Highly Technical Study: Cool vs. Lame

As any of my fellow NotGraphs contributors will proudly attest, our primary purpose here is to advance the state of baseball knowledge through cutting-edge research. To that end, I now submit to you the results of a study designed to resolve a question of vital interest. Namely: which players, in the history of this sport, have been the most overappreciated and underappreciated? Or, stated in the vernacular: of which players is it coolest, and lamest, to be a fan? You might think that such a subjective question would thwart all empirical investigation. But you would be severely underestimating the resources (and the wits) at our disposal here at the NotLabs. Among those resources is a series of measurements that provide a precise and infallible index of what we may casually term “fame”: the number of backlinks to every ballplayer’s Wikipedia page.* Players who are more famous, we postulate, will have more Wikipedia pages linking to their own page. By plotting a player’s backlink count against his career WAR, we may generate a regression line that predicts fame based on value, and then measure deviations from that line. In our first application of this methodology (to hitters only), we obtain the following. Discuss.

(Note: Players best known as anything other than baseball players, e.g. Bobby Valentine or Deion Sanders, were thrown out.)

(Another Note: Players with non-standard characters, e.g. accents, in their names were not handled correctly and were thrown out.)

(Yet Another Note: Mike Tyson, Carlos Santana, Eddie Murphy, Jim Morrison, and a few other confusingly named players were thrown out.)

(The Last Note: Excuse please the primitive and unsortable tables. I was too busy with my sophisticated analysis to worry about such things.)

Most Underappreciated

Most Overappreciated

* Accessible here.



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Guest
Resolution

In the interest of helping the most excellent study – I may suggest controlling for when the player played. Given how the overappreciated list is more heavily populated by players who were relevant in the internet age, there may be a cohort effect going on in that these players may generate greater presence on the internet than those who played pre-internet solely because the internet coincided with them playing. It may make sense to devise a variable that can then control for this.

chiefglockandhummer
Guest
chiefglockandhummer

Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, some civil rights heroes, a bunch of yankees, and suspected PED users. weird list.

chiefglockandhummer
Guest
chiefglockandhummer

didn’t mean to hit reply to resolution

Resolution
Guest
Resolution

OH YES YOU DID!

wpDiscuz