Reviews of The Baseball Economist

The Baseball Economist “This book is a Roger Clemens fastball under the chin — it whizzes by screaming, ‘Hey, pay attention!’ ”
— Alan Schwarz, author of The Numbers Game and writer for The New York Times, Baseball America, and

The Baseball Economist is next step after Bill James—and it is about time! It will change how you think about the game of baseball.”
— Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Marginal Revolution contributor

“Combining sabermetrics with the tools and techniques of economics, Bradbury has done more than just discover “Sabernomics.” He has demonstrated that economics can provide fresh and fascinating insights into the National Pastime.”
— David Berri, Associate Professor of Economics at Cal State-Bakersfield and co-author of The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport

“Bradbury is ready to regale you…”
— Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal

“Contrarian Bradbury’s devotion to the game is apparent on every page.”
— Russ Smith, The Wall Street Journal

“The next step in the evolution [of how fans understand baseball] is the work of J.C. Bradbury.”
Boston Globe

“Ball fans may be shocked at how relevant economics is to their favorite game, and economists may find an exciting new application for their specialty. Like John Allen Paulos, author of such “popular math” books as A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (1995), Bradbury writes with a smooth, accessible style and makes the tricky game of numbers seem both straightforward and exciting. Like Bill James’ Abstracts (2003), this volume could become essential reading for baseball fans.”
— David Pitt, Booklist

“Bradbury gamely fuses our national pastime and the ‘dismal science’ somewhat in the spirit of Steven Levitt (Freakonomics), Michael Lewis (Moneyball), and Bill James.”
Publishers Weekly

The Baseball Economist does more than analyze long-held baseball myths through the use of regression analysis and other statistical devices. The book also introduces core economic concepts, describes them and then illustrates them through the investigation of America’s pastime. This alone makes it a worthwhile book for those wanting to brush up on their economic literacy, and if they can do that while reading about baseball—so much the better….The Baseball Economist aids the digestion of the dismal science.”
— David Fettig, The Region (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

“Bradbury’s book is a major league effort.”
— Robert Whaples, Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University, Christianity Today

“[The Baseball Economist] is superb.”
— Skip Sauer, Professor of Economics at Clemson University and contributor to The Sports Economist

“It’s a good book. I’m not in 100 percent agreement with JC on everything, but life wouldn’t be much fun if we agreed on everything, would it?”
— Mac Thomason, Braves Journal

“…original, refreshing, thorough, objective, and thought-provoking…one of the ‘must-read’ baseball books of 2007.”
— Steve Lombardi, Was Watching

“This is a book that’s worth your buck. Let’s hope we’ll see another collection from Bradbury in a couple of years.”
— Jeff Merron, 108 Magazine and The Southpaw

“…incisive and well-written…”
Baseball Crank

“I highly recommend [The Baseball Economist] to anyone interested in the economics of baseball or sabermetrics (the statistical analysis of baseball).”
— Robert Lawson, George H. Moor Chair and Professor of Economics at Capital University and Division of Labour contributor

“Finally, baseball season is here. When your team isn’t playing, check out The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed, by J.C. Bradbury. He takes a look at a number of empirical questions and uses economics and statistics to explore them. What’s particularly good is how he uses economics to point out, for example, that a pitcher doesn’t give the same effort on every pitch. He saves extra effort for extra important situations when the incentive to higher effort is there. So it’s not clear that having a better batter batting behind you in the batting order means that you’ll have a better chance of getting a hit. The standard argument is that the pitcher won’t want to walk you and give the next guy a chance to drive you in. Bradbury observes that if the next guy is really good, the pitcher might try extra hard to get you out. A clever observation and then he tests it. He tests lots of interesting questions. Check it out.”
–Russell Roberts, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Cafe Hayek contributor

“Bradbury uses economic principles to determine the truth — or lack thereof — in a lot of the game’s accepted wisdom. ‘Protection is a myth,’ …and wonders why there are no left-handed catchers. Bradbury’s down-the-middle summary of the controversy between old-school scouts …and modern “stat-heads” illuminates how baseball has changed for the better because of the innovation. Rather than taking sides, Bradbury detached himself from the debate and followed the data.”
–Jason Kelly, South Bend Tribune

The Baseball Economist does a very nice job of clearly explaining various economic theories and concepts and examining how they play out on the baseball diamond and in the front office. If you’re not an economist, you probably won’t agree with all his conclusions, or even his methods, but if you have an analytical mind, his arguments will make you think.”
— Doug Drinen, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at The University of the South and creator

“it stimulates the brain and allows you to think like you never have before about some historical myths well-entrenched in the landscape of baseball.”
— Paul Sporer, 52 Weeks, 52 Books

“Good professors of introductory economics have one thing in common. Whether they are the embodiment of ‘accountants, but without the personality’ or can enthrall their class in the art of widget-making, the best instructors make their students see that economics is about understanding human behavior, not just running a business or drafting public policy. In The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed, J.C. Bradbury accomplishes this task, demonstrating the essence of economics by applying it to the game he loves.”
— Daniel Geary, The American

“It is really a great book…”
— Todd Zywicki, Professor of Law at George Mason University and contributor to The Volokh Conspiracy