Abstract:
It has been claimed that baseball players whose first or last name begins with the letter K have a tendency to strike out more than players whose initials do not contain the letter K. This “result” was achieved by a naive application of statistical methods. We show that this result is a spurious statistical artifact that can be reversed by the use of only slightly less naive statistical methods. We also show that other letters have larger and/or more significant effects than the letter K. Finally, we show that the original study applied the wrong statistical test and tested the hypothesis incorrectly. When these errors are corrected, most of the letters of the alphabet have a statistically significant strikeout effect.