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Home Run Rules

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  • Home Run Rules

    I have heard that prior to 1931, a ball that bounced over an outfield fence during a major league game was considered a home run. The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became ground-rule doubles in most parks. I am not able to confirm this. Can anyone help? Thank you.

  • #2
    Originally posted by graupner
    I have heard that prior to 1931, a ball that bounced over an outfield fence during a major league game was considered a home run. The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became ground-rule doubles in most parks. I am not able to confirm this. Can anyone help? Thank you.
    Supposedly, the rule changed on 12/12/1930, and Al Lopez hit the last ground-rule HR on 9/12/1930
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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    • #3
      Pre-empting the inevitable query, research decades ago demonstrated that none of Babe Ruth's home runs were of the bounce variety.

      As for further home run rule changes in 1931:

      1. Hits curving foul after leaving the park are no longer ruled foul ball, but home runs.
      2. Hits striking the foul poles are now ruled home runs, instead of depending on where the ball lands after ricochet (i.e., bouncing back into the field of play fair is a live ball, etc.).
      A swing--and a smash--and a gray streak partaking/Of ghostly manoeuvres that follow the whack;/The old earth rebounds with a quiver and quaking/And high flies the dust as he thuds on the track;/The atmosphere reels--and it isn't the comet--/There follows the blur of a phantom at play;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel--/And damned be the fellow that gets in the way.                 A swing and a smash--and the far echoes quiver--/A ripping and rearing and volcanic roar;/And off streaks the Ghost with a shake and a shiver,/To hurdle red hell on the way to a score;/A cross between tidal wave, cyclone and earthquake--/Fire, wind and water all out on a lark;/Then out from the reel comes the glitter of steel,/Plus ten tons of dynamite hitched to a spark.

      --Cobb, Grantland Rice

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark
        Pre-empting the inevitable query, research decades ago demonstrated that none of Babe Ruth's home runs were of the bounce variety.

        As for further home run rule changes in 1931:

        1. Hits curving foul after leaving the park are no longer ruled foul ball, but home runs.
        2. Hits striking the foul poles are now ruled home runs, instead of depending on where the ball lands after ricochet (i.e., bouncing back into the field of play fair is a live ball, etc.).
        It strikes me as odd that in all the balls that Ruth hit not one would have bounced over the wall. I wonder how many more home runs Ruth would have had if the rules would have been changed in 1914 as opposed to 1931.
        My dream ballpark dimensions
        LF: 388 Feet...Height 37 Feet...LCF: 455 Feet...CF: 542 Feet...Height 35 Feet
        RCF: 471 Feet...RF: 400 Feet...Height 60 Feet
        Location....San Diego

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        • #5
          HitchedtoaSpark: Pre-empting the inevitable query, research decades ago demonstrated that none of Babe Ruth's home runs were of the bounce variety.

          though true, the babe did manage to get entangled in a bounce home run story... sort of.

          on 26 april 1931 in washington, with lyn lary on first and two outs, lou gehrig hit one over the fence that bounced* back onto the playing field where it was caught on the fly by center fielder harry rice. lary, believing that the ball was caught for the third out, headed for the dugout, unnoticed by gehrig. sweet lou was called out for passing lyn lary on the bases.

          gehrig and ruth ended the season tied with 46 homers each.

          *a different type of bounce than the bounce variety homer... but i did include the "sort of" caveat.
          "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

          Comment


          • #6
            Although Ruth never hit a bounce-over home run, I read once that Jimmie Foxx has six ground-rule doubles (bouncing over the fence) in 1932 -- the year he hit 58 homeruns. That was shortly after the rul.e was changed.
            Luke

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Appling
              Although Ruth never hit a bounce-over home run, I read once that Jimmie Foxx has six ground-rule doubles (bouncing over the fence) in 1932 -- the year he hit 58 homeruns. That was shortly after the rul.e was changed.
              That's not quite right. I believe it was the Senators who put up a fence above the wall before the final series of the season. Foxx hit six line drives into the fence, which earlier in the season would have been home runs.

              Bob

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by graupner
                I have heard that prior to 1931, a ball that bounced over an outfield fence during a major league game was considered a home run. The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became ground-rule doubles in most parks. I am not able to confirm this. Can anyone help? Thank you.
                The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became ground-rule doubles in most parks. It's a Book Rule two-base hit, and it's for ALL parks.

                Bob

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark
                  Pre-empting the inevitable query, research decades ago demonstrated that none of Babe Ruth's home runs were of the bounce variety.

                  As for further home run rule changes in 1931:

                  1. Hits curving foul after leaving the park are no longer ruled foul ball, but home runs.
                  2. Hits striking the foul poles are now ruled home runs, instead of depending on where the ball lands after ricochet (i.e., bouncing back into the field of play fair is a live ball, etc.).
                  Not a home run rule change but..

                  Starting in '31 the sac fly disappeared from scoring, so a fly-out that drove in a run counted as an AB. The rule changed back in '39. Through June of '31, the changed lowered the would-be BA of all players by six points.
                  "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

                  ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                    Not a home run rule change but..

                    Starting in '31 the sac fly disappeared from scoring, so a fly-out that drove in a run counted as an AB. The rule changed back in '39. Through June of '31, the changed lowered the would-be BA of all players by six points.
                    The sacrifice fly rule was adopted in 1908, and changed in 1931 to only if a runner scored.

                    Bob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluezebra
                      That's not quite right. I believe it was the Senators who put up a fence above the wall before the final series of the season. Foxx hit six line drives into the fence, which earlier in the season would have been home runs.

                      Bob
                      From what I could come up with, the park involved was Sportsmans Park in St. Louis. Supposedly Foxx hit 5 or 6 drives that struck a screen in RF which was not there in 1927 when Ruth hit his 60 home runs.

                      In 1927 the height of the wall was 11.5 feet.
                      In 1929 the wall was topped by a screen 21.5 feet high.
                      Add that 21.5 foot screen on top of that 11.5' wall and the total height is 33 feet high when Foxx hit his 58 home runs in 1932.
                      I also noticed that the distance down the RF line in 1927 was 320 feet, thats 10 feet longer than it was in 1932 (310) the year Foxx hit his 58.

                      I think it would mean more had Ruth hit a great number to RF at St. Lous in 1927. That would indicate that Ruth really took advantage of that lower wall, but he did not, he hit 6 home runs at St Louis in 1927.

                      Here are the six home runs Ruth hit at St. Louis in 1927, before that screen in RF was in place.

                      5-10-27-------On top of RF pavillion.
                      5-11-27-------No description of this one.
                      7-26-27-------Two homer game. both to RF, no way to tell whether the extra height would have stopped them.
                      8-27-27------Over the roof in RF.
                      8-28-27------Over the roof in RF across Grand Avenue, into a parking lot.
                      Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 09-29-2006, 06:01 PM.

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