## A Shocking and Disheartening Infographic

As feelings of mortality and transience plague the average NotGraphs reader’s psyche, allow me to provide the following examination on the dying flame that is baseball. When last we convened we examined some of baseball’s smaller deaths, like the loss of some of its dear follicles. Today we engage in the pre-post-mortem itself, and look at when major league baseball, in its current (and, for comedic purposes, unchangeable) state of being, expires.

The cause of death for baseball might surprise you: it is not steroids, or zombies, or steroid-ridden zombies. Instead, it’s a far more subtle disease, almost a tooth decay, wrought by our own vainglory that brings down the sport. The horrible, unspoken truth is this: someday, because of our love for pomp, circumstance, and the archaic need to identify players from 500 feet away using only opera glasses and programs, we will run out of numbers. Teams are retiring numbers constantly, as if one-to-two-digit numerals were some sort of renewable resource. In time, each team will run out, and without the necessary digits to compose a roster, will have to disband and forfeit immediately.

Because this is NotGraphs, I am of course bound to provide you with a rigorous methodology for these calculations. I counted each team’s numeric retirements and divided them by the number of years that team has been in the business of retiring numbers. This latter number is their years of existence, minus ten (long enough for the first players in each franchise to become eligible). For older teams where I could not easily (read: with zero effort) determine their first use of jersey numbers, the year 1935 was allotted (being the first year in which it was mandatory). I used this rate to determine when each team would retire seventy-six numbers, which along with 42 left them only 24 (including both 0 and 00) left to assign, triggering their death. Then, the study underwent a rigorous peer review process where I asked Carson to edit it and he pretended that he wasn’t online.

This is all. However, I do understand that there are external effects on the life of baseball as a pursuit, and thus I crossed these end-years against the years in which each city would, again via a conservative straight-line projection based on the IPCC Third Assessment Report, be swallowed by the sea due to the effects of climate change. For the sake of brevity, I chose a rate of 2 feet of sea level rise per century. Your mileage and politics may vary.

Our lengthy premise established, please be informed by the following graphic:

As you can see, once the polar ice caps have melted and the sea has risen its maximum 230 feet, the Colorado Rockies will stand alone as baseball’s sole and permanent champions. Denver may not deserve a baseball team, but once overpopulation and roving leatherclad bandits have driven the other remaining vestiges of American society into subterranean prison cities, they’ll be all baseball has.

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Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.

Guest
Chico's Bail Bonds
1 year 11 months ago

I think this has been the Rockies front office’s plan all along…

Guest
NotGraphsForeverCistulliNever
1 year 11 months ago

You make Jeff Sullivan look like Hawk Harrelson.

Guest
#KeepNotGraphs
1 year 11 months ago

Keeping the death theme going….

Member
1 year 11 months ago

If they run out of numbers, they’ll just invent new numbers.

Playing right field for the Astros, wearing number Ã˜Â¶…

Batting leadoff for the Yankees is number Â§Â»…

Guest
Greek mathematician and engineer Heron of Alexandria
1 year 11 months ago

What, you’re just going to start making up numbers now? How absurd.

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rusty
1 year 11 months ago

As a Rockies fan, I would personally rather see the team RETIRE SOME NUMBERS OF THE BLAKE STREET BOMBERS I MEAN COME ON than survive indefinitely

(also, maybe stop hiring them to be your hitting coaches, no offense?)

Guest
Aaron Allen
1 year 11 months ago

if only they could get one of the ones that could actually hit to coach for them, rather than castilla or bichette…

Guest
Werner Herzog
1 year 11 months ago

Upon hearing of NotGraph’s end, my lady-friend asked if this meant no more Travels With Kasper Hauser.

Member
Jenju
1 year 11 months ago

Milwaukee 4 players retired in 35 years?! And we think the Yankees are an old team?

Guest
Paul G.
1 year 11 months ago

As always, hexidecimal will save us.

Guest
Twigman
1 year 11 months ago

I’m happy to see the details of your rigorous peer review process :)

On the subject of ocean levels rising, do the oceans have a maximum level? Level rise is not only due to ice caps melting, but actually in larger part to expansion of heated water: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/impacts/signs/sea-level.html

Though I’m not sure that Colorado would ever be affected by that… perhaps eventually all of the teams in lower-lying areas would just relocate to CO?

Guest
Dr. Obvious
1 year 10 months ago

That’s 400+ years of the Blue Jays guaranteed in the World Series!!!