Statistics Colloquium
November 2 (Fri) 11 a.m.
Alavi Commons Room, 6625 Everett Tower

Where have you gone, Carl Yastrzemski?

John Daniels
Department of Mathematics
Central Michigan University

In the sport of baseball, a hitter who wins the league batting average, home run, and RBI (runs batted in) titles all in the same year is awarded the Triple Crown. This is a rare, but not impossible event. In 111 years of baseball, there have been 15 baseball players (10 American League, 5 National League) who have won the Triple Crown. In 1933, a player from each league won the Triple Crown. The last person to win the National League triple crown was Joe “Ducky” Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937 (.374, 31, 154). The last person to win the American League Triple Crown was Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers 2012 (.330, 44, 139). Before that, the last Triple Crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

From 1967, why did 45 years pass by without another Triple Crown Winner? Prior to 1967, the longest period without a Triple Crown winner was 10 years. Has the game of baseball been fundamentally changed somehow, or is it simply that the right athlete hasn’t come along? In this talk, we will explore these issues along with some interesting facts about the history of our national pastime. We will examine some statistical techniques that allow us to make some inferences about the changing nature of the game of baseball. Finally, if you didn’t grow up with baseball, you might learn a little about this popular American game. This talk is presented from a statistician’s point of view, but is intended to interest the mathematically inclined and baseball fans alike.

All statistics students are expected to attend.


Past colloquiums


Department of Statistics
3304 Everett Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5152 USA
(269) 387-1420 | (269) 387-1419 Fax