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About the Author
Michael Hoban, Ph.D., retired in 2005 after a 48-year career in education. The last 35 years were spent teaching at the university level (after obtaining his doctorate in mathematics from Columbia University in 1970). Mike is Professor Emeritus of mathematics at the City University of N.Y.
Professor Hoban has been an avid baseball fan for 70 years. He grew up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan and could walk to both Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. He saw his first baseball game in the Polo Grounds in 1946 at the age of 10 and saw all the greats of the time in both leagues. Among his best baseball memories is when, at the age of 15, he saw Willie Mays play his first game in the Polo Grounds in 1951. He still contends that Willie is the greatest all-around player to have ever played the game.
He has been a serious baseball analyst for the past 20 years.
Mike has been a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) and involved in baseball analysis since 1998. He is the author of five books on baseball dealing with using the players’ numbers to analyze their careers. His latest book is DEFINING GREATNESS: A Hall of Fame Handbook (Booklocker, 2012).
On the CBS NEW YORK website on January 12, 2011, writer Gabe Costa wrote an article entitled BY THE NUMBERS: SOME PIONEERS IN SABERMETRICS. In the article, he wrote about my CAWS CAREER GAUGE in relation to pitcher Bert Blyleven. He also said the following: “(John) Thorn, (Pete) Palmer, (Bill) James and (Mike) Hoban are just a few of the recent “pioneers” with regard to sabermetrics. They, and many others, have only enhanced the appreciation of the game of baseball; a gripping, addictive, intoxicating, wonderful game!” (Mike does not see himself in the same league as these three true pioneers but he is flattered that other sabermetricians may see him that way.)
In the NEW YORK TIMES sports section of November 19, 2011, writer Richard Sandomir referred to Mike’s CAWS CAREER GAUGE when writing about Hall of Fame qualifications. In an article about the Yankees’ Allie Reynolds being on the Veterans Committee Hall of Fame ballot at that time, Sandomir wrote as follows: “Dr. Michael Hoban, a professor emeritus of mathematics at City University of New York, said that Reynolds’s career “wasn’t long enough, and he simply didn’t contribute enough in those years.” Hoban, who writes for the Seamheads.com blog, has adapted the sabermetrician Bill James’s Win Shares formula to examine the full careers of major leaguers. He said that a starting pitcher must score at least 235 in his Career Assessment/Win Shares calculation, or CAWS, to deserve enshrinement. With a 157 score, Reynolds falls below Hoban’s benchmark, as do Luis Tiant (213) and Jim Kaat (203), neither of whom have made it to Cooperstown.”
When Mike first began to work on the CAWS CAREER GAUGE, he sent an early article to Bill James (the creator of Win Shares) for his consideration. Mr. James responded to the article as follows (12/2/2004):
“Mike-- I read and enjoyed the article, and I appreciate your using Win Shares for the purpose for which it was intended. . . thanks. … Bill”
Thus encouraged, Mike has spent time during the past ten years (since his retirement from teaching) developing and refining the CAWS approach.
BASEBALL’S BEST: The TRUE Hall of Famers (Booklocker.com, 2007)