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A Game Of Numbers

March 29, 2019

This is baseball. We count everything.
– For Love Of The Game

Baseball is a game of numbers.

Three strikes and you’re out
Three outs to end an inning
Four balls and you take your base
Four bases
Five innings for an official game
Nine innings for a typical game
Nine men to a side
Nine inches circumfrence of a baseball
Twenty five men on a team roster
Thirty teams
Fourty two: only number retired by all of baseball
Sixty feet, six inches distance pitchers mound to home plate
Ninety feet distance between bases
One hundred and eight stiches on a baseball
One hundred and sixty two games in a season

Those numbers are all official dimensions or declarations. Every game abides by the same numbers. They are the basis of the game. Unchanging and (hopefully) unchangable.

There are other numbers, just as important, that do change.

56 Longest hit streak
73 Most home runs in a season
116 Most wins by a team in a year
262 Most hits by a player in a year
511 Most wins by a pitcher
762 Most career home runs by a player
2632 Most games played in a row
4256 Most career hits by a player

These are some of the “unbreakable” records of baseball. They will stand forever. . .until they are next broken.

Baseball’s official opening day was yesterday. The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland A’s played two games already in Tokyo. Seattle won both. That meant for the past week, the Seattle Mariners have,

– Had the best record in baseball
– Had a perfect record
– Led their division by one game

The Mariners aren’t projected to be very good this year. Some fans think the most they can win is 62 games. Meaning a 100 loss season. If the Mariners could manage to win 81 games (Giving them a .500 season) it would be considered a fantastic year.

Baseball is a funny sport. Built so much around numbers and percentages, it’s still a boy’s game played by men. Yesterday, for Opening Day, the Mariners faced the defending champion Boston Red Sox.

Sometimes you win
Sometimes you lose
Sometimes it rains
– Bull Durham

And that’s why, today, after one day of the official season, and a week of holding on to the best record in baseball, the Mariners had to face the start of the rest of their season.

And yet, today they still hold the best record in baseball at 3-0. And they still hold a one game lead in their division.

It didn’t rain, and they didn’t lose. The Mariners surprised the Sox with a 12-4 victory in front of the hometown crowd.

Welcome to the 2019 Baseball season.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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