Baseball Economics: Current Research

By John Fizel; Elizabeth Gustafson et al. | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
See Kahn ( 1991) for a summary of findings and explanations of positional segregation in professional sports.
2.
We have information on up to three positions the player may have played during a season, along with the number of games he played at each position. We assigned as the primary position the position in which the player played the most games.
3.
Past studies have typically aggregated black and Latino players into a single category of nonwhite players. We do not perform this aggregation, however, because Latinos are concentrated in the infield positions while blacks are concentrated in the outfield positions, and so combining the two groups masks movement of blacks and Latinos into positions where they may be less concentrated. The drawback of including Latinos as a distinct group is that sample sizes for Latinos are small. In preliminary analysis (not reported) we calculated the dissimilarity index between white and Latino players and found the values to be smaller in every year than the dissimilarity index values for whites and blacks.
4.
We initially included catchers with pitchers in a single category called the battery. However, there are no available offensive and defensive measures for the battery. Further, there were almost no black catchers in our data (in some years none at all), so we decided to drop catchers from the sample. Preliminary analyses showed that including catchers raised the level of segregation relative to estimates based on our sample but had no effect on changes in segregation.
5.
These criteria were taken from the official rules and scoring of major league baseball and went into effect in 1958. We used these criteria since they include pitchers, who are not included in batting criteria.
6.
Our definition of overrepresentation and underrepresentation differs somewhat from that used in other studies. Most previous studies classified black players as overrepresented or underrepresented in a position by determining the percentage of a position filled by blacks, and then comparing that number with the proportion of all blacks in the sample. In contrast, we determine over- and underrepresentation by comparing the proportion of black players in a position with the proportion of white players in that position. Our approach is more straightforward given the large number of years in our sample.
7.
Offensive average is calculated as: OA = (total bases on base hits + walks + stolen bases)/(at bats + walks).
8.
Details of the FRA are in the Appendix.
9.
The ERA is calculated as ERA = (runs allowed/innings pitched) * 9.

-188-

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