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“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.” — Yogi Berra

I Still Believe in Stephen Vogt…

Back in 2013, Noah and I had a sweet baseball arrangement.  Every two weeks or so we would head down to the local SuperCuts for a hair cut and five free tickets to see some Sacramento Rivercats baseball. This was an advanced advertising program that really made no economic sense to me. I was paying about $30 dollars for two haircuts and getting $100 in tickets every two weeks or so for two years. It was a sweet deal though and over the 2013-2014 season our family fell in love with minor league baseball at Raley Field. Anyhow, at that time the Sacramento Rivercats were the triple A affiliates of the Oakland Athletics.  And in 2013 their catcher was Stephen Vogt. Vogt was fun to watch and a class act.  Along with Daric Barton, he was one of the players who would be out on the field early, smiling, and signing autographs for the kids. He seemed like a genuinely humble guy and over time Vogt became our favorite Rivercat to watch.  He went 0 for 33 in the majors and quotes Col 3:23 in his twitter profile (i.e. he’s philosophically down with the idea of hard work and it shows ). Over the course of that season things got interesting.  Midway through the season he got his first MLB hit (a homerun) and near the end a walk off single to win game 2 of the 2013 ALCS.  Between 2013 and 2017 Vogt played about 400 games with the A’s. So

Maximize Your Chances of Catching a Homerun Ball at Safeco Field posted a data set of “catchable” home runs at Safeco Field in 2016.  The seatgeek data is listed as a table and I thought that it might be interesting to try to visualize it.  I hate tables and couldn’t resist.  Plus, I wanted to test out an excel template for making Paretos. So… here are the results.  The screen shot below is a Pareto analysis of seatgeek’s data.  It isn’t a perfect 80/20 distribution, but you can definitely use the analysis to dial in your seating in order to increase the likelihood that you will be in the right place at the right time. Assuming that the people at Seatgeek counted their homeruns right, this is what I’m taking from this… If you want to maximize your odds of catching a home run ball at Safeco Field, get a seat in section 108.  Is 108 full?  Section 107 is your next best option. Approximately half of all of the catchable home runs are launched into three sections 108, 107, and 106. So here is why I love Paretos.  The folks over at KING 5 news did the same analysis.  They suggested sections 108, 107 and 106 too but in the opposite order.  They also suggested section 181 which only sees about 15% of the catchable homeruns. You might be tempted into thinking that sections 102, 103, 104 or even the seating above the bullpens would provide some decent home run catching opportunities.  The data suggests otherwise. The distribution actually makes sense if