A research work dealing with sports statistics co-authored by Texas A&M University professor Scott Berry has been selected the 1999 "Applied Paper of the Year" by the American Statistical Association.

Berry, who teaches statistics at Texas A&M, wrote "Bridging Different Eras in Sports" with Texas A&M doctoral student Shane Reese and Pat Larkey, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The 19,000-member American Statistical Association judged their work as the nation's best and Berry will give a presentation of the paper in August at a national statistical conference in Baltimore.

The research work will be published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Statistical Association.

The 47-page paper, which Berry said took about a year to complete, compares players in golf, hockey and baseball through different eras of each sport. The statistical information about baseball player Mark McGwire, for instance, was charted and analyzed against current and former stars, while golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and hockey's Wayne Gretzky were compared to similar players in different decades.

Berry said doing the research on hundreds of athletes "was fun, plus we learned something along the way. We looked at the changing population of each sport's players, the age factors and other issues that affect performance.

"For the American Statistical Association to recognize the importance of the statistical issue in sports is both exciting and gratifying," he added. "Our paper was deemed to be of serious statistical merit worthy of appropriate study."

Contact: Keith Randall (409) 845-4644

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