Wednesday night marks the first evening of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. So its time for another installment of “Sabbathmetrics”, where we determine if Jewish ballplayers perform better or worse on the Sabbath. Our subject today is lefty pitcher Ross Baumgarten.
Baumgarten was a 20th-round selection of the White Sox in 1977 and made his major league debut a year later. His best season was his first full year in the Majors (1979), when he went 13-8 with a 3.54 ERA and a WHIP of 1.353. He finished 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting that season. Interestingly, though he improved his ERA (3.44) and WHIP (1.316) in 1980, his won-loss record slipped to an ugly 2-12. After the 1982 season, Baumgarten was traded to the Pirates, with whom he finished his playing career. After his playing days were over, he became a financial advisor.
In terms of his statistical breakdown, Baumgarten was a more successful pitcher on the Sabbath. He had a higher winning percentage, much lower earned run average and homers per nine innings, as well as a lower hits per nine innings. The only stats that were better on non-Sabbath days were his walks and strikeouts per nine innings.
Prior entries in the “Sabbathmetrics” series:
My thanks to Baseball Reference for their help with some of this data.