Friday, April 8, 2011

Joe DiMaggio's 46 homers in 1937.

Click for supporting data.

This old guy I know, let's call him Joe, was yapping about Joe DiMaggio hitting 46 HR in 1937, that he could have hit 60 playing his home games in other than Yankee Stadium.  I pointed out that I didn't think DiMaggio hit 30 on the road.

46 AB/HR 13.5
home: 19 in 306 AB    AB/HR 16.1
road: 27 in 315 AB    AB/HR 11.6

With 7 opponents even distribution of homers would be 14.3%.

11 against Browns.  8 in St. Louis.  23.91% against 14% of opponents.

9 against Senators.  19.5%.

That's 43.5% against 2 of 3 teams under .500.


DiMaggio's distribution of his 46 1937 homers: 11 (Browns), 9, 8, 7, 4, 4, 3 (Indians).
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Let's see how other Yankees who hit a lot of homers in a season compare to DiMaggio's 46 in 1937.  Obviously righty DiMaggio was at a severe disadvantage at home because Yankee Stadium as configured from it's inception through 1973 had walls at least this far from home plate: 402 in left, 457 in left center, 461 in center, 409 in right center, 344 in right.  In 1927 center was 490 and right center was 433, so Ruth and Gehrig had some extra long distances to deal with too.  Ruth, Gehrig and Maris batted lefty, Mantle both, Rodriguez righty.  Rodriguez's situation is complicated by: shorter distances in left and center, unbalanced schedule, inter-league play and, of course, hysteria over steroid use.  At the very least it might be instructive to see how they did on the road.

In 1927 Babe Ruth hit 60; AB/HR 9:

home: 28 in 253 AB    AB/HR 9
road: 32 in 287 AB    AB/HR 8.97

Ruth's distribution of his 60 1927 homers was pretty even: 11 (Red Sox 18.33%), 9, 9, 9, 8, 8, 6.

In 1928 Babe Ruth hit 54; AB/HR 9.92:

home: 29 in 260 AB    AB/HR 8.97
road: 25 in AB 276   AB/HR 11.04

Ruth's distribution of his 54 1928 homers was less even: 11 (White Sox 20.37%), 10, 10, 6, 6, 6, 5.

In 1934 Lou Gehrig hit 49; AB/HR 11.81:     Won triple crown: led AL in HR, BA, RBI.

home: 30 in 290 AB    AB/HR 8.979.66
road: 19 in 289 AB    AB/HR 15.21

Gehrig's distribution of his 49 1934 homers: 12 (White Sox 24.49%), 11, 8,6,5,5,2 (Tigers).

In 1936 Lou Gehrig hit 49; AB/HR 11.81:

home: 27 in 227 AB    AB/HR 9.88
road: 22 in 312 AB    AB/HR 14.18

Gehrig's distribution of his 49 1936 homers: 14 (Indians 28.57%), 7, 7, 7, 7, 5, 2 (Senators).

Of his games in Cleveland in 1936 Gehrig played in only one game  in Municipal Stadium and had no home runs in 6 AB.  In League Park II Gehrig had 8 homers in 49 AB; AB/HR 6.125.

In 1956 Mickey Mantle hit 52; AB/HR 10.25:     Won triple crown: led AL in HR, BA, RBI.

home: 27 in 228 AB    AB/HR 9.93
road: 25 in 265 AB    AB/HR 10.6

Mantle's distribution of his 52 1956 homers: 10 (Indians 19.23%), 10 (Tigers 19.23%), 9, 9, 6, 6, 2 (Orioles).

With 9 opponents in 1961 even distribution of homers would be 11.1%.  Expansion teams in 1961: Senators and Angels.

In 1961 Roger Maris hit 61;  AB/HR 9.67

home: 30 in 280 AB    AB/HR 9.33
road: 31 in 310 AB    AB/HR 10

Maris's distribution of his 61 1961 homers: 13 (White Sox 21.31%), 9 (Senators), 8, 8, 7, 5, 4 (Angels), 4 (Twins), 3 (Orioles).

In 1961 Mickey Mantle hit 54; AB/HR 9.52

home: 24 in 230 AB    AB/HR 9.58
road: 30 in 284 AB    AB/HR 9.47

Mantle's distribution of his 54 1961 homers: 11 (Senators 20.37%), 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 4 (Orioles), 4 (Indians), 4 (White Sox).

Maris hit his most against the White Sox against whom Mantle hit his fewest.  Both hit their fewest against the Orioles.


In 2007 Alex Rodriguez hit 54; AB/HR 10.8

home: 26 in 292 AB    AB/HR 11.23
road: 28 in 291 AB    AB/HR 10.39
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DiMaggio had the most AB both home and road.

Most HR home: 30 - Gehrig 1934, Maris 1961.

Most HR road: 32 - Ruth 1927; 31 Maris 1961; 30 Mantle 1961.

Fewest HR home: 19 DiMaggio 1937.

Fewest HR road: 19 Gehrig 1934.

Best AB/HR home: 8.97 Ruth 1928.

Best  AB/HR road: 8.97 Ruth 1927.

Worst AB/HR home: 16.11 DiMaggio 1937

Worst AB/HR road: 15.21 Gehrig 1934, 14.18 Gehrig 1936, 11.66 DiMaggio 1937.

Best  AB/HR: 9 Ruth 1927

Worst AB/HR: 13.5 DiMaggio 1937.

Joe D. did well in 1937 in home run hitting but not as well as old Joe would like to believe.  On the road only Gehrig had a worse home run rate (AB/HR).

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