseball in 1910 of a higher quality than today's high-scoring game? Was Nolan Ryan really a great pitcher? Does Ron Santo rank as a better player than several hall-of-fame third baseman? Is batting average important? Everything you thought you knew is proven wrong, while turning the average fan into a more savvy analyst of the game. Along with all the rankings, James includes brilliant articles which all do the same thing: they ask you to challenge what baseball 'authorities' have always told you to accept as gospel. The 1961 Yankees were an all-time great team? Don't count on it. Additionally, James's Decade in a Box sections allow you to create a mental picture of how the game was played in every time period this century. James's book is for the fan who is eager to see the game from a different perspective, and challenge the popular views that are mistakenly referred to as correct.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Built upon the foundation of his 1985 'Historical Baseball Abstract,' this new, improved, and updated version is Bill James' best piece of work to date. The decade by decade historical review of baseball borrows most heavily from the previous book, while the player and team ratings are updated based on the past 15 years, and analyzed using his newly formulated 'Win Shares' system. The Win Shares system allows for offense, defense, and pitching to be compared across positions and eras for player ratings and team contributions. Win Shares will be further developed in his next book, due out 25 March 02. My only regret for this already weighty tome, is that more pitcher rankings weren't included. The next Abstract update should include a ranking of the top players which has a parity of quality between the pitchers and position players ranked, not just a standard top 100 for each.
Nestus_Gurley on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A must-have from the incomparable Bill James. The tone can be annoying--James is too often jovial--but his arguments are first rate.
ksmyth on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I don't know why I buy James's books. I guess I keep hoping I'll find something that isn't there. Maybe some soul. James is the founding father of sabermetrics, which reduces the game of baseball to a numerical formula.It's kind of fun to read his analyses of great players of the game. He does does create a great historical context for baseball in the beginning of the book, and some of the comparisons he makes between players are interesting. However, some of the conclusions he draws I simply don't agree with. I love baseball as an aesthetic activity, and Bill loves something else. He's wrong.
Dystopos on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A great reference for arguments about the best players "of all time" at any position. This is the book that sets out the argument for "win shares" as an individual statistic and summarizes the changes in the game from the late 19th century to the present. Surprisingly easy to read, and riddled with tasty morsels, but in the end, not exactly as filling as its heft would make you expect.
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darthpb More than 1 year ago
An amazing pick up any time and read book....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was designed for serious baseball fans. Who is better than who all time and by position...with the reasoning behind it. The steroids era was after publication have made some of the arguments moot. But I have read this book at least 3 times as well as had countless 10 minute baseball fixes. If you are serious, this book will be the most read in your library.
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