Shelby Campbell's Almost Famous Story
In 1945 a young Shelby Campbell was working to balance the final year of his studies at Northwestern University where he was working towards a Doctorate in Mathematics, with his passion for his beloved Chicago Cubs. For his doctoral dissertation Campbell was inspired to blend the two and began to study the statistical relationship between variables in a given baseball game. He found a series of amazing algorithms that matched the pitchers and batters and determined the most likely sequence of pitches to strike out a batter, and conversely the best hitting strategy against a given pitcher, inning by inning. He shared his findings with Cubs management who skeptically began to allow Campbell a seat in the dugout.
As the 1945 season progressed the Cubs moved into first place and Campbell became a valued member of the team. As the Cubs advanced to the world series they seemed unstoppable. During the sixth game against the Detroit Tigers a sports reporter noticed the mathematician in the dugout and broke the story to the Chicago Tribune. As game seven approached the weary Cubs organization, fearful of a scandal like the one that had afflicted the cross town White Sox 26 years earlier moved to deny the story and banned Shelby from Wrigley Field for life. They lost game 7 to the tigers and have not returned for a world series since.
For his part Shelby traveled and tried his hand at a number of things before settling on the restaurant business. He is gone now, but his recipes and "almost famous" legend live on.
Tuesday February 21, 2017