Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why 755 is more than 61,361

Tim Kurkjian had another impressive piece today where as part of the "Will Barry do it?" hype machine, he takes a look at baseball records and why those numbers seem to be more important than those in other sports.

Well-written and not too full of itself, the column is pretty interesting.

Baseball milestones and numbers play a big part in where we place a player in history, including whether he's a Hall of Famer. It's not the same in football where Art Monk retired as the leading receiver in history, and still isn't in the Hall of Fame. There can be -- and we're not suggesting this is fair -- a big difference between 500 home runs and 493, as Fred McGriff might find out in a few years. Bert Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame, but you wonder if he already would be in Cooperstown had he finished with 300 wins instead of 287. Others want Maris in the Hall on the strength of one number: 61.

One of the things that I love about baseball is that - depending on your perspective - there are plenty of things to catch your interest. You don't necessarily have to be a hard core sports fan to be a baseball fan.

You can be a history buff, or a math nerd or any combination of different personality types and still be a baseball fan.

There's something that makes me like Kurkjian a little more thinking that he understands this. It doesn't quite put him on the Peter Gammons level, but it's enough for Opening Day.

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