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redsmetz
12-06-2012, 01:41 PM
My baseball Page-A-Day calendar had an interesting historical tidbit yesterday. It said that when Babe Ruth led the AL in home runs in 1920 (in fact, all of MLB too), he hit more HR's than the next three players combined. Ruth hit 54 that year as George Sisler (19), Tillie Walker (17) and Cy Williams (15) for a total of 51 HR's between the three of them.

It's really hard to grasp from our point of view (even without the steroid era numbers) what a sea change Ruth was. He broke the single season HR record four times, besting his own mark three of those times. His last year with the Bosox in 1919, he hit 29 home runs, eclipsing Ned Williamson's 1884 mark (oddly, the only year Williamson hit in double digits). He set a new record in 1920, again in 1921 (59) and finally in 1927 with sixty.

Another thing about Ruth's gargantuan 1920 season, one I'd heard before; he hit more HR's himself than each team hit total for that year except for the Philadelphia Phillies who collectively hit 64 long balls. The next closest fell four short of Ruth's total, the St. Louis Browns with those fifty.

Ruth broke the career home run record during the 1921 season, passing Roger Conner's 138 home runs compiled over an 18 year career in the late 19th century.

One little oddity about Ruth's home runs I noticed this afternoon. He hit his first two home runs off the same pitcher, Jack Warhop of the Yankees, in 1915. He hit his last two home runs against the same pitcher, Guy Bush of the Pirates, in 1935, sandwiching 710 between those four!

mattfeet
12-06-2012, 01:59 PM
Im pretty sure 'ole Babe wasn't playing in '72. lol

redsmetz
12-06-2012, 02:03 PM
Im pretty sure 'ole Babe wasn't playing in '72. lol

Oops! I got a little dyslexic there, didn't I? Fixed it!

mattfeet
12-06-2012, 02:08 PM
LOL - there ya go!

MikeThierry
12-06-2012, 02:16 PM
He's easily the most dominant player of any era. I get that pitching was watered down and the best pitchers weren't playing. Still, even with all that, he's the greatest.

RedLegsToday
12-06-2012, 09:25 PM
eclipsing Ned Williamson's 1884 mark (oddly, the only year Williamson hit in double digits).

Fun baseball history lesson! From B-Ref


The outfield area was especially close in right field. The right field fence was less than 200 feet away, so anyone hitting the ball over that fence was awarded only a ground rule double. Batters would aim for the fence, and during their years at the park the Chicago club regularly led the league in doubles.

In what would be their final season on the lakefront, the White Stockings decided to make the entire outfield fence home run territory

Top four hr hitters in the league were White Sox (not those White Sox, the team now known as the Cubs).

edit: this was Lakefront Park, which was taken over by the city of Chicago after 1884 and it became part of what is now Grant Park

SunDeck
12-07-2012, 12:03 PM
I keep telling myself that beer and sausage are performance foods that keep me on top of my game.

westofyou
12-07-2012, 12:06 PM
Fun baseball history lesson! From B-Ref



Top four hr hitters in the league were White Sox (not those White Sox, the team now known as the Cubs).

edit: this was Lakefront Park, which was taken over by the city of Chicago after 1884 and it became part of what is now Grant Park

Ned Williamson kinda fat, would be a DH today. Played all over the diamond, getting thicker as he aged he moved left on the defensive spectrum

George Anderson
12-07-2012, 12:55 PM
Ruth to me was an absolutely amazing creature. Keep in mind he was one of the top pitchers in MLB baseball before he made the switch to a full time position plater. Then once he became a position player he absolutely shattered the HR records.

A good comparison would be if the Nationals announced Stephen Strasburg was going to give up pitching but instead focus on hitting. Strasburg would then respond the next season by hitting 100 plus homeruns.

Ruth is one guy I hope to meet in the afterlife.