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Exhibition Baseball Americana

The Art of Winning

Ever since journalist and ardent baseball promoter Henry Chadwick popularized the box score in the 1850s, fans have studied the tiny figures daily and memorized iconic numbers. Obsession with player statistics was evident in the nineteenth century, and team owners worried that players would put achieving personal numbers above teamwork. Fans’ enthusiasm for stats continues to manifest itself in fantasy baseball, in which some fourteen million players try to create winning imaginary teams based on actual major league performances. Numbers, though, are just a part of victory. The art of winning also encompasses intangibles—leadership, team chemistry, catching breaks, and finding an edge. As Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher once said of small but scrappy second baseman Eddie Stanky, “He can’t hit, he can’t run, he can’t throw—all he can do is beat you.”

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