With all the fanfare in New York for Derek Jeter reaching the 3,000-hit mark, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gather some data to put this rare event in perspective. First off, let me qualify my interest and passion around this topic. I was born and raised in Pelham, New York, which is roughly 15 minutes from Yankee Stadium. I grew up following Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford in the 1960s. My passion for baseball and the Yankees is clearly a result of those memorable early days of going to see them with my Dad.
Much later on in my life, I embarked on a fantasy baseball endeavor with my Eastman Kodak colleagues, and I have been active since 1988 with this hobby. One of the most memorable moves that I made in our keeper fantasy baseball league was to trade Cal Ripken for Derek Jeter during his rookie season. The rest, as they say, is history. Derek Jeter has been the JMP Yankees shortstop his entire career, and the JMP Yankees have been a consistent championship contender year in and year out.
Visualizing the data in JMP
Visualizing the data on the 3,000-hit club in JMP only increased my appreciation of Derek Jeter’s career. My first observation is that the 28 players that have reached the lofty milestone of 3,000 hits have a mean age of 39. Jeter is 37.
Further evaluation of the distribution of the year that each player reached 3,000 hits led to another interesting observation. When one fits the distribution in JMP, a normal two-mixture fit results. Curiously enough, the MLB expansion occurred in the 1960s, when the number of teams increased from 16 to 30. The number of players to reach 3,000 hits was 8 before 1960 and 19 since 1960. One could argue that pitching dilution is the reason for this.
Visualizing Data in JMP Graph Builder
I also thought it would be cool to visualize the data utilizing Graph Builder in JMP, adding a reference line for the mean age of 39, and also to see the frequency of the 3,000-hit event over time.
Quite honestly, even though I am a biased Yankee fan, this graphic really makes me appreciate how extraordinary a player Derek Jeter is and how glad I am that I was able to lure him away for Cal Ripken a long time ago.
EDITOR'S NOTE July 27: The JMP data table for the 3,000-hit club is now available in the JMP File Exchange. (You need a SAS login to get the free download.)