Bill James revolutionized the game of baseball without once stepping on to a professional baseball diamond as a player, coach, manager or executive. A baseball writer and historian, James was the developer of "sabermetrics", the statistical analysis of baseball, that led to the development of Moneyball.
James was a Kansas City Royals fan when he began developing his theories of sabermetrics. His most profound early insight was that batting average was overrated and that a player's on-base percentage (which factored in their walks as well as their hits) was a much more accurate barometer of a player's worth. This insight later developed into the new Holy Grail of baseball statistics, on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, as James recognized that a good-fielding player with a lot of power like third-baseman Darrell Evans was a better player, despite a low batting average, than many players with gaudier batting averages.
From humble beginnings, James' annual "Baseball Abstract" books become a phenomenon in the 1980s as they gave an accurate gauge to predicting a team's won-loss record. He was so successful, Time Magazine named him to the Time 100 most influential people in the world in 2006.
Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, a fan, hired him in 2003. He is the Senior Adviser on Baseball Operations for the Red Sox, and maintains a proprietary software system called "Carmine" he helped develop that is used to evaluate players and trades.
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