After what seemed an eternity (in reality, just 10 days), I’ve settled on a template and formula for depicting the player networks for MLB teams dating back to 1901. Throughout this process, the hometown Tigers have been my trial balloon to see if and how this idea would work. I’m happy to report that the idea not only works, but it makes for a beautiful (and highly addictive) interactive graph.
After several days of testing a variety of graph algorithms, I’ve landed back at the ARF method used for the Octavio Dotel graphs created earlier this year. There’s something about a circular layout that is visually appealing and informationally dense at the same time. Players are clustered by color, reflecting the primary peer group they belong to, although many will connect across two or more groups. The size of each player node reflects the number of seasons played with the team. Alan Trammell and Ty Cobb have large nodes, while Eddie Miller has a very small node, reflecting his single season in a Tigers uniform. Check it out for yourself: UPDATE: Node Sizes not behaving as planned – still tweaking
To play with the live version, click here.
It took awhile to get a satisfying result, but after setting a few parameters in Gephi and tweaking some options I’m thrilled with the graph. Now I’m poised to do the same for all MLB franchises, using the same settings to allow each franchise’s patterns come to the fore. I’m eager to create the entire series of graphs, and to start assessing the differences and how they relate to team success patterns.by