Joe Posnaski on an OG Baseball Nerd, F.C. Lane

I’m continuing to wallow in a Holiday stupor for one more day, so I’ll be mailing in another post this afternoon. Why I’m saving longer, more time-consuming and difficult-to-write topics for the coming days that will also feature the shocking and depressing return to my standard routine is a mystery to us all. Let’s ignore the root of the problem and just blame it on college football, shall we?

At any rate, perhaps you noticed this post over at Fangraphs, entitled “Was wOBA Actually Invented Nearly 100 Years Ago?” Perhaps you found it to be very interesting, as I did. In that case, it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine that this subsequent post by Joe Posnaski on F.C. Lane will also entertain the hell out of you. I certainly found it to be rather awesome. Posnaski uses Sam Menzin’s Fangraphs post as a jumping off point to further investigate this F.C. Lane character and what he was up to as he was thinking about baseball all those years ago. It turns out Lane and some of his contemporaries were really on to something, and were cultivating many theories and thoughts about the game that Bill James and Tom Tango and baseball nerds the world over have somewhat recently began to elaborate on and prove as truth. A home run is more important than a single. Certain ball parks play differently than others. Who knew? It’s a fascinating baseball subject written by an immensely skilled baseball writer, a winning combination if I ever knew one. There are also a lot of quotes from the early 1900’s, most of them featuring some really great passive aggressiveness and rhetorical beat downs. They spark up the literary romantic in me who covets those times when people actually wrote really thoughtful letters to one another, and all the forward-thinkers, novelists and poets sat around in the dirty streets arguing and smoking and drinking together. Today, we have Twitter. So there’s that.

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