Homers in the Gloaming

Baseball, statistics, and the Chicago Cubs

Random stats: those were the runs

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For fun, here are the fifteen best historical offensive seasons by Cubs players, as measured by a very simple version of Pete Palmer’s linear weights method.  The numbers are “batting runs,” measured in runs above average.  Ten runs above average corresponds to roughly one win above average added in a season.

For comparison, Geovany Soto is on pace for something like 14 runs above average this year, Derrek Lee for 16 or so, and Aramis Ramirez for something like 17.5.

By this metric, the best three seasons by any player were 136.5 for Bonds in ’04, 135.9 for Bonds in ’01, and 135.7 by Ruth in ’21.  Sosa’s great ’01 season is 22nd all-time.  It’s amazing that three of the top 15 seasons came in 1930.  That year’s Cubs averaged 6.5 runs per game.

One can also calculate runs above average for pitching and fielding, and I will post these soon.  Let’s get a whole bunch of runs above average tomorrow!

(As an aside, the figures for Hack Wilson, Hornsby, Cuyler, and English may deserve an asterisk, as caught stealing data is not available for their seasons.  Instead, steals are removed from their calculations.  Notably, Kiki Cuyler did have 37 successful steals in ’30, so his figure is likely even higher.  Gabby Hartnett of homer in the gloamin’ fame was also on those ’30 Cubs.)


Written by ollie

28 July 2008 at 12:58 am

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