Barry and the Babe
, by Thomas Sowell
, 16 Oct 2001
Explains what is a slugging average, the significance of it being over .800 and compares the records of Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and others
Barry Bonds is the first batter in the entire history of the National League — going back into the 19th century — to have a slugging average over .800. The only other player in the history of baseball to slug over .800 was Babe Ruth, who did it two seasons in a row. In other words, a slugging average of .800 is rarer than a batting average of .400. The last player to hit .400 — Ted Williams — did it 60 years ago. But Ruth slugged .800 twenty years before that — and nobody else has done it again until this year. Slugging averages tell you more than either batting averages or home run totals.
Congress Strong-Arming Baseball? That's Foul
, by Nick Gillespie
, Matt Welch, The Washington Post
, 20 Jan 2008
Discusses the 2008 Oversight and Government Reform congressional hearings on the use of steroids in the MLB
Second, baseball's "problems" with steroids are as fictitious as the movie "Field of Dreams" ... In 2003, when there was much less drug testing, investigators turned up 90 violations. Last year? Three. Surely it should count for something that the national pastime has never been more popular with fans or lucrative to owners and players alike. For the past four seasons—right in the middle of the "Steroid Era" panic—attendance has set all-time records, with 79.5 million fans ... in 2007. Since Bud Selig became commissioner in 1992, annual revenue has grown from $1.2 billion to just over $6 billion last year.
, by Murray N. Rothbard
, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
Originally published in the The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics
; definition of the free market and some related terms, e.g., exchange, prices, demand, using lay examples
Two factors determine the terms of any agreement: how much each participant values each good ... and ... bargaining skills. How many ... Mickey Mantle baseball cards will swap for a Babe Ruth, depends on all the participants in ... the baseball card market—on how much each one values the cards as compared with the other goods he could buy. These terms of exchange, called "prices" (... of Babe Ruth cards in terms of Mickey Mantles), are ultimately determined by how many ... baseball cards, are available on the market in relation to how favorably buyers evaluate these goods ...
Joe DiMaggio — icon of an era
, by Thomas Sowell
, 10 Mar 1999
In memoriam for "Joltin' Joe" DiMaggio, reviewing many of his accomplishments and being grateful that "the fine qualities he represented as a man have not all 'left and gone away'" (as in The Sound of Silence
n DiMaggio's time, Ted Williams had a higher batting average and Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg hit more homers. But no one put it all together in his own special package like the man they called Joltin' Joe and the Yankee Clipper. From his first season in baseball ... people marvelled at his combination of great hitting, brilliant fielding, powerful throwing arm and swift, heady base-running. ... He never struck out 40 times in a season, although many other sluggers struck out four times as often as that. ... he was voted Most Valuable Player three times, tying a record that still stands.
McGwire, Maris and the Babe
, by Thomas Sowell
, 21 Oct 1998
Compares Mark McGwire to Roger Maris and Babe Ruth and concludes that the latter was "the greatest ballplayer that ever lived"
Now that Big Mac is the new home-run king, how does he compare with Roger Maris and with Babe Ruth before him? Maris was a fine, all-around ballplayer who was voted Most Valuable Player the year before he broke Ruth's home-run record. ... Ruth first broke the home-run record with 29 round-trippers in 1919. It was Ruth who put the home run on the map and revolutionized the way baseball would be played ever since. ... Ruth was historic in yet another sense. He was, quite simply, the greatest ballplayer that ever lived -- and that record has never been seriously challenged.
Pete vs. Joe
, by Thomas Sowell
, 17 Mar 2003
Counters the argument of those in favor of admitting Pete Rose to the Baseball Hall of Fame by relating the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and discussing the results of permissiveness
The argument is: What have Pete's personal shortcomings got to do with the fact that he had a great career on the field? ... then the time is long overdue to induct Shoeless Joe Jackson into the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for life because of the 1919 'Black Sox' scandal, where the Chicago White Sox deliberately lost the World Series, so that a big-time gambler who was paying them off could make a killing betting against them. ... Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned ... because he knew that the World Series was fixed but did not report his teammates to the authorities.
Restoring Parental Responsibility for Education
, by Marshall Fritz
, The Freeman
, Jul 1996
Diffferentiates between "public" and "private" schools, arguing against calls for adding "market dynamics" to the former and pointing out lack of parental responsibility as the culprit for the lack of success in tax-funded schools
Like investors and entrepreneurs, those who "sacrifice" defer gratification. The original meaning, to make holy by offering to a deity, grew into a parallel secular meaning, "to give up something you value now for something that you value more later." For instance, in baseball, intentionally flying out in order to score or advance a base runner is called a "sacrifice fly" because, before 1894, it counted against the batter's average. The batter sacrificed something he valued, his batting average, for something that he valued more–an improved chance for his team to win the game.