THE CRYSTAL COMPUTER
After five months with a computer, Arnold J. Soolman, a systems analyst from Brookline, Mass. and a baseball fan as well, has come up with some unexpected conclusions.
For one, he has discovered that instead of being "75% of baseball," pitching and fielding combined never have been more than 54.9% of the game. Other tidbits:
The 1939 New York Yankees comprised the most talented team of all time ( Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Keller, Tommy Henrich, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Joe Gordon, Frank Crosetti, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Spud Chandler, Johnny Murphy et al.).
The other greatest teams (in order): 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1927 Yankees, 1936 Yankees, 1906 Chicago Cubs, 1937 Yankees, 1942 Yankees, 1929 Philadelphia Athletics, 1944 St. Louis Cardinals.
The worst teams in history were the 1915 Philadelphia A's and the 1932 Red Sox.
Don't argue with Soolman. To arrive at his sometimes startling conclusions he examined the records of every one of the 1,166 major league teams from 1901 through 1970 and took into account the special factors in the dead-ball era (1901-20), the prewar lively ball era (1921-45), the postwar preexpansion era (1946-60) and the modern expansion era (1961-70).
He then used plain and simple, if a bit old-fashioned, multivariate linear regression analysis.
KEEPING UP WITH BOBBY
Now that Bobby Fischer has settled down to play chess in his championship series with Boris Spassky (the American has won three and drawn one in the last four games), the matches have truly begun to catch on. Because of legal problems, television coverage has been restricted to a makeshift network of educational TV outlets in the Northeast ( New York City, Rochester and Boston), but prospects are good that the show will go national very soon.