LSU Department of Finance professor Don Chance was recently quoted in the book “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports,” according to an LSU news release.
In the book, author Kostya Kennedy, a writer for Sports Illustrated, uses a study Chance conducted to research the likelihood of a baseball player having a 56-game hitting streak. Chance’s study appeared in the statistical journal, Chance, in a 2009 article titled, “What are the Odds? Another Look at DiMaggio’s Streak.”
Chance found the likely player to have had such a streak was Ty Cobb (1-in-204), followed by Ed Delahanty (1-in-263) and then Willie Keeler (1-in-337). The chance of DiMaggio having such a streak in his career was 1-in-3,394.
Chance found that the key factors include opportunities through a combination of a long career, batting high in the order and minimal walks. Over the history of baseball, the likelihood that a 56-game streak would be achieved by anyone was estimated at 1-in-6 and only 1-in-16, if starting from the beginning of the 20th century.