The most remarkable graph in the history of sport
The following graph is a histogram of the cricket batting average of all the people who’ve played cricket for their country . It may not be obvious at first glance, but it’s a remarkable graph, even if you don’t give a fig about cricket, or even about sport.
What makes it remarkable is the barely noticeable bump at the far right of the graph, which I’ve indicated by a blue arrow. It shows the cricket batting average, 99.94, of one Donald Bradman, an Australian batsman who you could plausibly argue was the most outsized talent in any area of human achievement.
To understand how Bradman’s 99.94 average compares with other batsmen, consider that a typical topflight batsman has an average in the range 45 to 55. Batsmen with averages above 55 are once-in-a-generation phenomena who dominate the entire game. After Bradman, the second highest average in history  belongs to South African Graeme Pollock, with 60.97, and the third highest to West Indian George Headley, with 60.83.
It’s tempting to think that the greats of other sports, people like Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, and so on, must stand out just as far as Bradman. But a look at the statistics doesn’t back this up. For example, Jordan scored an average of 30.12 points per game, a monumental achievement, but only a fraction ahead of Wilt Chamberlain’s 30.07, with a somewhat larger gap to Allen Iverson, with 27.73. Following Iverson there are many others with averages of around 26 or 27 points per game.
For comparison, Bradman could have deliberately thrown his innings away for zero (a “duck” in cricket parlance) one time in every three innings, and he’d still have a career average of nearly 67; he’d still be far and away the greatest batsman ever to live. Even if Bradman had deliberately thrown his innings away one time in two, his average would be about 50, and he’d have been a topflight batsman.
Why yes, I am a cricket fan!
 Technically, it’s a graph of batting averages in test cricket, the oldest form of the game played internationally. Until the 1970s, it was also the only form of the game played internationally, and so its the only graph relevant to this post. Note that only players with at least 20 innings are included.
 Current Australian batsman Michael Hussey has an average of about 70. It remains to be seen if he can keep this up.