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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Clete Boyer joins Rico Petrocelli in making us stupid.

OK, I admit it.  I was dumb and lazy about Clete Boyer but first let's set the premise:

Does Rico Petrocelli make us stupid? Monday, June 3, 2013

Rico Petrocelli played shortstop and third base for the Boston Red Sox basically from 1965 through 1976, plus one game in 1963...

When Ricco suddenly jumped from 12 to 40 (in 1969) we all attributed it to his playing his home games in Fenway Park with that silly left field wall.

If we had given it a second thought we could have reasoned as follows.

How many HR could he have reasonably hit at home?  Let's say a whopping 25.  That would still leave 15 on the road.  Prior to that Ricco's previous high for an entire season had been 18.  So obviously something more than the Green Monster in Fenway Park was involved...

Maybe it was steroids.  We now know that the 1963 San Diego Chargers were given steroids by the coaches.  But the real issue here is whether we baseball fans are stupid.

The type of issue involving Rico Petrocelli in 1969 is repeated every day in 2013.  It's impossible to listen to a conversation about baseball for more than five minutes without an otherwise intelligent educated human being saying something comparably stupid.

Does baseball make us stupid or are we interested in baseball because we are already stupid? ...

1969: 22 home, 18 road.  18 was his previous high for a season.


Data from baseball-reference.com

Maybe the Yankees playing the Braves this weekend jolted me into checking.  Clete Boyer:
Photo of Clete Boyer
Boyer had been the starting third baseman for the Yankees 1960 through 1966, which includes consecutive pennant winners the first five years.  Boyer was a right handed hitter playing his home games in the original Yankee Stadium, which was 457 to left center and 461 to center.  Boyer's home run high with the Yankees was 18 in both 1962 and 1965.  His home road splits:

Even considering that he had more at bats (AB) on the road, Boyer had better home run rates on the road.

1967, first season with Braves:
All these years I had assumed that Boyer's sudden increase in home runs was because he was playing his home games in Atlanta's "launching pad".  Boyer's home rate (AB/HR) improved with the Braves both home and road:


Of course, there's also this:

Those 1973 Atlanta Braves: was there something in the water? Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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