Statistical clarification

I’ve heard from a few people lately who’ve been asking if (and insisting that) my consecutive games streak is over. Why? Because I was ejected last week from Nationals Park during the second game of a single-admission doubleheader.

Did I snag any baseballs during the second game?
No, I snagged 11 balls before and during the first game.

So, then, is my streak over?
No . . . and I’d like to quote myself to prove it.

If you turn to page 317 of The Baseball, you’ll see the following line near the top: “Single-admission doubleheaders should be counted as one ‘game.'”

I have a whole set of statistical rules that I follow — and I’ve been following them since I snagged my first ball in 1990. Any time that I go to a major league stadium where major league players are playing in a major league event, I count it as a “game.” Single-admission doubleheaders have always been one “game” for me, and whenever I’ve gone and snagged a few balls and the game got rained out before it even started, that has also been a “game.” (Here’s an example. Let me just say, though, that if I were to attend a rainout and NOT snag any balls, it wouldn’t count as a “game.” It’s sort of like the “and-one” scenario in basketball; if you’re fouled while taking a shot, it only counts as a “shot attempt” if you make it.) The Home Run Derby is also a “game” in my stats. And so on.

Sorry for the confusion. Looking back on everything, I suppose I should’ve mentioned this on my blog as soon as I was ejected, but I’ve discussed it so many times in the past that I didn’t think it was necessary.

I hope this entry clears things up.

(And by the way, sorry for not answering comments lately. I’ve been reading them all, but I’ve been really really really busy.)


  1. kslo69

    @nsimon, FYI, I believe the common consensus is that a “first comment” must somehow pertain to the actual blog entry to merit any special prestige.

  2. Zack Hample


    Amen, brotha.

    Please stop posting about the fact that you are “first” to comment. It’s annoying, and it makes this blog worse by cluttering up the comments section with useless crap.

  3. Ben

    Just so I’m clear if you go to a game and snag a ball, then it’s rained out before the game begins it counts as a game? But if you go to a game and don’t snag a ball, then it’s rained out before the game begins it doesn’t count? I read your and one analogy but I’m still scratching my head on this one. In the end it’s up to you though.

    Now I’d like you to use your imagination for a moment for a writing exercise – the Nats aren’t hosting a single admission doubleheader, but a day-night double header. You kill a few hours between games, re-enter the stadium and realize you forgot to take a picture of the baseballs you caught in the first game. As you’re staging your picture in the club level, security approaches, accuses you of selling baseballs and ejects you, BEFORE you snag a ball in the second game. The streak is over. Show me agony, show me rage, aaaaaaand GO!

  4. Zack Hample

    You’re correct about how I count rainouts, but just so you know, I’ve never had an “and-one” situation. Every single time that I’ve *ever* set foot inside a major league stadium (on a game day) since September 1993, I’ve snagged at least one ball — rain or no rain. As for your hypothetical scenario . . . this would never happen because (a) I wouldn’t attend a separate-admission doubleheader and (b) if I didn’t have any baseballs before a game started, I’d be making an all-out effort to snag a ball, not wandering and taking photos with previously-snagged balls. That said, it would all depend on what happened before Game 2. If there were opportunities to catch balls, then it would have to end my streak; if there weren’t opportunities, then the streak would continue. You are aware, I assume, that when a batter has a hitting streak and plays a game in which all of his plate appearances result in walks and/or hit-by-pitches, the streak stays intact. Major League Baseball has statistical guidelines in place to protect players and their accomplishments; there’s no reason why the same shouldn’t be true for me.

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