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The Mathematical Intelligencer

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 71–76 | Cite as

Baseball Retrograde Analysis

  • Jerry Butters
  • Jim HenleEmail author
For Our Mathematical Pleasure Jim Henle, Editor
  • 144 Downloads

Retrograde analysis was introduced in this column a few months ago.1 In a retrograde analysis puzzle you are presented with a position in a game and asked questions about what happened earlier. The term is almost exclusively applied to chess games and chess positions, but one can devise retrograde problems in many two-player games.2 It has never been applied, however, to the eighteen-player game of baseball. Never, that is, until now.

The idea of applying logical deduction to baseball is due to the first author of this column, who began amusing himself some years ago by analyzing baseball box scores. He found he could prove surprisingly detailed facts about games from certain box scores. The second author was charmed and excited when he learned of this.

Consider the following problem: Here’s the batting order of the Mudville Slugs:
  1. 1.

    Flynn

     
  2. 2.

    Blake

     
  3. 3.

    Casey

     
  4. 4.

    Hobbes

     
  5. 5.

    Davis

     
  6. 6.

    Shlabotnick

     
  7. 7.

    Thayer

     
  8. 8.

    Cooney

     
  9. 9.

    Barrows

     
Suppose I tell you that in the ninth inning,...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Smith College NorthamptonUSA

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