Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Statistical Look At The Early National League

A while back I put up a link to Walk Like a Sabermetrician. The reason for the link is that they're running a fascinating series on the early National League-taking a statistical look at the league from 1876 to 1881. Since they just posted the entry for the 1878 season, I thought this would be a good time to mention it.

Obviously, from my point of view, the most interesting entries were the ones for the 1876 and 1877 seasons when the Brown Stockings were playing in the NL. Specifically of interest was that they like John Clapp quite a bit and rate him as the best catcher in the league for both '76 and '77. The Browns had a much better season in 1876 than in '77 and that shows up in the analysis. The Browns placed Clapp, Joe Battin, and Lip Pike on the All-Star team for '76 and they felt it necessary to explain why they didn't place George Bradley on the team. Clapp again made the team for 1877 and was joined by Mike Dorgan, who they rate as the best rookie hitter in the league that year. Also of note, St. Louisan John Paul Peters made the All-Star team at shortstop for both seasons.

It's good stuff and I certainly recommend taking a look at it.

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