Princeton University Library Catalog

COLORING THE PICKOFF ATTEMPT: THE EFFECT OF RACIAL STEREOTYPES ON THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL “RUNNING GAME”

Author/​Artist:
Saint-Ulysse, Darren [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Advisor(s):
Fernández-Kelly, Patricia [Browse]
Department:
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year:
2015
Description:
85 pages
Summary note:
Baseball’s pickoff attempt provides a unique opportunity within which to study the presence and effects of racial stereotypes. Data on the pickoff attempt, a tool used by pitchers to control the effects of players’ running speed, allows for analysis of the effects of physical racial stereotypes on baseball games. Although sports are typically thought of as meritocracies within which treatment depends solely upon performance and not factors such as race, this study calls that idea into question. Whereas it is true that on average, faster players generate more pickoff attempts than do slower players, it is also true that among slower players, White players are the most frequent targets of pickoff attempts; among faster players, Black players appear to see pickoff attempts with more frequency. Potential reasons for this finding are discussed, and implications of these results are considered with respect to their impact on baseball and society at large.