Baseball has to be the most followed sport in terms of statistics. Heck, there is even a company whose sole job is to focus on baseball statistics. You can buy a ton of books on baseball statistics. People mine these statistics and an article recently discussed how a hot or slow start affects a baseball player’s final statistics.
According to the NY Times article:
From 1985 through last season, according to data supplied by Stats Inc., 422 batters qualified (275 hot and 147 cold), as did 482 pitchers (240 hot and 242 cold). What we want to learn is how many players from May 1 through the rest of the season stayed hot or cold, and how many reverted to their previous levels (becoming, if you will, tepid).
Getting off to a good start actually boded well for hitters and pitchers, and bad starts mattered more for pitchers than for hitters.
So it seems the old wives tale is true.