Appendix One – Baseball Definitions

This Appendix OneBASEBALL DEFINITION is not meant to be a complete listing of baseball definitions.  The primary purpose is to define the categories on the Roster Charts and The Roster Reviews before each series.  I will begin with the baseball definitions on the Black Ball and Opponent’s Rosters. 80% of the definitions are the same and will be done under Common Roster Definitions.

Black Ball Roster – Hitters – There are some differences between the Black Ball Roster and the opponent rosters.  The difference (definition wise) will be the segment of the roster to the left of the Hitters which has to do with their fielding capabilities.

  • Position – This defines the primary position of the player (catcher, shortstop etc.).
  • E (error) – The error rating of the player is from 10 (few errors) to 1 (many errors).
  • R (range) – AA is excellent range which takes away opponent’s hits.  A player with C or D range gives up many more hits.
  • TH (throwing) – Throwing ratings are for outfielders and catchers only.  A (-) minus rating is good it decreases base runners chance of successfully advancing to another base. A (+) rating for a throwing arm improves the opponenbaseball-on-first-1392509t’s base running capability.
  • PB (passed ball) – This rating is for catchers only.  A passed ball is when the catcher allows a pitched ball to go by him and base runner (s) advance a base.  An excellent rating means less passed balls.  A poor rating means more passed balls.

162 Games – For the Black Ball Roster only, we took their data and projected what they would do as individuals playing a 162 game schedule (equating it to today’s Major League regular season schedule).  For example, Josh Gibson (hitter) based on the data we had in 1993, he would hit 44 home runs in a season if he played 162 games.

Black Ball Roster – Pitchers – There are some differBernard Fernandezences between the Black Ball Roster and the opponent rosters.  The difference (definition wise) will be the segment of the roster to the left of Pitchers which has to do with their pitching/fielding capabilities.

  • Fat. (fatigue) – This is an indicator of what inning a pitcher would begin to experience fatigue if he has allowed eight opponents to get on base.  If the pitcher also has an L symbol or Long, he can be used in long relief of more than two innings.
  • H (hold rating) – This reflects the pitcher’s ability to hold runners.  A pitcher with an excellent hold rating will be tougher to steal a base against, also he has a higher probability of a successful pick-off play (pitcher, for example, throws over to first base and the runner is tagged out before he can return successfully to the base).  A pitcher with a mediocre or poor hold rating will have more opponent base runners successfully steal a base.
  • WP (wild pitch rating) – A pitcher with an excellent wild pitch rating will not throw many pitches past his catcher.  A pitcher with a poor rating will throw more pitches past his catcher with men on base allowing the base runners to advance a base.

162 Games – For the BB Stars’ pitchers, the statistical data is different for the original six pitchers and the four free agent pitchers.  The statistics for the original six BB Stars’ pitchers are projected for a 162 game season.  Pitchers are not like non-pitchers.  Pitchers do not play every day, therefore, their projections reflect less games played than non-pitchers.  The “free agent” pitchers’ statistics are their actual statistics for their “Best Season”.

Opponent Roster (Hitters and Pitchers) – On the Opponent Rosters, the information to the left of the player’s name is A) the Major League team he was on for his “Best Season”, B) the year of his “Best Season” and C) the Win Shares (WS) he earned with that specific team for that specific year.  The player’s statistics to the right of his name are his actual statistics for his “Best Season”.  Remember the BB Stars’ Roster statistics are a projection of what they would have done if they played a 162 game season.

Common Roster Definitions (Hitters) –

  • At bats (AB) – The number of times a player or team comes to bat during a game, series or season (defined period of time) not including walks (base on balls), hit batsman (hit by pitch), sacrifice hits (sacrifice bunts) or sacrifice flies or catcher interference.
  • Runs scored (R) – The number of times the player or team scores (moves around the bases to hBill Jamesome plate which is where they started) for a specific time period (game, series, season or career).
  • Hits (H) – The number of times a player or team reaches base on a ball that is hit (with bat) except for plays the official scorer (official person who records every play of the game on a score sheet) determines the fielder should have made the play but did not (error).
  • Runs Batted In (RBI) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team is credited with an RBI when their offensive action results in their team scoring a run (R).  If it is determined the run scored because of a fielder’s error (E), do not credit the hitter (batter) or team with an RBI.
  • Double (2B) – The number of times a hitter (batter) or team reaches second base on their hit (not a fielding error).
  • Triple (3B) – The number of times a hitter (batter) or team reaches third base on their hit.
  • Home Run (HR) – the number of times a hitter (batter) or team circles the bases (first, second, third and home) on their hit.  99 % of home runs are hit over the fence or wall (left field foul pole to right field foul pole).  Any ball that goes over the fence or wall that hits a foul pole is a fair ball.  I know what you are going to ask me – “Why aren’t the poles called fair poles?”  That is a great question!  I do not know the answer.
  • Total Bases (TB) – The number of total bases the hitter or team has for all of his hits.  Below is a simple chart that shows total bases by type of hit.

Picture2If a player has three hits – a single (1 TB), a double (2 TB) and a home run  (4 TB), the player has seven total bases (TB).

  • Strike Outs (SO) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team has made an out without hitting a fair ball or hitting a foul ball caught by an opponent before ball touches the ground or another object.  It takes three strikes for a strike out.  A strike can be called (hitter does not swing at pitch but the umpire says the ball was in the strike zone).  The strike zone is the width of home plate (seventeen inches) between the hitter’s knees and armpits.  A swinging strike means the hitter (batter) swung at the ball and missed or hit the ball into foul territory.  With two strikes a hitter (batter) can foul off pitches and it is not a strike out.  A foul tip (ball nicks bat) caught by the catcher on the third strike is a strike out.
  • Base on Balls or Walk (BB) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team reaches base because the pitcher has thrown four balls out of the strike zone and the hitter did not swing at these pitches.
  • Hit Batsman (HB) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team reaches first base because the pitcher hit batter with a pitch.
  • Sacrifice Fly (SF) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team hits a ball (with less than two outs) that is caught by a fielder before the ball touches the ground and a runner (teammate of hitter) on third base, leaves the base after the catch and safely crosses home plate, credit the hitter (batter) or team with a sacrifice fly (SF) and a run batted in (RBI)..
  • Sacrifice Hit (SH) – The number of times the hitter (batter) or team with less than two outs, bunts (not a swing but a push with the bat) the ball (usually travels less than thirty feet) to advance runners.  Credit the hitter (batter) or team with a sacrifice hit when he successfully advances the runner.  If the hitter (batter) safely reaches first (not because of fielder error), credit the hitter (batter) with a single and not a sacrifice hit.
  • Stolen Base (SB) – The number of times a runner on first, second or third base successfully runs to the next base (steals the base) while the pitcher is throwing the baseball to the batter and tBUCK LEONARDhe batter does not hit the ball.
  • Batting Average (B. Avg.) – It is a calculation (hits divided by at bats).  For example, a hitter has 100 at bats (AB) with 31 hits (H).   31 divided by 100 (carried three places) is .310 (batting average).
  • On Base Percentage (OBP) – It is a calculation (hits, base on balls and hit batsman divided by base on balls, hit batsman and at bats.  See example below:

AB      H         BB       HB

100      31        6          1          (38 divided by 107 = .355).

  • Slugging Percentage (S. Pct.) – It is a calculation (total bases divided by at bats).  Example, the player with 31 hits in 100 at bats has 21 singles, 4 doubles, 2 triples and 4 home runs.The player’s slugging percentage is .510 (51 TB divided by 100 AB).Slugging Percentages
  • On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage = OPS – In today’s baseball world, OPS is the key number when it comes to evaluating a player or a team’s offensive efficiency.  Let us look at the ficticious player in the examples above.

                                                OBP    +          S.Pct.  =          OPS

                                                .355                 .510                 .865

            An .865 OPS is good but not great for an individual.  It would be an excellent OPS for a team.

Miscellaneous Offensive/Defensive Definitions

  • Batting Order – This definition is the same as “line up”.  The manager of each team submits this document to the home plate umpire before the beginning of the game.  The manager lists the nine players who will bat in chronological order with their position in the field listed beside their name.
  • Designated Hitter (DH) – A hitter who replaces the pitcher in the “line up” or “batting order”.  Since 1973, the American League has used a designated hitter for the pitcher.  The National League still lets the pitcher bat for himself.  In the “Best Season” competition, a designated hitter is not used.
  • Fielder’s Choice (FC) – When runners are on base and the batter hits a ground ball to an infielder, the player or fielder has a choice as to which base runner or the batter to throw out at a specific base, if an attempt is made to throw out a base runner (not the batter running to first base) and the batter reaches first base, he is not credited with a hit.  He reached base on a fielder’s choice (FC).
  • Force Out – When a base runner is thrown out at a base that he is forced to run to (for example, the base runner is on first base, the batter hits the ball on the ground.  The runner on first base must attempt to go to second base because the batter is running to first base).  On a force play, the defensive player does not have to tag the base runner, he can step on the base before base runner gets to the base.1944-homestead-grays
  • Line Up – Before the game the manager of each team submits a line up (batting order) from one through nine which also lists the position (in the field) for each of these players (pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder and right fielder).
  • Pinch Hitter (PH) – A player who comes off the bench to bat for a player in the line up.  The player being pinched hit for may not re-enter the game.
  • Pinch Runner (PR) – A player who comes off the bench to run for a base runner (on first, second or third base).  The player being pinched run for may not re-enter the game.

Common Roster Definitions (Pitchers) – The pitching definitions focus on data found in charts through out the book.

  • Games (G) – The number of games the pitcher or team’s pitchers pitched in for a specific period of time (series, season or career).
  • Games Started (GS) – The number of games started by a pitcher or pitching staff over a given time period (series, season or career).
  • Quality Starts (QS) – The following chart defines quality starts.  A pitcher needs to pitch six innings (minimum) as a starter.Quality Starts
  • Complete Games (CG) – The number of games the pitcher who starts the game, finishes it.  Today (twenty-first century), it is rare to have pitchers who complete more than 10 % of their starts.  In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century 75 % or more of the games were complete games.
  • Saves (S) – The number of games the relief pitcher (of the winning team) who finishes the game meets the falling qualifications, credit him with a Save.
  1. 1.      He pitches three or more innings and he is not the winning pitcher.
  2. 2.      The tying run is on base, at bat or on deck when he enters the game.


  • Pitching Wins (W) – The number of games won by the pitcher or team over a specific period of time (series, season or career).
  • Pitching Losses (L) – The number of games lost by the pitcher or team over a specific period of time.
  • Winning Percentage – This is a calculation (wins divided by total decisions of wins and losses).  For example, a pitcher or team wins seven games and loses three games, their winning percentage is .700 (7 divided by 10).
  • Innings Pitched – The number of innings pitched by the pitcher or pitching staff for a specific period of time (game, series, season or career).  Innings pitched can be a whole inning (example, 8) or if the pitcher begins an inning and retires no one it would be recorded as 8+ (pitched in ninth inning but retired no batters in ninth inning).  If pitcher retires one batter in his ninth inning it would be 8.3 innings pitched.  If pitcher retired two batters in his ninth inning it would be 8.7 innings pitched.
  • Hits (H) – This is the number of hits allowed by the pitcher or pitching staff over a specific time period (game, series, season or career).
  • Strike Outs (SO) – The number of strike outs by this pitcher or pitching staff over a specific time period (game, series, season or career).
  • Walks or Base on Balls (BB) – The number of walks (BB) by the pitcher or pitching staff over a specific time period.
  • Hit Batsman (HB) – The number of batters hit by pitch (HB) by this pitcher or pitching staff over a specific time period.
  • Home Runs (HR) – The number of home runs allowed by this pitcher or pitching staff over a specific period of time.
  • Runs Allowed (R) – The total number of runs allowed by this pitcher or pitching staff over a specific period of time.
  • Earned Runs Allowed (ER) – The total number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher or pitching staff over a specific time period.  Earned runs do not include runs allowed due to defensive lapses (errors or passed balls).  Runs allowed because the pitcher threw a wild pitch are earned runs because it was the pitching failure that allowed the run.  If the pitcher makes a fielding error (wild throw or misplay fielding a ball), the runs allowed because of his fielding error would be unearned.
  • Earned Run Average (ERA) – This is a calculation to reflect the number of earned runs a pitcher or pitching staff would give up in nine innings (normal complete game).  The formula is earned runs (ER) times nine divided by innings pitched.  Example, the pitcher gives up six earned runs in thirteen innings pitched.  His ERA is 4.15 (6 ER x 9 or 54 divided by 13 IP).

Series Results – Using modified Roster Charts for the BB Stars and the Opponents, you post their actual results (Hitting and Pitching) at the end of the chapter for each nine game series.

Fielding Definitions – The fielding segment of definitions will be limited.  The Black Ball Roster Review section (Chapter One) and the Opponent Roster Reviews for the ten series in this book will be the primary fielding information for each team.

  • Fielding positions by the numbers
  1. Pitcher
  2. Catcher
  3. First Baseman
  4. Second Baseman
  5. Third Baseman
  6. Shortstop
  7. Left Fielder
  8. Center Fielder
  9. Right Fielderbirds-eye-view-of-baseball-game-detroit-at-chicago-october-1908
  • Defensive Substitution – Some players have superior offensive skills but are weak defensively (poor or average range; prone to making errors; an outfielder or catcher with average or below average throwing arm).  If your team is leading in the seventh inning or later, defensive substitution is highly recommended.  If it is earlier in the game and your team is leading by four or more runs, make defensive substitutions earlier.
  • Double Switch – With no designated hitter (DH) in the “Best Season” competition, the double switch is used frequently.  For example, your pitcher is due to lead off the next inning.  The pitcher gets in trouble and as the manager you decide to make a pitching change.  The relief pitcher you are bringing in, you would like to pitch a couple of innings.  Make a double switch.  The team’s number eight hitter is the team’s shortstop and he made the final out in the previous inning.  Bring the new pitcher in to the game and have him bat in the eighth spot.  The new shortstop will lead off batting in the ninth position.NEGRO LEAGUE POSTERSummary – As stated at the beginning of Appendix One on Baseball Definitions, there was no intent to have this be a comprehensive appendix on baseball definitions.  It was an overview to help readers grasp all the baseball information (primarily on all the charts that summarize how exceptional all of these 400 players were and how well they actually performed in this “Best Season” competition).  The author is assuming that the reader has basic knowledge on the game of baseball.

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Bob, The Baseball Man

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