2016 BBHOF candidates as Chernoff faces

A few weeks ago a blog post about Chernoff’s faces came across my twitter feed


I thought this was intriguing and thought it’d be fun to apply this to some data set – and the metrics for the 2016 candidates for the baseball hall-of-fame  is perfectly suited. Before I show my result, I want to mention that after working on this, I realized that it was done at the Hardball Times, by Kevin Lai, back in 2011,


His version use R, and looks, frankly, much better than my home-cooked python version. In the comments to that article, Max Marchi gives a link to a version he did in 2006.

For my versions, I hacked together some very basic faces using matplotlib. The facial-feature-to-metric correspondence is

  • pupil size : world-series championships
  • pupil location : mvps + cy youngs
  • mouth curvature : all-star appearances
  • eyebrow length : “power”
  • eyebrow slope : “power” per PA
  • face height : sum of WAR for best 5 seasons
  • nose width : defensive WAR (as defined by baseball-reference)
  • nose height : offensive WAR (as defined by baseball-reference)
  • mouth length : number of world series appearances

“Power” is defined as HR for batters and K for pitchers. So with that said, here is the result:





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