BIZMAC at Bat—”Brain” Predicts 1957 Averages (Jul, 1957)

BIZMAC at Bat—”Brain” Predicts 1957 Averages

Early in March, when the Army Ordnance Command’s BIZMAC computer was demonstrated publicly for the first time, the operators used it to predict batting averages for the 1957 season. Twelve of the leading major league baseball players were “analyzed” by the computer, which based its predictions on the players’ averages for the past five years.

Leading the field was Mickey Mantle (.342); followed by Richie Ashburn (.328), Ted Williams (.322),HarveyKuehn (.319), Minnie Minoso (.317), Carl Furillo (.314), Ray Boone (.313), Nellie Fox (.309), Stan Musial (.305), Ted Kluszewski (.304), Duke Snider (.302) and Yogi Berra (.297). This is a reminder—just to show that computers can be wrong.

In the photo at left is a portion of the BIZMAC control. The “real” use of the computer is to keep track of U. S.
Army truck and tank supplies scattered over the world.

  1. Mike says: October 13, 200810:20 am

    It was used for games like every other computer.

  2. Rick Auricchio says: October 13, 200812:55 pm

    Does anyone know the real 1957 averages, just to compare?

  3. StanFlouride says: October 13, 20081:24 pm

    Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll take one for the team:
    Top Ten Batting Averages for 1957-
    1)Ted Williams .388 (prediction .322)
    2)Mickey Mantle .365 (prediction .342)
    3)Stan Musial .351 (prediction .305 )
    4)Nellie Fox .317 (prediction .309 )
    5)Minnie Minoso .310 (prediction .317)
    6)Carl Furillo .306 (prediction .314)
    7)Richie Ashburn .297 (prediction .328)(tied)Tony Kubek ,George Kell .297
    10) (tie)Dave Philley, Al Kaline, Wally Moon .295

    Other players listed above, not in Top Ten
    Harvey Kuehn .277 (prediction .319)
    Duke Snider .274 (prediction .302)
    Ray Boone .273 (prediction .313)
    Ted Kluszewski .268 (prediction .304)
    Yogi Berra .251 (prediction .297)

    WHEW! That was a pain!

  4. Rick Auricchio says: October 13, 20088:33 pm

    Thanks, Stan. Now maybe I should crank the numbers into Excel and come up with a “how well did the computer do” percentage.

  5. JMyint says: October 13, 200810:17 pm

    I’m not going to go into the batting averages. Just wanted to say I have met Stan “The Man” Musial in real life and he is a heck of a nice guy. He owns a resturant in St. Louis.

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