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Henry Chadwick Issues the First Compilation of Baseball Statistics

1860
<p>Cover on the first edition in the Johannsen Collection. Rare Books and Special Collections, Northern Illinois University.</p>

Cover on the first edition in the Johannsen Collection. Rare Books and Special Collections, Northern Illinois University.

In 1860 Anglo-American sports journalist Henry Chadwick issued Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player: a Compendium of the Game Comprising Elementary Instructions of this American Game of Ball; together with the Revised Rules and Regulations for 1860. This handbook, written by Chadwick and published in New York by Irwin P. Beadle, was the first baseball guide published for sale to the general public. In this work Chadwick  

"listed totals of games played, outs, runs, home runs, and strikeouts for hitters on prominent clubs, the first database of its kind. His goal was to provide numerical evidence to prove what players helped or hurt a team to win. . . . He is credited with devising the baseball box score (which he adapted from the cricket scorecard) for reporting game events. The first box score was a grid with nine rows for players and nine columns for innings. The original box scores also created the often puzzling abbreviation for strikeout as 'K' - 'K' being the last letter of 'struck' in 'struck out.' The basic format and structure of the box score has changed little since the earliest of ones designed by Chadwick. He is also credited with devising such statistical measures as batting average and earned run average. Ironically, ERA originated not in the goal of measuring a pitcher's worth but to differentiate between runs caused by batting skill (hits) and lack of fielding skill (errors). He is also noted as believing fielding range to be a superior skill to avoiding errors" (Wikipedia article on Henry Chadwick, accessed 10-06-2012).

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