The Hidden Game of Baseball

The Hidden Game of Baseball

A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics

Book - 2015
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Chicago Distribution Center
Long before Moneyball, this book brought sabermetrics--the scientific measurement of baseball--into the popular realm. Whereas it used to be unquestioned that runs batted in, batting average, and pitcher wins were among the most telling of statistics, the sabermetric revolution revealed that subtler measurements such as on-base percentage, wins above replacement, and WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) could be used to find value in players. Thorn and Palmer here introduced key measurements and concepts, and they explained and promoted a huge range of considerations that had never been taken seriously and systemically into account by journalists, fans, players, scouts or executives. Their work also made possible much easier comparison of players across eras. The authors also provide the pedigree and history of various concepts and measurements, showing how our understanding of signal and noise in the available data has evolved. With a new preface by the authors and foreword by ESPN’s Keith Law, this reissue brings back one of the most influential baseball books ever published.

Long before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he’d honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats—and thus the game itself—all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games.
            The new gospel promulgated by Thorn and Palmer opened the door for a flood of new questions, such as how a ballpark’s layout helps or hinders offense or whether a strikeout really is worse than another kind of out. Taking questions like these seriously—and backing up the answers with data—launched a new era, showing fans, journalists, scouts, executives, and even players themselves a new, better way to look at the game.
            This brand-new edition retains the body of the original, with its rich, accessible analysis rooted in a deep love of baseball, while adding a new introduction by the authors tracing the book’s influence over the years. A foreword by ESPN’s lead baseball analyst, Keith Law, details The Hidden Game’s central role in the transformation of baseball coverage and team management and shows how teams continue to reap the benefits of Thorn and Palmer’s insights today. Thirty years after its original publication, The Hidden Game is still bringing the high heat—a true classic of baseball literature.


Publisher: Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2015, c1985
Edition: 3rd ed., enlarged
ISBN: 9780226242484
Branch Call Number: 796.357 THO
Characteristics: xx, 432 p. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Reuther, David
Palmer, Pete

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