Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mere Mortals: Comparing Mortality Rates in football and baseball

Grantland‘s Bill Barnwell finds that baseball players actually have a higher mortality rate than NFL players. Which, uh, I totally didn’t see coming. Then again, I’d be interested to see how the brain-related deaths and suicide rates are…

Gamingboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: death, football, statistics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. tjm1 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4210033)
Surprising and interesting. I think it's probably pretty clear evidence that football hasn't traditionally increased the rate of early deaths.

I can see a few possible reasons for football coming out better than baseball:

(1) Latin American players - baseball has them, and football doesn't. The Latin American players in baseball often retire to countries with lower quality of health care than the US (or at least with lower quality of health care for wealthy people than the US).

(2) age distribution - the NFL expanded later than MLB, and the AFL doesn't seem to have been included. Also, MLB players tend to be 23-25 when they debut, rather than 21 as NFL players are. This doesn't seem to have been considered carefully. Also, the oldest players in the study debuted in the late 50's and early 60's. This was around the time of the first MLB expansion and the formation of the AFL. The formation of the AFL would have led to an increase in the relative number of young players in football. Baseball expansion led to older players getting a shot - the existence of the minor leagues meant that some of these guys kept playing baseball much longer than anyone keeps playing football who isn't in the NFL. The long tail of the age distribution of baseball players is almost certainly a much larger fraction of the total - and if the players must have debuted by 1959, that's a huge effect. A 25 year old in 1959 would be 78 now, meaning that normal life expectancy would make him likely to be dead by now. A 21-year old in 1959 would be only 74 now.

(3) pain - the article stated that football players are much more likely to suffer from arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. These probably in many cases cause them to visit their doctors more often than retired baseball players do, and that might lead to earlier intervention on more serious conditions.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4210040)
A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that NFL players from the '60s, '70s, and '80s were dying far less frequently than men of similar ages and races from the general population.


They would have no reason to trump up the numbers......but the article does a great job of more or less verifying some of it. I wish the article would have at least included the average age of deaths, a grid showing the percentages of deaths within a certain time frame etc.

I mean, are football players like black males, maybe having a high percentage of young deaths(relative), but once they reach a certain point, they then have one of the longer lifespans? Heck the article never even mentions average life span.

Still a very good article, and what looks like a well put together study with the information available.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4210065)
I can see a few possible reasons for football coming out better than baseball:


I can think of another possibility: rate of tobacco usage.

   4. zenbitz Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4210077)
Apparently steroids are better for you than speed.
   5. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4210080)
Apparently steroids are better for you than speed.


I think we might actually have a winner.
   6. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4210148)
The rate of death is skewed by a sub- population of players who pitched on teams coached by Dusty Baker.
   7. Sunday silence Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4210158)
the study could simply be one of those stories that is out there for a reason. The first post identified possible fallacy, that being the ages when these guys started. It's tell tale that the article doesnt mention life expectancy which I am pretty sure is much better for MLB players.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSkunk in the Outfield
(25 - 2:42pm, Aug 19)
Last: Greg Franklin

NewsblogAin't no WEEKEND OMNICHATTER until someone gets punched in the face, for August 19-20, 2017
(5 - 2:40pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ā€™nā€™ Roll, Baseball and Poetry
(2519 - 2:34pm, Aug 19)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogRed Sox want to do away with 'racist' legacy of famed Yawkey Way
(86 - 2:32pm, Aug 19)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1808 - 2:28pm, Aug 19)
Last: 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em

NewsblogArthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown
(34 - 2:22pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogMLB.com: O's/Angels hit 10 home runs; Manny caps it off with Walk-Off Grand Slam
(1 - 2:19pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogMLBTR: Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson
(1 - 2:06pm, Aug 19)
Last: TomH

NewsblogTwins Byron Buxton evolving as a hitter | MLB.com
(24 - 1:59pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogSummer Top-100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball
(24 - 1:41pm, Aug 19)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogOMNICHATTER eats punks like you for breakfast, for August 18, 2017
(123 - 1:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Gonfalon CubsNow or Never
(93 - 12:19pm, Aug 19)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

Sox TherapyThe Gauntlet
(68 - 9:55am, Aug 19)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(150 - 9:54am, Aug 19)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2017
(6 - 8:35am, Aug 19)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

Page rendered in 0.2996 seconds
47 querie(s) executed