Average major league career: 5.6 years

July 10, 2007

U.S. researchers say the average career of a major league baseball player is 5.6 years, with 1-in-5 position players having only a single-year career.

The study by a University of Colorado-Boulder research team also determined that at every point of a player's career, the player's chance of ending his career is at least 11 percent.

The study was conducted by former a University of Colorado-Boulder graduate student William Witnauer, sociology Professor Richard Rogers and doctoral student Jarron Saint Onge.

The study examined the statistics of baseball players who started their careers between 1902 and 1993. Pitchers were excluded because of their unique positions, career volatility and propensity for injuries, said Rogers, who also directs the Population Program in the University of Colorado-Boulder Institute of Behavioral Science.

Between 1902 and 1993, 5,989 position players started their careers and played 33,272 person years in the major leagues. The researchers then developed a table of average career lengths.

The study appears in the August issue of the journal Population Research and Policy Review.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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