In my email this morning, I had a message from Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com. As most of you know, I contribute to the blog on that site (formerly known as Stat of the Day.) Sean had forwarded me an email from Alan Schwarz, baseball writer extraordinaire, thanking him for the mention of Juan Lara on the blog that inspired him to write a story for the New York Times, published a few days ago.
I'm both embarrassed and gratified to have been some small help to somebody of Schwarz's stature. He's the author of The Numbers Game, in my view essential reading for any fan of baseball statistics. It is primarily a historical account of the development of statistics in baseball both in terms of what was recorded from game results as well as what fans and teams paid attention to. Hard to believe there was a time when a stat like RBIs wasn't even counted, but you can read all about it in that book.