Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Activity Chart

I wanted to share a concept I've developed, and it can be linked to the tidbits I give in my Profiling the World Series Winners series. For lack of a better name, I call it the "Activity Chart." It shows you the years when the first and last players from a team's roster were active in the majors, as well as with the team.

For instance, here's an activity chart for the 1975 Cincinnati Reds:

I apologize for the grainy quality. I'm not a premium Photobucket user.

Years in red are years the player in the row played for the Reds, and years in gray are years he was active in the majors but with a different franchise. You can see in this case that the first player from the 1975 Reds to play for the franchise was Pete Rose in 1963, and the first one in the majors was Fred Norman in 1962. On the other end you can see that Ken Griffey outlasted them all.

If you're inclined to ask, yes, I'm aware that similar things have been done on Flip Flop Fly Ball. However, I came up with this idea before I saw it on that site (at least, as far as I remember ever browsing on it), and I think my design has the advantage of being simpler to read and not requiring a key. It may not distinguish partial seasons from impartial ones, but that's because I don't think it's important enough to make note of it.

Plotting the data this way allows you to see when the team really started coming together and when it started falling apart. Judging by this chart, it looks as though the Big Red Machine's core years perfectly spanned the 1970's.

I've made activity charts for other teams, and once I've made one for every World Series winner I hope to find some interesting data that won't be available anywhere but Baseball Junk Drawer.