Odds and Ends

by Greg in

Trip down memory lane I went on eBay recently and purchased for under $4 the 1993 Cape Cod Baseball League Media Guide (108th year). The previous owner was a fan from Marstons Mills. Perhaps he's also a CodBall reader?

I couldn't resist adding it to my collection. I also bid on a 1984 media guide as well from the fan in Marstons Mills. And I see on eBay that guides from the 1970s also are available.

The facts contained in the media guide are less interesting to me than viewing the media guide as a historical document. The facts are easily researched on the Internet. The Orleans Cardinals won the league championship. Jason Varitek was the MVP and batting champion. Nomar Garciaparra won the "10th Player Award." The 1993 All-League team included Darin Ersted in addition to Varitek and Garciaparra.

What is more fun is to see how much has changed in 17 seasons. The Mets, Mariners and Whitecaps logos look like (and may have been) from the 1960s. The Cape League logo itself looks like something from the 1970s. (The current Cape League logo, while updated, also looks a little dated in my view.)

The pages of the media guide look like they were prepared by a rudimentary word processor. Remember that the Internet did not really take off until after 1995, which explains why a media guide that looked back on a season was needed in the first place. This backward-looking media guide is no longer needed. Instead, the league does  a forward looking guide at the beginning of the season. It is nice to have a complete set of season stats from 1993.

Statistically speaking

On the first page of my old guide is a listing of Cape League officials back then, and I see John Wylde's name as Head Statistician. You can search CodBall for our podcasts and musings on John's important contributions to the league over the years. Seeing his name reminded me of two things.

First, we need to interview the new Head Statistician for the league. It's not clear to me who today is the Head Statistician for the league. His or her name is not listed on the Cape League website directory. One of my favorite conversations each year was to hear what John Wylde was thinking of or worried about after his annual review of the statistics.

Second, I was reminded of John when I read the April 12th issue of The New Yorker. Ben McGrath has a look at this year's spring training. In his article, he reports on Greg Rybarczyk's statistical categorization of home runs. He has three categories -- No Doubt (ND), Just Enough (JE) and Plenty (PL). Mark Teixera led the league in No Doubts and Jason Werth led in Just Enoughs. If you have not visited Greg's Hit Tracker website you must.

Wylde, who was a great fan of tracking homeruns in the Cape League, would have read this categorization with great interest. I could imagine the two of us talking about Dennis Raben's No Doubters in the 2007 All-Star game and derby at Wareham. Andrew shot some video from that game for CodBall.

Well, I am off for this afternoon's Opening Day game here in Seattle against the Oakland A's. With these two defensive teams I don't expect to see any No Doubters, but maybe Ichiro will hit a Plenty!