Global-Baseball--54791

America’s Favorite Pastime, Part 1 of 3: Immigration in Baseball – How Far Have We Come?

 

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The spring is upon us, and that means it’s time for baseball. Or, for Spanish speakers, beisbol. If you hail from Japan, it’s yakyū. Chinese-speaking players say bàngqiú, while Koreans call it yagu.  No matter what language they speak, though, people all over the world love baseball.

Long known as the “national pastime” in the United States, the sport’s global popularity has grown so much that Major League Baseball now features players from over 20 different countries. Even though kids all around the world love baseball just as much – or more – than many Americans, the best players still all strive to play in the top league in the United States. More than a quarter of the players in MLB now hail from foreign countries. Some of the game’s biggest stars – like the Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig and Japanese pitching aces Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka – have traveled thousands of miles to compete against the world’s best players.

However, life in the majors is not as easy as immigrant players like Puig, Darvish, and Tanaka sometimes make it look. In addition to getting used to the extreme difficulty of professional baseball in America, most foreign-born players must overcome language and cultural barriers in order to succeed.

For American fans, it’s important to remember that some of their favorite players are young men working hard to fulfill the same dream as millions of American immigrants before them.

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Every Fraction and Decimal Matters at the NFL Combine

Every year at the end of February, the best college football players from the previous season head to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The week-long event is used to determine many aspects of each player’s future — which team will draft him, which round he’ll be selected, and how much money he’ll make.

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The Combine requires players to participate in various workouts to demonstrate their athletic ability. These workouts include the 40-yard dash, agility drills, and various jumping tests.

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At the 2015 NFL Combine, Phillip Dorsett won $1 Million dollars from Adidas for running the 40 yard dash in 4.33 seconds!

Since so many amazing athletes participate in the Combine — and they’re all competing for the same prize, a spot on an NFL team — every tenth of a second and every fraction of an inch matters greatly.

Past outstanding performers at the Combine include many of the NFL’s current stars. Current New York Jets running back Chris Johnson ran a blazing 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds in 2008. Johnson’s time is still the fastest recorded in the history of the Combine. Standout safety Eric Berry, of the Kansas City Chiefs, leaped 43.0 inches in the vertical jump at the 2010 Combine, the highest mark ever for a safety. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was recently named the 2015-16 NFL MVP, was a top performer in both the 40-yard dash and the 3-cone drill at the 2011 Combine.

While not every player who performed well at the Combine went on to NFL stardom, many improved their draft stock by showing off their athleticism in Indianapolis. At this year’s Combine, stopwatches and measuring sticks will go a long way toward determining which players gain or cost themselves millions of dollars.

feature.combine.beckham.jr.640x380 thumbnail

Every Fraction and Decimal Matters at the NFL Combine

Every year at the end of February, the best college football players from the previous season head to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. The week-long event is used to determine many aspects of each player’s future — which team will draft him, which round he’ll be selected, and how much money he’ll make.

The Combine requires players to participate in various workouts to demonstrate their athletic ability. These workouts include the 40-yard dash, agility drills, and various jumping tests.

At the 2015 NFL Combine, Phillip Dorsett won $1 Million dollars from Adidas for running the 40 yard dash in 4.33 seconds!

Since so many amazing athletes participate in the Combine — and they’re all competing for the same prize, a spot on an NFL team — every tenth of a second and every fraction of an inch matters greatly.

Past outstanding performers at the Combine include many of the NFL’s current stars. Current New York Jets running back Chris Johnson ran a blazing 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds in 2008. Johnson’s time is still the fastest recorded in the history of the Combine. Standout safety Eric Berry, of the Kansas City Chiefs, leaped 43.0 inches in the vertical jump at the 2010 Combine, the highest mark ever for a safety. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was recently named the 2015-16 NFL MVP, was a top performer in both the 40-yard dash and the 3-cone drill at the 2011 Combine.

While not every player who performed well at the Combine went on to NFL stardom, many improved their draft stock by showing off their athleticism in Indianapolis. At this year’s Combine, stopwatches and measuring sticks will go a long way toward determining which players gain or cost themselves millions of dollars.

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What are your odds of surviving a zombie apocalypse?

In the cliffhanger Season 6 finale of the Walking Dead, the group once again got themselves into a terrible situation that is definitely going to end with one of them dying. And this won’t be the last time. It seems like Rick can’t get it together. This got us wondering, “Could we do better?”

We built mathematical projections for zombie survival strategies and ran the numbers, and came up with the quiz below. Check it out and see how your personal zombie survival plan will work out.

Turns out that no, none of us would do better than Rick. By our count, of people who followed Rick’s lead, about 4% are still alive. 4% is almost double the maximum survival project in our model (1.9%).  Rick defied not just the odds, but also the basic realities of the U.S. food and ammo supplies and the extreme difficulty of just walking down a city street. He might have seemed like an idiot in Season 1 (and also Season 2, and arguably about half the episodes in Season 3), but you can’t argue with results.

In the lesson below, students will  learn how we arrived at our quiz’s model, and make a model of their own to predict additional zombie survival strategies.