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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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13

 

WAS TONY PEREZ A GREAT CLUTCH HITTER?

Tony Perez played first base for the “Big Red Machine” during the 1960s and 1970s and had a lifetime batting average of .279. Such an average does not often lead to a Hall of Fame selection, but in 2000 Perez was elected to the Hall of Fame while some of his contemporaries who have similar statistics (such as Dave Parker) have not yet been elected. One reason Perez made it to the Hall of Fame was that his manager, Sparky Anderson, said that Perez was the best clutch hitter he had ever seen. Is there an objective way to determine whether Perez was a great “clutch hitter”?

Let's define a batter to be a great clutch hitter if his performance in important situations tends to be better than his overall season ...

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