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I respect the power of numbers, but I know their shortcomings. Yes, 40 percent is a great on-base percentage, but there are ways you can get on base without statistically being "on base.” There's a fielder's choice, which you can force with your speed (or maybe the infielders didn't quite make a clean play); or you can reach by error, and errors often result from the pressure you put on the infield by running well. So you may have gotten on base a few more times than the stats show, and with that comes more potential for scoring runs.
Fielder's choice? That's a number, if anyone cares enough to look it up. Reached on error? You can look that one up, too. Elsewhere in his essay, Glanville writes about the fast runner's ability to disrupt the pitcher and the defense. Those things may be measured, too. They might not be easy for you or me to find. But they're out there somewhere, just waiting for the curious fellow with 10th-grade programming skills.
Doug Glanville finished his career with a .315 on-base percentage. If someone can take all those numbers out there and turn Glanville into a truly effective leadoff man, I would absolutely love to see that.