The South Will Brush-back Again


Cato head honcho David Boaz draws my attention to an intruiguing theory of the hit-by-pitch phenomenon:

“I found that pitchers from the South are not more likely in general to hit batters,” [Thomas] Timmerman said in a telephone interview, “but they are much more likely to hit batters after giving up a home run, or after a teammate has gotten hit the previous half-inning.”

Timmerman speculates that this may be due to the honor culture of the south. Boaz extends the hypothesis to say that perhaps the issue is not Dixie per se but the Scotch-Irish tradition (see Michael Lind and especially Senator Jim Webb), noting that "Two of the top non-Southerners on the list, Jeff Weaver and David Wells" are from Southern California, where the white population has traditionally been heavy Scotch-Irish.