Broad-Faced Guys Are Better at Baseball

Japanese study finds correlation between face size, home run totals

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 10, 2013 12:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – If baseball players actually looked like their bobbleheads, they'd be amazing. Or at least, that's what a new study suggests. Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London studied the facial dimensions of all Japanese players to log more than 10 games over the past two seasons, and found that the wider a player's face was relative to its height, the better a slugger they were likely to be. These broad-faced gents tended to hit more home runs and RBIs, and have a better slugging percentage, LiveScience reports.

They also found something somewhat surprising: Younger players tended to have broader faces than older ones. "We predicted the first two findings, but were surprised by the age link," the lead researcher says. "This requires further investigation." The findings make some sense, because some have hypothesized that face shape is related to testosterone levels, and past studies have linked face shape to personality traits such as aggression and achievement drive that might correlate with player performance.

Miguel Cabrera prepares for batting practice before a spring training game against the New York Yankees, March 23, 2013.
Miguel Cabrera prepares for batting practice before a spring training game against the New York Yankees, March 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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