The Case for Baby Doyle
Baby Doyle began their career as one of the weaker members of the legendary Season 1 Jazz Hands lineup.
During the early Discipline Jazz Hands dynasty, Baby played a supporting role to the elite batting talent in the Jazz Hands lineup. They were never the best batter on the team, but being out-batted by legends like Aldon Cashmoney and Nagomi McDaniel is understandable. However, a series of weather and election calamities in seasons 5-7 gutted the Jazz Hands, depriving us of all of our star power, and forcing us to begin our long, slow rebuild. This is when Baby Doyle’s story really gets interesting.
In Season 8, the Jazz Hands won the Precognition Blessing, the last blessing we would win until Season 18. Precognition targeted Baby twice, boosting their hitting by 40%, and instantly catapulting them into the league’s hitting elite. Baby’s OPS jumped from 0.751 in Season 8 to 0.969 (nice) in Season 9, making them easily the best hitter on the team. The era of Baby had begun.
The Jazz Hands slowly built up a lineup that could support Baby, Infusing Collins Melon into an awe inspiring blob of stars, and bringing several other members of the lineup to above replacement value. However, Baby was still held back by their position – batting near the end of the Jazz Hands overly long lineup. Worse, Baby had few consistent hitters in front of them to slug in, and was followed in the Lineup by Collins Melon. Melon racked up RBI’s batting Baby, but Baby often blocked Melon from stealing their way around the bases, which held back team’s overall effectiveness.
That all changed in Season 18, when the Jazz Hands broke their Blessing-less streak and won Grand Larceny. If Precognition had made Baby an effective individual batter, Grand Larceny finally made them part of an effective team. Sorting the lineup by Basethirst put Collins Melon at #2, and Baby Doyle at #3, creating the most dynamic and exciting batting pair in the entire ILB. Both would go on to play in the Exhibition Match, but unfortunately only Baby would return from it. After a weird and messy Season 24 (even by Season 24 standards) Baby was left standing as the last remaining OG Jazz Hand, the core of the Lineup, and one of the greatest batters of all time.
Alright, now for the crunchy stuff. Baby’s long career means they obviously have great counting stats – #3 in career Doubles (544), #5 in hits (2631), #7 in HRs (549) and #2 in RBI (1866.3). With the help of Collins Melon, Baby also set the single season RBI record in season 23 (307.6), and is #1 in both career Hits with Runners in Scoring Position (591), and in career Sac Flies (123). All that’s to be expected – but Baby’s rate stats are where things get exciting.
Baby’s career OPS of 0.955 is the 15th best among players with 1000 or more Plate Appearances. However, it’s worth noting that Baby’s 9114 PA’s absolutely dwarf the PA’s of everyone above them in that list – Jaxon Buckley (8291) and Valentine Games (8011) are the only players who even come close. Baby achieved a consistent rate of excellence that is simply unparalleled
Graphing Career OPS vs PAs really highlights how exceptional Baby Doyle is in this regard. Every single player with a better OPS played much less Blaseball than them, and no one who’s played as much can touch their rate. The next best Career OPS among players with more than 9000 PAs is, funnily enough, Baby Triumphant, with a OPS that’s 50 points lower (0.902) across a comparably long career (9284 PAs). No one else with more than 9000 PAs has a career OPS above 0.900.
The raw OPS numbers are the most visually striking, but more advanced metrics like WOBA, OPS+, and WRC+ all tell the same story. Doyle is the best pure hitter among players with 9000 or more PAs, and it’s not remotely close.
These numbers look even better when you realize how Baby built them. Most great hitters, even ones mainly known for their slugging, excel at drawing walks. Baby Doyle, on the other hand, clearly believed plate discipline was for cowards. They achieved only 279 walks across their career, among the worst walk counts of anyone in their PA range.
Instead, Baby earned their way on base with their bat, using their career 0.306 Batting Average (15th overall, 1st among batters w/ >9k PAs) to achieve a career 0.319 On Base Percentage (49th overall, 4th among batters w/ >9k PAs). The rest of their OPS comes from their monstrous career 0.636 Slugging, yet another untouchable rate for players who’ve played as much as them (12th overall, 1st among batters w/ >9k PAs). This consistent excellence earned Baby a career WhAT of 80.7, the 9th best of any batter in Blaseball.
Baby’s not just about career value though – their best seasons rank among the best of any hitter ever. They earned an OPS of 1.000 or greater in 10 seasons, a record matched only by Conner Haley, and exceeded only by Jaxon Buckley (who has 12 such seasons). If we use OPS+ to normalize performance across different scoring environments, we see Baby is the proud owner of 6 of the 100 best OPS+ seasons of all time (among seasons with at least 200 PAs).
These are the 100 greatest individual hitting seasons in the history of Blaseball. Not only did Baby Doyle hit six of them over the course of their career – they hit five of them in a row. Baby’s season 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 hitting performances are all included in this list, as well as their excellent performance in Season 14.
WRC+ tells a similar story, even though it values Baby’s slugging less than OPS+. Baby owns 5 of the top 100 WRC+ seasons with at least 200 PAs, excelling in a metric that highly values on base percentage even though they only walked on 1 in every 33 plate appearances.
I’d also note that Baby did this without meaningful support from Modifications. The Jazz Hands 9 season Blessing drought meant Baby played without the benefit of powerful team mods like Blood types, as well as powerful player mods like Spicy. They had Perk, but it only caused them to play slightly better in rare Coffee weather. Beyond that, their only Modification of note was 2x, which they only gained in the Season 22 Election. 2x certainly helped their RBI numbers, but did not help with any of the other stats I’ve cited here.
Finally, a somewhat speculative point about Defense. Recent research into the inner workings of The Sim has revealed the value that great defenders can contribute to their team, which makes Baby Doyle’s Hall of Fame case even stronger. Defense was Baby’s highest attribute category prior to receiving Precognition, with a natural 3.697 defense star rating that grew to 5.1 stars by the end of Expansion. Omniscience, the defense attribute that has been found to be generally the most valuable, was always Baby’s strength, growing from 0.872 at the beginning of their career to 1.231 by the end.
This chart shows an estimate of the defensive impact players had from Seasons 12-15. While limited, it shows Baby was one of the top 20 defenders in the league during that time. From this, we can imply that they were likely at least an above average defender throughout their career, all while playing for a team that rarely if ever had an effective pitching rotation. This greatly bolsters their Hall of Fame case, especially since it means they were a valuable and impactful member of the early Discipline Jazz Hands dynasty, even though their hitting during that period rarely impressed.
In Jazz Hands lore, Baby Doyle is depicted as a human child, somewhere between infant and toddler age. How exactly a child is able to hit this well isn’t completely clear. Early on, we joked that “their short legs and lack of object permanence make them a slight liability on defense” only to later learn that they were an excellent defender. This line is still on their wiki though, because it’s funny.
In between Eras, Baby played in the Coffee Cup, and won the tournament as a member of Inter Xpresso alongside fellow Hall of Famers Knight Triumphant, Commissioner Vapor, and Theodore Cervantes. Coffee Cup statistics are difficult to access, so I haven’t looked them up, but I’m sure Baby’s were excellent. Throughout the Expansion Era, Baby’s Perk modification helped them play even better in Coffee weather. The Jazz Hands always appreciated this, even if we did wonder if giving a child that much espresso was a good idea.
During the Season 17 Earlsiesta, The Reader “gifted” Baby Doyle an Uncertain Necklace of Entanglement, which would cause Baby to be Alternated if they were ever sent Elsewhere. The season before, the Reader had drawn attention to Collins Melon by removing their Alternate modification, which caused the entire league to Notice the Jazz Hands had a 7 star Pitcher hiding in our Lineup. These two events caused many on the team to distrust The Reader for the remainder of the Era.
The Jazz Hands spent the rest of Season 17 fearing we’d lose our best hitter. Baby had traditionally floated just below the noodle on the idol Board, but we campaigned to get them named an MVP that season to protect them from Flooding. Baby managed to dodge being sent elsewhere by Salmon Cannons in Season 18, and in that election the Jazz Hands used the newly created Item Move will to hand Baby a Careful Fireproof Necklace we thought would protect them from future calamities.
Halfway through the next season though, Baby threw that Necklace away for a basic Bat, which they wielded for most of the rest of the Expansion Era.
That MVP title meant Baby was selected for the Exhibition Match, alongside Collins Melon. Melon was Vaulted during the match, but thankfully Baby avoided that fate. Afterwards, Baby was dropped into the Jazz Hands pitching rotation. Their pitching attributes were … not exactly competitive, and made even worse by Magnified. The whole team wanted Baby to be Faxed, and on Day 5, the Chicago Firefighters had a chance to do just that.
Despite being Perked up by Coffee weather, Baby only managed to last 5.2 innings versus the Firefighters. During those innings, they achieved 1 Strikeout, and allowed 8 Hits for 12 Runs (which would have been 14 runs without Gita Sparrow’s Subtractor modification). 10 of those runs were Baby Triumphant RBIs – 4 from a sac fly in the 4th inning, and another 6 from a Wired Single in the 5th, which brought the score to 12-4 and triggered the Fax Machine. Doyle usually had the edge on Triumphant during the Expansion Era, but in one of their last interactions of the Era, Triumphant single handedly Faxed Doyle into the Shadows, to the delight of all those involved.
The Jazz Hands built Night+ before we even knew what it did, and spent Season 24 begging for a Night Shift. When we finally got one though, it didn’t go as planned. Late in the season, a Night Shift attempted to swap Baby Doyle and Munivoi Rochester. The Jazz Hands were Rogue at that point though, so the Night Shift failed. Munavoi got a Night Shift boost, and used their one at bat to hit into a Double Play, but Baby remained in the lineup and was made permanently Unstable. We don’t quite know why this happened, but we’re very concerned about it.
Baby Doyle sits at the apex of greatness and longevity. Every batter who has played as long as them is worse at batting, and every batter who is better than them at batting has played less. In my opinion, the only batters in the history of Blaseball who are unquestionably better than Baby Doyle are Aldon Cashmoney, Conner Haley, Valentine Games, and Jaxon Buckley. All 4 hit substantially better than Baby over the course of their careers, and while those careers were shorter than Baby’s, all were over 7000 PAs.
Peak value also matters, and one could reasonably argue that players like Nagomi McDaniel and Collins Melon had such high peaks they deserve to be considered better than Baby. Even then though, Baby Doyle remains unquestionably one of the greatest batters in the history of Blaseball, and the greatest Jazz Hand of all time. Many greats have passed through Breckenridge or given flasher performances there that caught the eye of the whole league, but no player has contributed more to the team’s (modest) success. Baby may never have been the face of the franchise, but they are the heart and soul of it, and are unquestionably worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame.