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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Roger Maris: 100 Home Runs in 1960-1961 - background and overview.

First some background and overview from previous posts, then new details in subsequent posts.

Hank Bauer was traded for his replacement, Roger Maris.  Wednesday, July 8, 2015

OK, not one for one but Bauer was in the trade that brought Roger Maris to the New York Yankees...

In 1959, Bauer's final Yankee season, he batted first in 45 of his 83 starts; 212 of 380 PA, 5 of 9 HR. 

That may be why Yankee manager Casey Stengel initially put the newly acquired Maris directly into Bauer's spots: RF and leadoff.  However, leadoff lasted only two games because in Yankee game number one in Fenway Park Maris had four hits, including a double and two homers.  Stengel learned quickly that he had more than Hank Bauer on his hands...

Hank Bauer brought veteran leadership to the Athletics in a tangible way.  In July 1961 Bauer went immediately from player to manager of the Athletics...

The only references to Bauer in the previous post were a footnote and as the principal in the 1957 Copacabana night club incident.  I didn't want that to be all.  The old Marine deserved better than that.

Maris also took Bauer's uniform number: 9.

Anatomy of a trade: Roger Maris: KC Athletics to NY Yankees.  Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Maris was not on the roster for the first of two All Star (AS) games in 1959 but he was added for the second 1959 All Star game with two other OF (RoY Bob Allison and Gene Woodling); Maris started the AS game as a KC Athletic batting behind Mantle; Indian Colavito replaced Maris in the 5th inning and later homered off Pirate Elroy Face.  Their home runs and RBI in 1961: Maris 61/141, Colavito 45/140...

Roger Maris:
On August 6, 1960 in Kansas City playing for the Yankees Maris hit two home runs giving him 35, matching his total with the Athletics.  Maris suffered an injury and did not play between August 14 and August 26.  Maris did not homer again until September 8, 1960 in Chicago.  Mantle overtook him and won that home run race 40-39.  As far as the Yankees acquiring Maris to supply middle of the order power manager Casey Stengel batted Maris leadoff in his first two Yankee games; game one: 1B, 2B, 2 HR.  Starting August 31, 1960 Stengel batted Maris third most games.  In all seven 1960 WS games Maris batted higher in the batting order than Mantle...

The key players in the 1959 trade were Roger Maris for Norm Siebern?  Who?

In 1962 Siebern may have had a better season at the plate than Maris:
Siebern: 719 PA, 25 HR, 117 RBI, OPS+ 140.
Maris: 687 PA, 33 HR, 100 RBI, OPS+ 126.

In his first two seasons with the Yankees Roger Maris was voted AL MVP and he hit 100 HR (39+61).  So, no, I'm not going to try to stand on my head and say that the trade was close.  But Norm Siebern was a pretty good hitter for several seasons.  PA, OPS+:
Yankees 1,147 113
KC 2,615 126
Baltimore 949 114 ...

And, of course, in 1961 in the brand new 162 game season Roger Maris broke the record of 60 home runs in a season set by Yankee RF Babe Ruth way back in 1927 in the 154 game season.  Maris had 5% more games.

Roger Maris in 1961 had 70% of his at bats (AB) against right handed pitchers but hit 80% of his record 61 Home Runs (HR) against righties.

vs RHP413498.4370.00%80.33%
vs LHP1771214.7530.00%19.67%

Roger Maris 1961 home run splits. Monday, May 15, 2017

Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961, breaking the old record of 60 set by Babe Ruth in 1927. Ruth set the season HR record four times:
1919 29 Red Sox, home park: Fenway Park
1920 54 Yankees, home park: Polo Grounds
1921 59 Yankees, home park: Polo Grounds
1927 60 Yankees, home park: Yankee Stadium

In 1961 the American League expanded by 25%, increasing from 8 to 10 teams. The National did the same in 1962. The schedule increased five percent from 154 games to 162. Five percent of 60 is 3. In a general sense to equal 60 HR in 162 games the total should be 63 HR...

The two new teams were stocked with players drafted from the 8 AL teams. The dilution of talent of the 16 major league teams was about 12%. Weaker pitchers and weaker batters were playing in the AL and NL who would not have been playing in 1960. There's no getting around that.

Did Maris specifically take advantage of the two new expansion teams? It doesn't really matter as all teams were impacted...

Including Cepeda and Mays in the NL, eight players hit at least 40 HR in 1961. All but Killebrew and Mays had career highs in HR in 1961...

Among the HR leaders, only Mantle had a better HR rate than Maris...

It's not clear that Maris took particular advantage of the two expansion teams: Senators and Angels...

Maris had an overall HR rate of 9.67, so he was only slightly better in Yankee Stadium...

In 1960 Maris had a much better HR Rate on the road, about what he had on the road in 1961. He was on pace to hit about 55 HR in 1960 when he was injured. In the first half of 1960 in 72 games Maris hit 27 HR in 310 AB...

Mantle was not protecting Maris in 1960 as he did in 1961. In 1960 Yankee manager Casey Stengel moved Maris to number 3 and Mantle to 4 in September and in all seven World Series games Stengel batted Mantle lower in the Yankee batting order than Maris. It was Stengel, not his replacement in 1961 Ralph Houk, who switched them to have Mantle protecting Maris. The pattern was largely in place in early September 1960 and for Yankee games 147 (9/23/1960) though 155 (10/2/1960) it was Maris 3, Mantle 4 in every game. Roger Maris had become a Home Run hitter in 1960.

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