Putting Finis on Final League Averages
With this our final installment of Final League Averages List, we will begin to get back to what passes for normal on this blog. We have received a number of things over the last week, and will present them as we go along.
As anyone can see, the depth of minor league research on leagues well-known and not so well-known. As a researcher once said to me, “Compiling averages for a league is the hardest thing in baseball research…”
It is. First the researcher has to find the league start and stop dates, then collect all the box scores. In the lower leagues, where many researchers toil, you have to get box scores from every town in the league because newspapers only publish their home team’s box score— when at home! Then you have the problem of papers not publishing on Sunday. Then you have the problem of interest. How many times have I seen play-by-play published early in the season become box scores then become line scores before disappearing just before the club goes belly up. Of course, the researcher doesn’t know what he is going to find when he begins. He merely hopes for the best.
With all the box scores in hand— or as many as he will ever find— the researcher begins summing up all the stats while trying to figure out who the players— only identified in the box score by their last name— happen to be. That means reading every game account, every note, in hopes of stumbling upon a first name of a player during eras when it was not common to mention in print a player’s first name.
After all that, the researcher has to make sure everything adds up, balances, and then hopes that somebody will say a kind word about his compilation that had taken him hundreds of hours— at least— of work.
Let’s hear it for those in the list!