Everyone knows baseball is a game of numbers, and here's an interesting one: According to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the average shelf life for a major league ballplayer is just 5.6 years. One in five will last only a single year.
The researchers, former graduate student William Witnauer, sociology prof Richard Rogers and doctoral student Jarron Saint Onge, tallied stats on players who started their careers between 1902 and 1993. In that time, 5,989 position players spent 33,272 person years in Major League Baseball. Lucky for the researchers, baseball teams compile more statistics than A-Rod has visits to strip clubs, so they were able to develop a table of average career lengths.
Results of the study, "Major League Baseball Career Length in the 20th Century," will be published in the August issue of Population Research and Policy Review, in case you're interested.
Oh, and the release says pitchers were excluded "because of their unique positions, career volatility and propensity for injuries." We think maybe it was because Roger would have thrown off the curve more wildly than a Dice-K gyroball.