Originally Posted by dougdirt
I think it is. Today, we know that OBP is king. In the 70's and 80's we didn't. Outs weren't valued the same way then as they are now. Also, runs were actually more important then (lower run scoring environment, making each run more valuable) than they are now, so the risk was perhaps a little more worth it.
Runs scoring is almost identical these days to the 70's and 80's. From 1977-1987, the NL averaged 4.12 runs a game. The past two years have averages 4.17.
Teams have valued OBP and walks as long as I remember. Maybe the casual fan didn't understand or appreciate it, but players who got on base have always been greatly desired. I guess we have more precise ways of measuring it these days, but getting on base has always been highly valued in MLB, at least in my lifetime.