Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mickey Mantle and Ticket Prices

Today, we started with some Mickey Mantle data. We collected the number of home runs (HR) and runs-batted-in (RBI) for all 18 seasons and constructed a scatterplot of HR and RBI. We were interested in predicting Mantle's RBI total given a number of HR. We fit a line by eye and found the equation for the line. My line was

RBI = 2 HR + 20

If Mantle gets 50 home runs one season, I would predict his runs-batted-in to be

RBI = 2(50) + 20 = 120

Then we moved over to the lab and look at the costs for attending a baseball game. What did we learn?

1. There is a lot of variation in team payrolls -- one team's payroll is about 10 times another team's payroll.

2. We (the fans) are paying for these rich teams through high ticket prices, high beer prices, high hot dog prices, etc. By comparing the ticket prices of the rich and poor teams, we found how much more it costs to attend a game of a rich team.

3. Orel Hersheiser and I have several things in common. We both grew up in the Philadelphia area and both us rooted for the Phils when we were young. (I'm still a Phillies fan, but I'm not sure about Hercheiser.) And of course, we're both connected with BGSU.

Have a good weekend.

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