Al Rosen and “Sabbathmetrics”

Tuesday night marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.  It is a day of atonement, and one is to refrain from work, while attending synagogue and fasting.  At the VORG, it means its time for another edition of “Sabbathmetrics“.

Today, we’ll look at the differences in Sabbath versus non-Sabbath performance for Indians’ legend Al Rosen.  He played his entire 10-year career (1947–1956) for Cleveland.  He drove in 100 or more runs five years in a row, was a four-time All-Star, twice led the league in home runs and twice in RBIs, and was an MVP.  Rosen was a .285 career hitter, with 192 home runs and 717 RBIs in 1,044 games.   After retiring at the end of the ’56 season, Rosen was president and chief operating officer of the Yankees (1978–79), and Astros (1980–85), then president and general manager of the Giants (1985–92). He helped steer  San Francisco from last place in 1985 to the NL West title in 1987 and the NL Pennant in 1989.

We parsed out all of Rosen’s games by Sabbath/non-Sabbath and here is what it showed:

GAMES 783 261 1044
PA 3298 1076 4374
AB 2781 944 3725
R 465 138 603
H 804 259 1063
2B 126 39 165
3B 17 3 20
HR 145 47 192
RBI 552 165 717
BB 466 121 587
SO 294 92 386
HBP 21 6 27
SF 23 3 26
BA .289 .274 .285
OBP .392 .359 .384
SLG .503 .471 .495
HR% of PA 4.4% 4.4% 4.4%
BB% of PA 14.1% 11.2% 13.4%
SO% of PA 8.9% 8.6% 8.8%

Green had a gaudy 137 OPS+ mark for his career, but the Sabbath seemed to diminish his offense quite a bit, as he hit 15 points lower and lost 32 points on his slugging in such games.   He also walked about three percent less in Sabbath games, but his homer rate was exactly the same.

For more on the life of Al Rosen (and other players of Jewish faith), I heartily recommend you check out the documentary “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story”.


Prior entries in the “Sabbathmetric” series:
Shawn Green
Ian Kinsler
Sandy Koufax


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: