Posted in Baseball, Writing

A Game of Numbers

Portrait of baseball player with bare chest holding bat

Statistics are a huge part of baseball. They count everything. And I do mean everything. For a hitter, they count number of hits (H), walks (BB), runs scored (R), runs batted in (RBI), and the keep track of a player’s batting average (AVG) on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). For an in-depth tutorial in Baseball Stats 101  from Baseball Almanac.

If you didn’t know what the numbers mean, you would think that a batting average of .333 was horrible when looked at as a straight percentage. But knowing that Babe Ruth never hit more than .393 and no player has hit over .400 since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.

Statistics are one way of measuring success. But the player with the highest overall batting average might not be the league MVP, although in 2012 Buster Posey led the National League in BA with .336 and he was named NL MVP.

As a writer, I’ve been sucked into checking my Amazon ranking. At first it was just exciting to have an Amazon ranking. Then a couple of days after my book came out, my ranking was pretty good (not top 100, but not a bad start). But then my numbers went down, and back up, and then waaaaay down.

 

Book Ranking/Mood Indicator
Book Ranking/Mood Indicator

 

While it’s a handy little chart, I have no idea how it translates into actual sales. And like in baseball, I shouldn’t get too excited or too worried about any one spot on the chart. Angel Pagan is no longer hitting .461 and Hunter Pence has brought his average up to .253. Buster Posey won’t stay a .238 hitter. I’m not worried about any of those guys, they’ll come through many times over the season.

And I’m hoping the numbers will become less important than the fact that many people are enjoying Better Than Perfect and looking forward to more of the series. The majority of the reviews have been very positive 3, 4, and 5 stars. I’ve had a couple of less favorable reviews and even a DNF (did not finish, the worst). I’m trying to stay positive, stay focused, and keep working on the next book. I don’t plan on being a one hit wonder (like David Huff, the relief pitcher who is batting a thousand- he got one hit in his only at bat this year).

 

I’m continuing my blog tour. Click on the button below for more information.

NBtM Better than Perfect Banner copy

 

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Author:

Author of Contemporary Romance. Wife. Mother. Educator. Sports fan. And I once trained to be a model, but I don't look like one. Most days I don't even wear makeup.

6 thoughts on “A Game of Numbers

  1. You are definitely not going to be a one hit wonder my friend. And pay no attention to that 1 stupid DNF. It means nothing. They obviously don’t know good story-telling.

    Keep your chin up and your runs batted in.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

    1. Thanks. I guess I had expectations to hit a Grand Slam in my first at bat. But an RBI single can be enough to win the game.

      The important thing, as every Little League coach will tell you, is to have fun. As long as readers enjoy the book, it’s worth it.

      Like

  2. Awesome post, Kristina! I love statistics discussions. Great point about batting averages looking bad until you know their meaning and comparing to the best in baseball history. Keep going up to bat!

    Like

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