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BCB Similarity Score Contest: Russell Branyan

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As I was reading for yesterday's Mug I came across this idea at Baseball Reference: "How Many Clicks to Babe Ruth?"

The concept is pretty simple: On their page at B-Ref, every player has a list of ten similar players. If you select one from that list, then select one from that player's list and so forth, eventually you can connect any player with Babe Ruth. Follow the link to B-Ref's explanation for more details.

Anyway, I thought the game was a pretty cool idea, so I'm stealing it here. Every day between now and the end of December, I'll post a new player. When I do, you have the rest of that day to find the shortest possible path between that player and Babe Ruth. Each day's winner will be entered in a drawing to win a free BCB t-shirt at the end of the month.

Here are the rules:

  1. Use the B-Ref Similarity Scores, not the "Similar Batters Through (Age)" list, or the "Most Similar By Ages" list. 
  2. Show your work. Any entry must feature a full list of the players used to build the chain between that day's player and Babe Ruth.
  3. The first player and Babe Ruth both count as part of your score. If you have 20 players between a player and Babe Ruth, for example, then your score is 22.
  4. You have until midnight central time to enter that day's contest.
  5. The winning entry will be the commenter who submits the shortest string of players correctly tying that day's player to Babe Ruth. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the commenter who posts the shortest chain first. 
  6. No more than two entries per commenter per day. If you post an entry and someone else beats it, you're welcome to try again. But please limit yourself to two entries, so I'm not spending all day scrolling past outdated entries.

We'll start off with an easy one, to help you get a feel for it. Today's player is Russell Branyan.

Have fun!