It’s not to suggest that baseball research isn’t worthwhile, since findings can have real-world applications.
The nickname study depends on the assertion that certain players did not have a nickname, which is difficult to establish with certainty. Prof. Abel says, though, that his nickname books and histories are fairly reliable. “People who do statistics on baseball,” he says, “are very meticulous.” (Despite this, Prof. Abel does not publish in SABR’s Baseball Research Journal. “It’s too esoteric,” he says.)
FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL