In baseball, we’ve often used iconic moments like Babe Ruth calling his homerun to define greatness, but thanks to creative studio the Acme Catalog, we have something better to bring life (and perspective) to the stats which define greatness: this gigantic bat.
The studio wanted to visualize the best World Series hitter of all time. So they turned first to the numbers, digging through the on-base plus slugging (OPS) percentages of every World Series player in history. (For those not familiar, OPS is a Moneyball-style stat that adds a player’s success rate to get on base to the average bases they earn in hits–basically it rewards power hitters who are savvy enough to take walks.)
The player with the highest World Series OPS was David Ortiz, who in 2013, managed a gargantuan 1.948 (more than double the .900 rating which typically defines a great OPS). But what does this value really look like?
To find out, Acme started with a regulation 2.5-inch diameter bat to represent the league average OPS of .714. To accurately represent Ortiz’s 2013 performance, the bat had to be scaled up to out to an absurd 6.82-inches-wide, a clownish club that would be considered cheating in any t-ball league.
And it makes me wonder, how great would it be if Ortiz was then allowed to use this bat? The best hitters of the world, assuming they could swing ‘em, would be rewarded with incredible tree trunk bats for their efforts. And the greatest would become even greater.