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Greatest sluggers of all time (adjusted)

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  • Greatest sluggers of all time (adjusted)

    A recent article in Street & Smith's used about a dozen stats to adjust the homerun numbers of all the greatest sluggers and came up with an adjusted number that they feel allows comparisons. Here is there list of the Top Ten with the homerun totals and % of adjustment.

    1) Babe Ruth 1,132 HR's; +59%
    2) Hank Aaron 915 HR's; +21%
    3) Jimmie Foxx 810 HR's; +52%
    4) Willie Mays 805 HR's; +22%
    5) Lou Gehrig 790 HR's; +60%
    6) Mel Ott 780 HR's; +53%
    7) Barry Bonds 759 HR's; +7%
    8) Ted Williams 711 HR's; +36%
    9) Frank Robinson 706 HR's; +20%
    10) Reggie Jackson 704 HR's; +25%

    If they all played now, Bonds would be 373 HR's behind Ruth! Ruth's adjusted #'s give him 63 homers for every 500 AB's. His adjusted HR's total for 1921 would have been 92!

    Keith

  • #2
    And do they adjust for night baseball, sliders, intentional walks and split finger fastballs? And how does 63 homers per 500 at-bats translate to 92 home runs in 1921? They figure that Ruth would have had 730 at-bats?
    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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    • #3
      The article failed to mention the exact formula they used. They gave one example. One year Bonds hit 34 HR's and so did Ruth. In Bonds' year HR's accounted for 12% of all hits and in Ruths' it was 5%...so Ruth's HR's that year were adjusted up. Also 63 HR's/500 AB's was a career average.

      Keith

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      • #4
        Mark McGwire has the greatest HR/AB ratio in the history of the game. Surprised he's not even on the list.

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        • #5
          Ohfor,

          The idea of the list is that Big Mac played his entire career when HR's were easier to hit so his totals would not be adjusted up enough to go from his career total to 700+HR's which is what would be needed to make the list.

          It's sort of a "what if" Mel Ott played today type of exercise.

          Keith

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          • #6
            --I saw thAt article and believe the only adjustment they were making was comparing the players HR rate to the league rate when they played. Thats why Ruth got the huge bump. Quality of play was not an issue. OTOH, I don't have the article in front of me so there might have been somethign else I don't recall.

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            • #7
              If Mel Ott played today he probably wouldn't be able to get the barrel around. Same for most of those guys.

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              • #8
                I guess the guy who ran the fastest 100 in 1920 would run the fastest today.

                Along with the guy who ran the fastest mile, 200, 400, 800 etc etc.

                The pitchers didn't throw as hard then.

                The hitters weren't in the condition they are today.

                It is a ridiculous position to think yesterdays greats would be as great today.

                The real question is how many HR's would Bonds and McGwire hit in 1920. Probably 90-100.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure that comparing hitters to the rest of the league is an appropriate adjustment, just as Ohfor said. Other players took longer to adjust to the modern ball; Ruth did it immediately. And it didn't occur to them to use the lighter, tapered bats we do today. So, Ruth is going to look better compared to them. It doesn't mean that the pitching was better or ballparks were tougher because players were hitting fewer home runs. So, what's the point of the adjustment?

                  Uh, you may be in the minority on your contention that sliders were thrown as much as they are now. And spitballs and other defacements were banned in 1920, although 17 spitballers were grandfathered in -- before the big hitters on your list came to the fore. So, those pitches really aren't comparable to spitballers.

                  As far as schedules go, I can't compare day to night games; I've played in both and prefer day, but I was never so good a hitter that I could say I'm a good person to judge from. I just go by what I read.
                  sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                  • #10
                    I saw thAt article and believe the only adjustment they were making was comparing the players HR rate to the league rate when they played. Thats why Ruth got the huge bump. Quality of play was not an issue. OTOH, I don't have the article in front of me so there might have been somethign else I don't recall.
                    I didn't see the article, but if this is true, it seems to me that all that is really being measured is the number of quality HR hitters playing in each era.

                    Inclusion of a broadened ethnicity pool in today's game ALONE accounts for a lot of this.


                    But again - AS MEASURED AGAINST HIS CONTEMPORARIES - Ruth IS the best of all time.

                    But that is a lot different than being better than Bonds.

                    Regards,

                    Scott
                    Last edited by ssarge; 04-01-2006, 09:32 PM.

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                    • #11
                      --Is his extreme example any different than you saying Ruth didn't benefit from the short porch at Yankee Stadium (or that same Polo Grounds) because he was known for his tape measure blasts. Just as not all 511 of Ott's HR were pop ups over the short wall, not all of Ruth's were titanic blasts. Some were flys that would have been outs in most other parks. That the Babe might have hit "only" 600 HR if he stayed at Fenway or "only" 500 if he happened to play at Griffith doesn't lessen his greatness. Nor does the fact that Ott might have been a 300 HR guy if he hadn't had the Polo Grrounds to boost his numbers. He was a better all around hitter on the road. It was just the HRs that went up at home (of course they are the most important hit).

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                      • #12
                        According to the article, they used more than a dozen factors to come up with this list. They did not explain each factor. The only example they gave was comparing HR rates.

                        I'm with Scott...if EVERY other sport has been eclipsed by modern athletes, why not baseball?

                        Keith

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