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Joe is the founder of Project COBB, under which he serves as Stats and Research Manager for the GB National Team and chairs the British Baseball Hall of Fame. Joe's writing has been published in book form by Fineleaf.

Roundshaw Hop: Avoiding infamy

Roundshaw-Hop-(128x128)Yesterday I was reading in The Great American Novel about the record-breaking exploits of the woeful Ruppert Mundys, a team that finishes with an abysmal 34-120 record in the 1943 season of Philip Roth’s fictional Patriot League. It set me thinking about what undesirable records the Croydon Pirates might be on pace to break in the 2009 National Baseball League season.

I have compared southern top-tier teams across the last nine seasons in four statistical categories, each of which can give us an indication of how overmatched a team was (averaging across the players) in a particular season. This is what I found.

Batting average
Lowest team average – .221 (Richmond Flames, 2004)
Pirates’ 2009 team average – .233

Strike-out rate by batters (per plate appearance)
Highest team rate – 33.2% (Bracknell Blazers, 2008)
Pirates’ 2009 team rate – 24.3%

Earned-run average
Highest team average – 12.25 (Bracknell Blazers, 2008)
Pirates’ 2009 team average – 14.77

Walk rate by pitchers (per plate appearance)
Highest team rate – 21.6% (Bracknell Blazers, 2006)
Pirates’ 2009 team rate – 19.7%

Among these four categories, the Pirates are currently on pace to break only one record, although their batting average and walk rate by pitchers are not safe yet. And there may be a few more undesirable records that I have not yet checked that the Pirates could be in the running for in 2009.

Since the breakaway league of the early 1990s merged with the official British Baseball League for the 1995 season, there has been only one top-tier team to go 0-fer on the year – Manchester Express in 2004 (0-20). The Pirates (currently 0-14) could become the second one, and the first in the south.

Please visit http://www.gbbsa.org.uk/current.html for 2009 stats and http://www.gbbsa.org.uk/historical.html for historical stats.

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3 Responses to “Roundshaw Hop: Avoiding infamy”

  1. Tim #

    Joe, how about this –

    Unless they notch up a win this season, the Pirates are on course to be the only top-tier team since the National Baseball League was launched in 2001 to have an unbeaten regular season (26-0, 2007) and a winless season to their name.

    June 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm Reply
  2. Hi Tim,

    To add to that, I’m pretty confident it would be the most rapid transition from 1.000 ball to .000 ball in British history.

    They came very close indeed against the Falcons in game two on Sunday, holding a 6-run lead at one point, but Herts know how to construct a big inning or two when they really need them.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm Reply


  1. BaseballGB » Blog Archive » Roundshaw Hop: Avoiding infamy – an update - August 23, 2009

    [...] in June I wrote a post about Croydon’s woeful season, and in particular whether they would break any single-season [...]

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