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Friday, December 7, 2012

20 homers before 1920.

Rk Player Year HR Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Babe Ruth 1919 29 24 BOS AL 130 543 432 103 139 34 12 114 101 58 6 3 7 .322 .456 .657 1.114 *71/38
2 Gavvy Cravath 1915 24 34 PHI NL 150 621 522 89 149 31 7 115 86 77 6 7 11 9 .285 .393 .510 .902 *9
3 Frank Schulte 1911 21 28 CHC NL 154 687 577 105 173 30 21 107 76 71 3 31 23 .300 .384 .534 .918 *9
4 Buck Freeman 1899 25 27 WHS NL 155 634 588 107 187 19 25 122 23 26 18 5 21 .318 .362 .563 .925 *9/1
5 Sam Thompson 1889 20 29 PHI NL 128 575 533 103 158 36 4 111 36 22 6 24 .296 .348 .492 .839 *9
6 Cap Anson 1884 21 32 CHC NL 112 504 475 108 159 30 3 102 29 13 0 .335 .373 .543 .916 *3/261
7 Abner Dalrymple 1884 22 26 CHC NL 111 535 521 111 161 18 9 69 14 39 0 .309 .327 .505 .832 *7
8 Fred Pfeffer 1884 25 24 CHC NL 112 492 467 105 135 10 10 101 25 47 0 .289 .325 .514 .839 *4/1
9 Ned Williamson 1884 27 26 CHC NL 107 459 417 84 116 18 8 84 42 56 0 .278 .344 .554 .898 *52/1
Generated 12/7/2012.

Nine times, by nine different players (four on that 1884 Cubs team) before 1920.  For seasons 1920-1929, 20 HR were hit 67 times.

I've already written about Ned Williamson's 27.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Home Run hitting on steroids: 1920s?

In 1884 Ned Williamson hit 27 home runs (HR).  It's pretty well accepted that the record is tainted because the fences in his home park had been moved very close to home plate.  He hit 25 of 27 at home.  Plus 1884 is before the modern rules had been established.

For purposes of this topic, I'll consider the modern HR record to have been set at 24 in 1915 by Gavvy Cravath who had led the National League (NL) the previous two seasons with 19.
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I'll probably stick with Cravath's 24 HR in 1915 as the modern record that Ruth broke in 1919 but his home/road splits aren't much better Williamson's: 19/5.  Plus, two of his five road HR were inside the park (IPHR).

Note: before 1932 a fair ball that bounced over a fence was a home run (HR).  No kidding.  Supposedly, Ruth never hit any bounced HR.

For those two 19 HR seasons by Cravath:
1913: 14 home (four bounced), 5 road (2 bounced, one IPHR)
1914: 19 home (one bounced), ZERO road

HR records just get curiouser and curiouser.

I consider modern batting rules to begin in 1903 when the American League followed the National League and started to count foul balls as the first two strikes.  I generally do not analyse data before 1903.

Frank Schulte, a lefty batter, is the only other modern player with 20 HR before 1920.  His HR 1910-1915: 10, 21, 12, 9, 5, 12.  Already it looks suspicious.  Frank Schulte played for the NL Chicago Cubs 1904 into 1916 when he went to Pittsburgh mid season.  In 1911 when Schulte hit 21 HR the Cubs played in West Side Grounds where the Cubs played from 1893-1915.  Dimensions: 340 down each line, 560 in center.  The 1911 Cubs hit 54 HR, second to Philadelphia's 60.  Second on the Cubs to Schulte was Heinie Zimmerman (9) who would lead the NL the next season with 14 HR.

Batters in all major leagues, including the Federal League in 1915, with at least 10 HR in those three record breaking seasons before 1920:

Rk Player HR Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Frank Schulte 21 1911 28 CHC NL 154 687 577 105 173 30 21 107 76 71 3 31 23 .300 .384 .534 .918 *9
2 Fred Luderus 16 1911 25 PHI NL 146 609 551 69 166 24 11 99 40 76 4 14 6 .301 .353 .472 .825 *3
3 Sherry Magee 15 1911 26 PHI NL 121 514 445 79 128 32 5 94 49 33 6 14 22 .288 .366 .483 .849 *7/9
4 Larry Doyle 13 1911 24 NYG NL 143 622 526 102 163 25 25 77 71 39 5 20 38 .310 .397 .527 .924 *4
5 Chief Wilson 12 1911 27 PIT NL 148 603 544 72 163 34 12 107 41 55 4 14 10 .300 .353 .472 .826 *9/8
6 Fred Merkle 12 1911 22 NYG NL 149 604 541 80 153 24 10 84 43 60 6 14 49 .283 .342 .431 .773 *3
7 Dick Hoblitzell 11 1911 22 CIN NL 158 694 622 81 180 19 13 91 42 44 8 22 32 .289 .342 .415 .757 *3
8 Home Run Baker 11 1911 25 PHA AL 148 659 592 96 198 42 14 115 40 39 2 25 38 .334 .379 .508 .887 *5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/7/2012.

Rk Player HR Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Gavvy Cravath 24 1915 34 PHI NL 150 621 522 89 149 31 7 115 86 77 6 7 11 9 .285 .393 .510 .902 *9
2 Hal Chase 17 1915 32 BUF FL 145 596 567 85 165 31 10 89 20 50 1 8 23 .291 .316 .471 .787 *3/9
3 Cy Williams 13 1915 27 CHC NL 151 566 518 59 133 22 6 64 26 49 10 12 15 10 .257 .305 .398 .703 *8
4 Dutch Zwilling 13 1915 26 CHI FL 150 635 548 65 157 32 7 94 67 65 2 18 24 .286 .366 .442 .808 *8/3
5 Benny Kauff 12 1915 25 BTT FL 136 581 483 92 165 23 11 83 85 50 6 7 55 .342 .446 .509 .955 *8
6 Frank Schulte 12 1915 32 CHC NL 151 628 550 66 137 20 6 62 49 68 2 27 19 17 .249 .313 .373 .686 *7/9
7 Beals Becker 11 1915 28 PHI NL 112 376 338 38 83 16 4 35 26 48 1 11 12 15 .246 .301 .414 .716 *7/9
8 Vic Saier 11 1915 24 CHC NL 144 568 497 74 131 35 11 64 64 62 2 5 29 9 .264 .350 .445 .795 *3
9 Ed Konetchy 10 1915 29 PBS FL 152 636 576 79 181 31 18 93 41 52 3 16 27 .314 .363 .483 .846 *3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/7/2012.

Rk Player HR Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Babe Ruth 29 1919 24 BOS AL 130 543 432 103 139 34 12 114 101 58 6 3 7 .322 .456 .657 1.114 *71/38
2 Gavvy Cravath 12 1919 38 PHI NL 83 256 214 34 73 18 5 45 35 21 2 4 8 .341 .438 .640 1.078 *9/78
3 Home Run Baker 10 1919 33 NYY AL 141 623 567 70 166 22 1 83 44 18 2 9 13 .293 .346 .388 .734 *5
4 Benny Kauff 10 1919 29 NYG NL 135 543 491 73 136 27 7 67 39 45 3 11 21 .277 .334 .422 .756 *8
5 George Sisler 10 1919 26 SLB AL 132 560 511 96 180 31 15 83 27 20 5 18 28 .352 .390 .530 .921 *3
6 Tillie Walker 10 1919 31 PHA AL 126 497 456 47 133 30 6 64 26 41 0 15 8 .292 .330 .450 .779 *87/9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/7/2012.

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