Three is a magic number

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn

writes today in his blog about the White Sox, their magic number, and his new concept, the “toxic number.” (Which is a concept Bill James probably already had, 25 years ago.)


From Bill James, again, from 1982: Talk about your eerie coincidences. Mookie’s real name is William Wilson, but they can’t call him that, for obvious reasons. There is another major league player who does and doesn’t do exactly the same things that this guy does, and who is the same age and color, and that man’s name is Willie Wilson. To use the same name would invite unnecessary and unattractive comparisons. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a story about a man who was haunted by another man of the same name, same build and talents and face. The idea was that you were supposed to catch on that his personality had split, and he was merely projecting himself into another character of the

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same description. The two men’s names? William Wilson. Swear to God.