Gathering the statistics

August 05, 2007|By Louis Spirito | Louis Spirito,Sun news artist

The project began from basic curiosity. Being a professional cartographer and a baseball fan led to a fascination about foul balls - who hit them, how many were hit, where they all went.

I started by creating a custom score sheet that allowed me to track several types of data. I then observed all 2,657 pitches in a nine-game Orioles homestand from the right-field club level, in Section 288. The result was a database that held the location of every foul ball hit plus other information, such as pitcher, batter, pitch type, pitch speed, inning, etc. For the graphic, I decided to keep the focus on balls that were hit into seats because this is where the game interacts with the fans on a unique level.

If you think this project is a bit too esoteric, consider: Over those nine games, 151 pitches were hit safely into play, while 214 were hit to the fans.

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