Step Up to the Percentage Plate

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What You Need:

  • Sports page of a newspaper or online access to baseball data
  • Paper
  • Pencil

What You Do:

Step 1: Have your child check the "Box Scores" in the newspaper for two baseball teams playing a game against each other. Box Scores are a condensed version of the game's events, expressed in data points which can be confusing to look at, but very informative if you know what you are looking at. Identify the data for each player AB (at bat) and H (number of hits).

Step 2: Now it's time to find out who the sluggers are! Show your child how to use these numbers to show each player’s ratio of hits compared to the times at bat. This will show how effective the hitter was in this particular game. It works like this: if a player is at bat 4 times and hits 3 times, he gets a hit 75% of the time, which is equal to 3/4 times or 0.75 times.

Step 3: Help your child make a chart showing the names of the players on each team. Use the Box Scores to show each player’s ratio of hits, showing the percentage, fraction, and decimal. You can make more boxes in the chart to express other aspects of the player, such as jersey number, favorite foods, etc! If your child is artistically inclined, he may also enjoy illustrating his chart with drawings of the players.

Step 4: Using the data, ask your child to make a list of the top five hitters in each team using their calculations. Who is the game's Most Valuable Player?

By showing your child that decimals and fractions are all around us, even in the Sports section, you're teaching him an important lesson: math matters - especially in baseball!

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