Tuesday, July 14, 2015

72 out of 73 Ain't Bad!

With the Major League Baseball All-Star game on deck for tonight, my mind is on baseball.  Every year when I think of the All-Star game, I'm taken back to when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and got to have a sleepover at my cousin's house to watch the game.  The highlight that I still remember vividly is the camera panning the dugout and then giving us a close up shot of Pete Rose picking his nose.  Maybe that will be a topic for a future blog post, but I thought today I'd focus on something a little more numbers-related!

Most baseball fans, even casual ones, know that Joe DiMaggio holds the Major League record for getting at least one hit in the most consecutive games at 56 games.  Looking at that record a little closer, it's hard to believe that for over two months in 1941 (from May 15 to July 16) DiMaggio got a hit in every single game.

This feat becomes even more impressive when you consider what happened in the games after his streak ended.  According to the Baseball Almanac, the day after the streak ended on 7/17/41 against the Cleveland Indians, DiMaggio began a new 16 game hitting streak.

That means that he hit safely in 72 of 73 games.  Truly amazing!

What's also interesting to note is that at the conclusion of this prolific hitting season, DiMaggio's batting average stood at .357.  Impressive, to be sure.   But that didn't win him the batting title in 1941.  It didn't even garner him 2nd place - that went to Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators who hit .359.

The batting champion that year was Ted Williams - 1941 was the year that the Splendid Splinter hit .409, which remains the last season that any major leaguer hit over .400.  (You might be able to win a bet or two by knowing that Williams wasn't the league MVP the year he hit .400 - DiMaggio was!)

What does this have to do with financial planning?  Other than the fact that both deal with numbers and statistics, there isn't a direct connection.

But it IS a reminder of what real financial planning is all about.  The numbers and insurance and money and statistics are all just tools.

What it's really all about is the boys of summer and box scores, piano recitals and school plays, family trips and dinner with friends -- the truly important things in life.


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