Monday night marks the beginning of Passover, the celebration of the Israelites’ freedom from slavery in Egypt. That means its time for another Sabbathmetrics post, in which we look at whether certain Jewish players performed better or worse on the Sabbath.
A 10-year Major League veteran, Melvin’s playing career included stops in Detroit (1985), San Francisco (1986-88), Baltimore (1989-91), Kansas City (1992), Boston (1993), the New York Yankees (1994) and the Chicago White Sox (1994). He posted a .233 batting average with 35 home runs and 212 RBI while playing in 692 games. The former catcher was drafted by Detroit as its first choice in the secondary phase of the 1981 January draft and hit .220 in 41 games in his rookie season of 1985. Melvin spent the next three seasons sharing the catching duties with Bob Brenly for the Giants, hitting a career-high 11 home runs in 1987. After three seasons in Baltimore, he batted a career-high .314 in 32 games with Kansas City in 1992
As an aside, here is Melvin’s managerial W-L record on Sabbath vs. all other games, through 2016:
SABBATH: 207 WINS, 204 LOSSES
NON-SABBATH: 748 WINS, 751 LOSSES
No real difference there. Melvin’s teams don’t play any better or worse on the Sabbath. So, did Melvin perform better on the Sabbath during his playing days?
As you can see below, Melvin’s averages were pretty similar in both circumstances, with the exception of batting average, where he was 11 points worse on the Sabbath. He walked more frequently and struck out less often on the Sabbath. In a bit of a statistical quirk, he hit all six of his career triples in non-Sabbath games.
|SABBATHMETRICS: BOB MELVIN|
|HR% of PA||1.7%||1.7%||1.7%|
|BB% of PA||4.3%||5.9%||4.7%|
|SO% of PA||19.4%||17.1%||18.9%|
Prior entries in the “Sabbathmetrics” series:
My thanks to Baseball Reference for their help with some of this data.