A 2010 Wayne State University research project studied pictures of Major League Baseball players from pre-1950 in an attempt to determine whether a player’s smile (or not) was an indicator of his life expectancy. Pictures were taken from the 1952 Baseball Register and 230 players who passed from 2006 to 2009 were analyzed.
The result was that the smilers average life span was 79.9 years and the no smilers was 72.9 years. Of those players who had passed away, 72.9 was the lifetime for those with no smiles (63 players) to 75 years for players with partial smiles (64 players) to 79.9 years for players with big smiles (23 players).
Apparently, Lew Burdette (1926 – 2007) was a lot happier playing with the Braves than with the Cubs. Then again, who wouldn’t be? Especially when they didn’t even know how to spell your name in Chicago.