For those readers not entrenched in Red Sox lore, .406 is of course, Ted Williams final batting average in 1946. This was the last time any one has achieved that magic number and some believe that it is a figure that will never be achieved again.
But for Red Sox fans, .406 is a number much like 56 is to the Yankees. And it is what 61 used to be before it was asterisked by 60-something and 70 something. It's a figure that is much like 714 used to be and 755 became only to be asterisked, as well by whatever number surpassed 755.
And .406 is the numerical equivalent to 2130 for baseball fans all over the map only to be overtaken and cast in Iron by 2632, a number that may not yet by as easily recalled by fans outside of Baltimore.
To all of baseball fans, .406 is a lot like 42 is. Not just a number, but The Number.
The number .406 is the equivalent to 511 for pitching fans and 41 for single season pitching fans. And .406 is very much similar to fans of 130 and 1406 to those who like the fine art of stealing. And .406 is much the same but clearly overshadowed by 67 for fans of the two bagger.
So today as the bell tolls .406. It doesn't just mark the start of season number 2009. It marks the statistical chase of a whole bunch of digits. And that my friends is why baseball isn't just a game. It's a passion.
For a number of reasons.