Abstract / Synopsis
Whatever its other flaws or merits as a game, baseball gives us plenty of time to think. (How else to spend the 2 hours, 50 minutes when nothing in particular is happening?) In the long gaps between pitches, my own thoughts veer towards mathematics. Are statistics really changing the game? Can any sense emerge from baseball's symmetries and odd patterns? Is it now a sport of science, or as ever one of superstition? And the aesthetic question that arises from all of this:\ In a human pursuit like baseball, can mathematical perspectives ever help us to create meaning?
© Ben Orlin
Orlin, B. "Nine Mathematical Ways of Watching a Baseball Game," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 4 Issue 2 (July 2014), pages 101-112. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201402.11 . Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol4/iss2/11