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height-weight data

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  • Jonathan Koren
    I m looking for height-weight data for each MLB player broken down by year. Looking at the baseball-databank data I m seeing the height-weight for only one
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 12, 2006
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      I'm looking for height-weight data for each MLB player broken down by year.
      Looking at the baseball-databank data I'm seeing the height-weight for only
      one indeterminate year, since it's stored with the other biographical data
      for the player.

      It seems like height and weight data would be available through media guides
      and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this information is available in
      a machine readable format. Can anyone help me?

      Thanks.

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    • Theodore Turocy
      ... I don t see any reason to believe that what you d get in media guides or baseball cards is necessarily any more accurate, even if it were systematically
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 12, 2006
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        On 10/12/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
        > It seems like height and weight data would be available through media guides
        > and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this information is available in
        > a machine readable format.

        I don't see any reason to believe that what you'd get in media guides
        or baseball cards is necessarily any more accurate, even if it were
        systematically recorded in electronic format.

        TT
      • Jonathan Koren
        From: Theodore Turocy Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 22:34:31 -0500 ... It s not so much a question of accuracy, it s the fact that a person s
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 12, 2006
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          From: "Theodore Turocy" <drarbiter@...>
          Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 22:34:31 -0500

          >On 10/12/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
          > > It seems like height and weight data would be available through media
          >guides
          > > and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this information is available
          >in
          > > a machine readable format.
          >
          >I don't see any reason to believe that what you'd get in media guides
          >or baseball cards is necessarily any more accurate, even if it were
          >systematically recorded in electronic format.

          It's not so much a question of accuracy, it's the fact that a person's
          weight can change from year to year, but the databases I've seen assumes
          that weight is invariant, like birthplace. I only suggested media guides
          and baseball cards as a possible source for weight-vs-time data.

          If this data doesn't exist anywhere, that's fine. I already suspect it
          doesn't, but just wanted to know if it did somewhere.

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        • Rod Nelson
          In the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia (Palmer/Gillette), Pete Palmer introduced a new format for displaying the range of a player s weight over his career,
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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            In the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia (Palmer/Gillette), Pete Palmer
            introduced a new format for displaying the range of a player's weight over
            his career, although it's not listed year by year. Here's a link to a
            sample page, note Bonds.. http://247baseball.com/samples/ban-bb2006-68.pdf

            Rod Nelson

            -----Original Message-----
            From: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jonathan Koren
            Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 1:52 AM
            To: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [baseball-databank] height-weight data

            From: "Theodore Turocy" <drarbiter@...>
            Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 22:34:31 -0500

            >On 10/12/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
            > > It seems like height and weight data would be available through media
            >guides
            > > and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this information is available

            >in
            > > a machine readable format.
            >
            >I don't see any reason to believe that what you'd get in media guides
            >or baseball cards is necessarily any more accurate, even if it were
            >systematically recorded in electronic format.

            It's not so much a question of accuracy, it's the fact that a person's
            weight can change from year to year, but the databases I've seen assumes
            that weight is invariant, like birthplace. I only suggested media guides
            and baseball cards as a possible source for weight-vs-time data.

            If this data doesn't exist anywhere, that's fine. I already suspect it
            doesn't, but just wanted to know if it did somewhere.
          • Sean Forman
            ... -- -- Sincerely, Sean Forman Baseball Stats! http://www.Baseball-Reference.com/ SR Blog! http://www.Baseball-Reference.com/blog/
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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              On 10/13/06, Rod Nelson <rnelson@...> wrote:

              In the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia (Palmer/Gillette), Pete Palmer
              introduced a new format for displaying the range of a player's weight over
              his career, although it's not listed year by year. Here's a link to a
              sample page, note Bonds.. http://247baseball.com/samples/ban-bb2006-68.pdf

              Rod Nelson

              -----Original Message-----
              From: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jonathan Koren
              Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 1:52 AM
              To: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [baseball-databank] height-weight data

              From: "Theodore Turocy" <drarbiter@...>
              Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 22:34:31 -0500

              >On 10/12/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
              > > It seems like height and weight data would be available through media
              >guides
              > > and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this information is available

              >in
              > > a machine readable format.
              >
              >I don't see any reason to believe that what you'd get in media guides
              >or baseball cards is necessarily any more accurate, even if it were
              >systematically recorded in electronic format.

              It's not so much a question of accuracy, it's the fact that a person's
              weight can change from year to year, but the databases I've seen assumes
              that weight is invariant, like birthplace. I only suggested media guides
              and baseball cards as a possible source for weight-vs-time data.

              If this data doesn't exist anywhere, that's fine. I already suspect it
              doesn't, but just wanted to know if it did somewhere.




              --
              --
              Sincerely,        
              Sean Forman

              Baseball Stats!  http://www.Baseball-Reference.com/
              SR Blog!           http://www.Baseball-Reference.com/blog/
            • Theodore Turocy
              ... I don t believe it s the case that databases assume weight is invariant, but rather that there is no meaningful year-by-year weight data. Even for modern
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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                On 10/13/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
                > It's not so much a question of accuracy, it's the fact that a person's
                > weight can change from year to year, but the databases I've seen assumes
                > that weight is invariant, like birthplace.

                I don't believe it's the case that databases assume weight is
                invariant, but rather that there is no meaningful year-by-year weight
                data. Even for modern players, height and weight measurements are at
                best treated as decent approximations -- you can find players who are
                listed by different, reputable sources with weights that are 20 pounds
                apart.

                There's no formal measurement of weight done every year, and the
                provenance of the weight data we do have is suspect. A database
                purporting to have such data would be very suspect, because it's
                implying a level of accuracy that doesn't exist. If someone *did*
                collect the data, it's be meaningless, because it's not systematically
                collected. If a player's weight is listed the same two years in a row,
                is it because he maintained the same playing weight, or because the
                data source wasn't updated? Conversely, if his listed weight is
                changed, does that mean he gained/lost weight that year, or was it
                just a periodic update that captured a change that happened over the
                years?

                TT
              • Tom Stillman
                As others have mentioned, this information is very sketchy. My question is why Fox or ESPN does not have Baseball Player Height and Weigh-In Days. You know
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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                  As others have mentioned, this information is very
                  sketchy. My question is why Fox or ESPN does not have
                  "Baseball Player Height and Weigh-In Days." You know
                  a bunch of glitz and glamor and each player gets
                  weighed and measured. As an aside, this may be the
                  best thing to discourage players from using
                  performance-enhancing drugs. Each player who showed,
                  say a 10% in weight increase would be grilled by a
                  reporter as to what happened to get them that way.

                  Remember folks when this show is aired you heard it
                  hear first 8-)

                  Tom Stillman


                  --- Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:

                  > I'm looking for height-weight data for each MLB
                  > player broken down by year.
                  > Looking at the baseball-databank data I'm seeing the
                  > height-weight for only
                  > one indeterminate year, since it's stored with the
                  > other biographical data
                  > for the player.
                  >
                  > It seems like height and weight data would be
                  > available through media guides
                  > and/or baseball cards, but I don't know if this
                  > information is available in
                  > a machine readable format. Can anyone help me?
                  >
                  > Thanks.
                  >
                  >
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                  > Search—Your way, your world, right now!
                  >
                  http://imagine-windowslive.com/minisites/searchlaunch/?locale=en-us&FORM=WLMTAG
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://www.baseball-databank.org/
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  > (Yahoo! ID required)
                  >
                  >
                  mailto:baseball-databank-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


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                • Jonathan Koren
                  Okay, thanks. That answers my question. ... _________________________________________________________________ Be seen and heard with Windows Live Messenger
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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                    Okay, thanks. That answers my question.

                    >From: "Theodore Turocy" <drarbiter@...>
                    >Reply-To: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: baseball-databank@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: Re: [baseball-databank] height-weight data
                    >Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 09:30:07 -0500
                    >
                    >On 10/13/06, Jonathan Koren <jonathankoren@...> wrote:
                    > > It's not so much a question of accuracy, it's the fact that a person's
                    > > weight can change from year to year, but the databases I've seen assumes
                    > > that weight is invariant, like birthplace.
                    >
                    >I don't believe it's the case that databases assume weight is
                    >invariant, but rather that there is no meaningful year-by-year weight
                    >data. Even for modern players, height and weight measurements are at
                    >best treated as decent approximations -- you can find players who are
                    >listed by different, reputable sources with weights that are 20 pounds
                    >apart.
                    >
                    >There's no formal measurement of weight done every year, and the
                    >provenance of the weight data we do have is suspect. A database
                    >purporting to have such data would be very suspect, because it's
                    >implying a level of accuracy that doesn't exist. If someone *did*
                    >collect the data, it's be meaningless, because it's not systematically
                    >collected. If a player's weight is listed the same two years in a row,
                    >is it because he maintained the same playing weight, or because the
                    >data source wasn't updated? Conversely, if his listed weight is
                    >changed, does that mean he gained/lost weight that year, or was it
                    >just a periodic update that captured a change that happened over the
                    >years?
                    >
                    >TT

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                  • Rickert, John H
                    ... So if Babe and Paul are listed as 200 pounds in source 1, but source 2 lists them as 20 pounds apart from that, Babe at 220, and Paul at 180, do we have
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 13, 2006
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                      Re: height-weight data

                      On October 13, 2006 10:30:07 AM EDT Ted (drarbiter@...) wrote:

                      >I don't believe it's the case that databases assume weight is
                      >invariant, but rather that there is no meaningful year-by-year weight
                      >data. Even for modern players, height and weight measurements are at
                      >best treated as decent approximations -- you can find players who are
                      >listed by different, reputable sources with weights that are 20 pounds
                      >apart.
                      So if Babe and Paul are listed as 200 pounds in source 1, but source 2 lists them
                       as 20 pounds apart from that, Babe at 220, and Paul at 180,
                      do we have the same amount of information that we had before?

                      >There's no formal measurement of weight done every year, and the
                      >provenance of the weight data we do have is suspect.
                      I don't see that rejecting data will improve that, but recording more data might.
                      >A database purporting to have such data would be very suspect, because it's
                      >implying a level of accuracy that doesn't exist.
                      No more than "databases assume weight is invariant". You or I may assume
                      that from the database, but all the database is saying is that
                      "this source claimed that that player weighed so much."
                      A comprehensive database might even be more likely to show us that the data is unreliable,
                      due to the variation of the numbers.

                      > If someone *did* collect the data, it's be meaningless,
                      >because it's not systematically collected.
                      The data in the encyclopedias was not systematically collected either,
                      but it can still be used to make broad statements (Look ma! Players are getting larger!)
                      I don't see how rejecting data helps, and analysis of the data might lead to new knowledge.
                      But we certainly won't know if we never collect it.
                      Some analysis of the data can probably also tell us that some sources are more trustworthy than others, or make it clear which are derivative.

                      >If a player's weight is listed the same two years in a row,
                      >is it because he maintained the same playing weight, or because the
                      >data source wasn't updated? Conversely, if his listed weight is
                      >changed, does that mean he gained/lost weight that year, or was it
                      >just a periodic update that captured a change that happened over the
                      >years?
                      And playing a day game in 100 degree weather might cause a player to drop 10-15 pounds during the day, so any single weight, even for a single day is wrong. Yet somehow we believe that Prince Fielder's playing weight is greater than Kent Tekulve's was.
                      If the encyclopedia lists a single weight, does that mean that he stayed the same weight his entire career?
                      No, and all the extra data means is that we have some more fuzzy data about the player's weight.


                      Some of the problems can be illustrated looking at Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker's data from Baseball Digest, 1979-1994.
                      T: 160,170, 170,175,175,175,175, 175,175,175,175,175, 175,175,185,185
                      W: 160,160, 160,155,160,160,160, 160,170,160,160,160, 180,180,180,180
                      Even with this limited, non-cross-checked data, we see that their weight did increase a bit over their careers,
                      something with which contemporary accounts agree. As for Whitaker's 1987 "170". Is it an error? Is it real?
                      Were the 1988-90 numbers just careless copies of pre-1987 data?
                      Maybe I should check some more sources, or look at newspaper accounts of the time to see if they talked of his working out over the winter (or was ill between 1987-88).
                      I think it's better than the Encyclopedia standard: Trammell 175, Whiatker 160.

                      Perfect? No. Better? a little. And that's just from a few minutes paging through one source.
                      Flawed? yes.
                      But I see no reason to a priori discard the data simply because it's randomly sloppy and we can't see if there's a proper way to use it.

                      "On the subject of stars, all investigations which are not ultimately reducible to simple visual observations are…necessarily denied to us… We shall never be able by any means to study their chemical composition." - August Comte (37 years before the first spectrograph of Vega)

                      john rickert

                    • Theodore Turocy
                      ... You re changing the question here. We still have significant ambiguity as to their weights, even though most of us would agree it is quite likely that Babe
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 14, 2006
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                        On 10/13/06, Rickert, John H <rickert@...> wrote:

                        So if Babe and Paul are listed as 200 pounds in source 1, but source 2 lists them
                         as 20 pounds apart from that, Babe at 220, and Paul at 180,
                        do we have the same amount of information that we had before?






                        You're changing the question here. We still have significant ambiguity as to their weights, even though most of us would agree it is quite likely that Babe was heavier. My position is that the problem is not that we should add a weight column to a player's year-by-year statistics, but rather that weight measurements carry a significant amount of ambiguity. You example illustrates and does not contradict my point.



                        The data in the encyclopedias was not systematically collected either,
                        but it can still be used to make broad statements (Look ma! Players are getting larger!)
                        I don't see how rejecting data helps, and analysis of the data might lead to new knowledge.








                        I am not rejecting data.  I am advocating a more careful analysis and recording of the provenance of the data.


                        Some of the problems can be illustrated looking at Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker's data from Baseball Digest, 1979-1994.
                        T: 160,170, 170,175,175,175,175, 175,175,175,175,175, 175,175,185,185
                        W: 160,160, 160,155,160,160,160, 160,170,160,160,160, 180,180,180,180
                        Even with this limited, non-cross-checked data, we see that their weight did increase a bit over their careers,
                        something with which contemporary accounts agree.










                        Don't almost all players get heavier over time?
                         

                        As for Whitaker's 1987 "170". Is it an error? Is it real?
                        Were the 1988-90 numbers just careless copies of pre-1987 data?
                        Maybe I should check some more sources, or look at newspaper accounts of the time to see if they talked of his working out over the winter (or was ill between 1987-88).
                        I think it's better than the Encyclopedia standard: Trammell 175, Whiatker 160.

                        Perfect? No. Better? a little. And that's just from a few minutes paging through one source.
                        Flawed? yes.
                        But I see no reason to a priori discard the data simply because it's randomly sloppy and we can't see if there's a proper way to use it.















                        As far as I can tell, you're vehemently agreeing with me, John.  My objection is that simply converting one weight entry in the Master table to individual weight entries in the, say, Batting table of bbdb does not accomplish anything, because we are simply moving the ambiguity around if we do that. If someone wants to compile observations of the form { player, source, publication date, weight }, I'd have absolutely no objection -- it would be an approrpiate approach.

                        My main assertion, though, is that little is gained from moving from "John Smith weighed 200 pounds" to "John Smith weighed 200 pounds in 1980," and the statement "John Smith weighed 200 pounds in 1980" is very different from "John Smith played in 112 games in 1980."

                        TT

                         



                      • Tangotiger
                        There are three aspects here: 1 - data recording 2 - data quality 3 - data analysis The data recorder does nothing but record data. It s as simple as that.
                        Message 11 of 13 , Oct 14, 2006
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                          There are three aspects here:
                          1 - data recording
                          2 - data quality
                          3 - data analysis

                          The data recorder does nothing but record data. It's
                          as simple as that. It requires no thought whatsoever,
                          not even ensuring of accuracy. So, when it comes to
                          recording weight, you set up a table that looks like
                          this, with the first 3 fields being the key:

                          playerid, year, source, weight, unit
                          Whita01, 1981, BBGuide, 175, lbs
                          Whita01, 1981, BBDigest, 170, lbs
                          Whita01, 1981, EuroGuide, 80, kg

                          If someone wants to then do the data quality, they
                          can. You'd set up a NEW table, with the first two
                          fields as the key, and the third field (source) will
                          be a foreign key back to the original table. This
                          step isn't necessary.

                          The third step is the data analysis, and if the data
                          quality wasn't performed, then the analysis would have
                          to make some assumptions, deciding to trust a
                          particular source, or take some sort of average.

                          Tom


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                        • Theodore Turocy
                          I concur completely with tango s clear and succinct summary and (implicitly) suggested approaches. TT
                          Message 12 of 13 , Oct 14, 2006
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                            I concur completely with tango's clear and succinct summary and (implicitly) suggested approaches.

                            TT

                          • Rickert, John H
                            ... On Sat 10/14/2006 11:41 AM Theodore Turocy ... Oops. Sorry for the misinterpreation. ... yeah, that s pretty much what I was thinking of. Emily Litella...
                            Message 13 of 13 , Oct 15, 2006
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                              -----Original Message-----
                              On Sat 10/14/2006 11:41 AM Theodore Turocy

                              >As far as I can tell, you're vehemently agreeing with me, John.
                              Oops. Sorry for the misinterpreation.
                              > My objection is that simply converting one weight entry in the Master table to
                              >individual weight entries in the, say, Batting table of bbdb does not
                              >accomplish anything, because we are simply moving the ambiguity around if we
                              >do that. If someone wants to compile observations of the form
                              > { player,source, publication date, weight }, I'd have absolutely no objection -- it
                              >would be an approrpiate approach.

                              yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking of.


                              Emily Litella... errr.. john.
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