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Thread: opposite field HRs

  1. #1

    opposite field HRs

    Do you also think that HRs to oppsite field and up the middle have become much more abundant in the last years?
    I have seen really tons of them this year already. I think nearly all of kemps HRs have been center to oppo field.

    weren't most homers to pull field some decades ago? has the approach of the hitters changed?
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  2. #2
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    Here some data for a couple of selected years.
    2011 (righties only) - 1494 pulled, 1018 center, 169 oppo.
    1988 (righties only) - 1227 pulled, 489 center, 124 oppo.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...ear=2011#hitlo
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...ear=1988#hitlo

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ipitch View Post
    Here some data for a couple of selected years.
    2011 (righties only) - 1494 pulled, 1018 center, 169 oppo.
    1988 (righties only) - 1227 pulled, 489 center, 124 oppo.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...ear=2011#hitlo
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...ear=1988#hitlo
    Looks like the opposite field based on percentage did not gain that much, more teams in 2011.
    Pulled and opposite look to be not that much different from 1988 to 2011.
    Centerfield looks like the big gainer. In 1988 the ratio pulled to those hit to center was double centerfield.

    In 2011 pulled and centerfield not that big of a gap.
    Of course small sample one year compared to another.

  4. #4
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    I bet that if you move farther back in time, you'd find a much smaller amount of HRs to centerfield due to the bigger ball parks.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    I bet that if you move farther back in time, you'd find a much smaller amount of HRs to centerfield due to the bigger ball parks.
    For sure, haven't dug deep but I think the centerfield distances began getting shorter on average in the 1960s and more so around the 1990s.
    Now you go back to the 1910s- 1920s -1930s, in some parks you could hit a ball a mile to center, long fly out, maybe triple.
    I think when comparing the 1920's to the 1990s and the present, some of the bombs we see to center 420-430 feet would not be home runs in the older parks.

  6. #6
    Some park comparisons here.Yankee Stdium short right but very deep overall, 429 in deep right center deeper than most centerfield distances today.

    Down the lines overall not much difference 1920's-- 1990's. Older power alleys a bit deeper.
    Centerfield much deeper in those old parks.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    I bet that if you move farther back in time, you'd find a much smaller amount of HRs to centerfield due to the bigger ball parks.
    Just bumped up an old thread o' mine on that subject for ya in the history forum, amigo.

    Also, I always loved this site. Throwing it out since you and others might as well, and might not have perused it yet.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    I bet that if you move farther back in time, you'd find a much smaller amount of HRs to centerfield due to the bigger ball parks.
    Lot more inside the parkers back then...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    I bet that if you move farther back in time, you'd find a much smaller amount of HRs to centerfield due to the bigger ball parks.
    Lot more inside the parkers back then...

  10. #10
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    The Polo Grounds.

    Three center field home runs... In the HISTORY of the park. (+1 in a Negro League Game)
    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Just bumped up an old thread o' mine on that subject for ya in the history forum, amigo.

    Also, I always loved this site. Throwing it out since you and others might as well, and might not have perused it yet.
    Thanks for the link! I bookmarked that one. Also, I'm perusing Michael Schell's Greatest Sluggers book, per your recommendation. What a great book! Of course, that book requires some hard-core reading, which is fine. Adjusted for technology and era, this site is the best in baseball history.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by StanTheMan View Post
    The Polo Grounds.

    Three center field home runs... In the HISTORY of the park. (+1 in a Negro League Game)
    Aaron and Adcock were the only two, according to this...

    Some interesting stuff in that article in general..

    "In his 1992 book Green Cathedrals, Phillip Lowry posited that during the 1930's, Dimaggio, Foxx, and their contemporaries had to hit the ball 17 percent further to the power alleys and CF to clear fences for home runs."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant View Post
    Thanks for the link! I bookmarked that one. Also, I'm perusing Michael Schell's Greatest Sluggers book, per your recommendation. What a great book! Of course, that book requires some hard-core reading, which is fine. Adjusted for technology and era, this site is the best in baseball history.


    AVERAGE Major League wall distances from home plate for the 1910's-40's:
    Left Field Line: 345
    Left Center: 401
    Center Field: 453
    Right Center: 371
    Right Field Line: 318

    About 50 feet shorter to CF today on average, 30 feet to left center, and about the same to right center. The right field line was the only thing shorter in the parks built between 1900-1950. Many of the power alleys in RF were, also.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=csh19792001;2008500]Aaron and Adcock were the only two, according to this...

    Did not read the entire article and you may already be aware, no one ever hit a home run, cleared the wall in dead center in the Polo Grounds, that was at times 475 and 483 feet.

    I think most of us on the board know what the Polo Grounds looked like, bleachers to the left and right of dead center, thats where all those home runs were hit.

    Lou Brock just made it, his ball hit the very top of the fence an inch or two shorter and would probably bounded back on the playing field. Aaron and Adcock cleared the fence.

    I also read that Luke Easter cleared that fence. If we can believe it, I read two articles that claim School Boy Rowe Detroit pitcher hit one there in batting practice, can't confirm that one.
    Too bad Easter got to MLB late in his career, if he did we would be reading about a good number that he hit out of
    sight.
    I saw Luke many times when he played for the Buffalo Bisons, hitting balls to right field across the street and over houses on Woodlawn Avenue. [Quote]
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 05-04-2012 at 09:21 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Lot more inside the parkers back then...
    True Joe, but those that were not inside the park, only a small number, much smaller number than today would clear a wall or fence back then, very deep in centerfield.
    On those IPHR's, Ty Cobb led the league in home runs with 9, if I recall 1909, but I am sure, all 9 were IPHR's.

  16. #16
    The gap between the bleachers where the home runs were hit, into the bleachers, Polo Grounds. Kiner may have reached the bleachers had he hit that one a little to the left or right side.

    Not sure, I believe that is Bobby Thompson throwing. Look at that distance, he may be throwing to a relay man, throwing to another relay man.

    The lower shot is either 1923 or 1924.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    How many players could hit the deadball 425-450 feet?

    Was basically every single the home run hit to center field prior to 1919 an inside the parker?

    Anybody have anecdotes/concrete information about this? Thanks in advance for the research.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    The gap between the bleachers where the home runs were hit, into the bleachers, Polo Grounds. Kiner may have reached the bleachers had he hit that one a little to the left or right side.
    A 475 foot triple tells me more about Kiner being as incredibly slow as I've read than anything else. And one of the worst fielders of his era, to boot.

    He was a lot like the McGwire of his era. Just one skill was enough to make him immortal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanTheMan View Post
    The Polo Grounds.

    Three center field home runs... In the HISTORY of the park. (+1 in a Negro League Game)
    Lou Brock did it in 1962, according to this:
    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2008/1/23/93121/2072
    "Only twice in my life has the hair on the back of my neck stood up straight. The first time was when I saw Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The second time was when I saw Sandy Koufax's fastball" - Al Campanis.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    A 475 foot triple tells me more about Kiner being as incredibly slow as I've read than anything else. And one of the worst fielders of his era, to boot.

    He was a lot like the McGwire of his era. Just one skill was enough to make him immortal.
    Got that, only a triple on a drive hit that far.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Lou Brock did it in 1962, according to this:
    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2008/1/23/93121/2072
    Long drive for Lou, not that big and not known for hitting long home runs
    I did point out in my post #14, Lou's drive just made it by inches, hit the very top of the fence and bounced into the bleachers. Hit one that far, you deserve a break.

  22. #22
    Whenever anyone talks about opposite field HR's I immediately think of Dale Murphy.

  23. #23
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    One possible explanation is today's uniformity of OF fence distances. Back in the old days, when ballparks were not uniform, it was hard to hit HRs to the deepest part of the ballpark. A LH hitter hitting opposite-field homers in old Yankee Stadium would be an example.
    Today, there is no deepest part. The cookie-cutter uniformity of the fences lends itself to opposite field homers. At least that is what logic suggests. I could be wrong.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by tag0519 View Post
    Whenever anyone talks about opposite field HR's I immediately think of Dale Murphy.
    Jeter came to mind first. According to retrosheet he's hit 108 of his 245 homers to right, and 145 to center or right. Highly unusual. I thought of Pudge Rodriguez came to mind, too. 112 and 151, respectively (311 career homers). Jeter actually has more career hits to right field than left.

    Julio Franco hit the ball the other way more than right hander than I remember. 1000 of his 2450 hits AND the majority of his home runs were opposite field. I wonder if there are other hitters with similar opposite field stats...

  25. #25
    So the consensus is that this is mostly due to different parks?

    I think that definitely does make sense. So don't you think that the reason is a changed hitters approach of power hitter (staying more in the middle rather than pulling)?
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

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