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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hank Aaron: why so much better homering at home in 1971?

Hank Aaron got a mid career boost in home run (HR) hitting at home after the Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966.  However, Aaron's home HR proficiency was almost twice as good in 1971 as in any of his other eight Atlanta seasons.  Why?

Click link to see data and graph.

Aaron had his season high of 47 HR in 1971 at age 37.7 at season's end on only 495 at bats (AB).  But his HR rate was 49.6% better at home.  His three other seasons in Atlanta with a home edge over 20%:
1967 28.8%
1968 24.2%
1970 29.6%

After 1971:
15.1%
17.3%
14.4%

In 12 seasons in Milwaukee Aaron was better at home by more than 20% twice:
1956 21.9%
1965 20.5%

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