**Total average** is a baseball statistic devised by sportswriter Thomas Boswell and introduced in the 1978.^{[1]} It was also described in his 1982 article "Welcome to the world of Total Average where a walk is as good as a hit". It is designed to measure a hitter's overall offensive contributions, on the basis that "all bases are created equal".^{[2]} The statistic was included in issues of *Inside Sports*.^{[1]}

The definition of the statistic is simple. A player gets a credit for every base accumulated and a penalty for every out made. So a player gets one credit for a single, walk, stolen base or being hit by a pitch; two for a double; three for a triple; and four for a home run. A player's total average is calculated by summing the accumulated bases and dividing by the number of outs the player makes.

## Formula

When initially announced in an article in *Inside Sports*, the formula for total average was:^{[3]}

Boswell revised the formula, which by 1981 had been modified to its final form:^{[1]}^{[3]}

where

- TA = Total average
- TB = Total bases
- HBP = Hit by pitch
- BB = Walks
- SB = Stolen base
- CS = Caught stealing
- AB = At bats
- H = Hits
- GIDP = Grounded into double play

Like OPS, total average gives credit to players who draw a lot of walks and hit with a lot of power, such as Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Ted Williams and Frank Thomas.

## Reception

Bill James was critical of total average, stating the "all bases are created unequal".^{[2]} For example, a walk and a single both advance the batter to first base, but a walk can advance baserunners only one base (or none, if there is no baserunner on first base), whereas a single can advance all baserunners.^{[2]} That is, "a single has more value".^{[2]} Likewise, a stolen base is treated the same as a hit, but does not add a baserunner or advance other baserunners as a hit does.^{[1]}

## References

- ^
^{a}^{b}^{c}^{d}Grochowski, John (24 June 2016). "Flawed 'Total Average' a work of progress in 1978".*Chicago Sun-Times*. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - ^
^{a}^{b}^{c}^{d}Goldleaf, Steven (25 June 2016). "Mythifying Tom: Tom Boswell and the Creation of Myth". Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) - ^
^{a}^{b}Heipp, Brandon (22 April 2008). "Bases and outs ad nauseum". The Hardball Times. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)