Reader Sully from Holy Cross wrote in this weekend with a question.

Hi Kyle,

My friends and I are having an argument right now over whether the first sentence on this Mike Greenwell Burger King novelty baseball from 1996 is statistically possible. We are all horrid at math. Help?



Here's the baseball:

That reads:

In 1995, Greenwell's .297 BA raised his career BA to over .300. A two-time All-Star, he finished second in 1988 AL MVP voting to current teammate Jose Canseco while also earning team MVP honors. One of only two players remaining from the Sox 1990 Eastern Division Championship club, Greenwell is among Sox leaders in a number of offensive categories including 2B's, HR's, and XBH's.


No, Sully and friends, this is not possible. Why would you think that?

Right! OK, thank you. I had my brother and two of his friends saying that if the sample size was large enough it could be possible for his average to go up, and I was saying that that was possible only if other seasons were totally eliminated from his average, which, ya know, is not how career batting average works. I seriously thought I was going insane.


OK then. Here are some photos of the other Burger King baseballs in Sully's collection.