Professor John Saccoman, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and chair of the department of Mathematics and Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, appeared on the MLB Network Radio show Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM Saturday.
Author of a biographical article about Gil Hodges that appears on the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) website, Saccoman spoke about the famous player's recent election into the baseball Hall of Fame during the interview on MLB Network Radio. Gil Hodges was a long time Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and a manager for the Mets during its 1969 World Series win.
"This is a happy time, and his election is long overdue," Saccoman said. "He has received more votes total over the years than any other player nominated or inducted, but never was elected until now."
Saccoman has written several books about sabermetrics, the empirical study of baseball. Sabermetrics makes it possible, in a team sport where players' performance depends on the others on the field, to "divorce the context to see an individual player's contribution," Saccoman explained. He has also presented several times to the SABR, and the Hodges article has appeared in books about the 1947 Dodgers and the 1969 Mets.
"When I started analyzing, I felt strongly that Gil Hodges should have been elected already," Saccoman said. "He had done his part on the field, and as a manager, and so I had to make a case for him."
Beyond the number crunching, Saccoman grew up rooting for the Mets when Hodges was the team's manager and came from a family of Dodgers fans, so his connection to Hodges was cemented at a young age.
Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style airs weekly throughout the year on MLB Network Radio and examines and interprets the crucial role statistical analysis holds in baseball today. It is hosted by Vince Gennaro, the former SABR Board President and a thought leader in baseball and sports analytics.
If you missed the original airing, the show with Saccoman's interview is available on demand to subscribers nationwide on Sirius XM App.
Categories: Arts and Culture