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Would Babe Have Hit 104 Home Runs?

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  • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    The ball, always a touchy subject, difficult to prove any point. I did see some results from some testing at Rhode Island University that showed balls from balls from the 1990s had an over the limit amount of synthetic material in the wool windings, compared to some 1970s balls. No way to tell if that made the 1990s balls any livelier.
    It's speculated that this was not by design. More synthetic materials in recent years has been used in making carpets where some of the wool is gathered from.

    As for the outside the cover and the seams, in the early 1990s a number of pitchers said the seams were lower and the cover felt tighter, slicker making it more difficult to get "stuff" on the balls. Two former pitchers Jim Palmer and Dave Stewart commented on the balls. Both agreed the seams did feel lower than when they were active. Palmer said he noticed the cover seemed tighter. He did say that there seemed to be more uniformity in the ball after examining a dozen or more. He said when he was pitching he would ask the ump for another ball until he got one that he felt had a looser cover, one that he could almost put a wrinkle in, that one he could grip better.

    So it could be MLB did nothing to the ball deliberately. Could be a change in the material used in the wool and improvements in the manufacturing of the ball, more uniform cover.

    I notiice I don't see pitchers tossing balls to the ump asking for a different ball, not as often as years ago. I can recall going back some years pitchers at times tossing a couple of few balls back to the ump until they got one that felt good to them.

    I agree, Shoeless Joe, that the offensively-enhanced properties of the original prototype balls could have possibly been accidental. But choosing those new action-packed balls over traditionally less-offensive balls was definitely no accident. Don't you think the MLB rejected "deader" balls in favor of the most batter-friendly balls they could produce, within reason. They'd never go to the Superball level - much too obvious. But, something more incrementally juiced for the batter would be just the thing. And what average fan is going to pick up on the tighter windings, high-tech materials, and flatter, tighter stitching? All the average fan sees is a batting bonanza..
    Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-22-2007, 05:38 PM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by TRfromBR View Post

      There's some approximation, Tony, but Jenkinson's book provides multiple sources for every 1921 HR and projected HR. These primary sources are provided within the body of the book, at all relevant locations, and in an addendum entitled "Sources." In all cases where he approximates the landing locations of Ruth's hits, he has based that determination on multiple contemporaneous sources, from major, reputable sports journalists. His work appears to be meticuluous.
      Thanks TR. With all the newspaper coverage back then I'm sure every home run he hit or long hit he made in Yankee Stadium were noted by someone. Just as Barry Bonds' home runs will be analyzed once he retires and all sorts of conclusions made.
      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

      Comment


      • Actually, TR, and this has been brought up before, we are not necessarily seeing a batting bonanza, but rather a home run bonanza. A batting bonanza would mean that run scoring is at an all-time high, and it's actually lower than it was in Ruth's day.
        "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

        - Alvin Dark

        Comment


        • Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
          Actually, TR, and this has been brought up before, we are not necessarily seeing a batting bonanza, but rather a home run bonanza. A batting bonanza would mean that run scoring is at an all-time high, and it's actually lower than it was in Ruth's day.

          Semantics, perhaps, AF. It's a batting bonanza, where a large majority of the hits happen to go over the fence - because the fences have been moved in. So, it's a home run bonanza within a batting bonanza. Besides, batting bonanza is so much more alliterative.

          P.S. Don't ask me how the Cartwrights, all mounted and ready to ride, got down on the infield. I just don't know.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-22-2007, 06:10 PM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by TRfromBR View Post
            Let's just put it this way: How many home runs did Brady Anderson hit? Was that 50, I heard?
            I sure hope Anderson doesn't read this.
            "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
            Carl Yastrzemski

            Comment


            • Still, the point remains. It was more of a batting bonanza in Babe's time than it is now.
              "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

              - Alvin Dark

              Comment


              • [QUOTE=AstrosFan;954119]

                I agree, AF, it's far easier to hit home runs now than it was in Ruth's day. For quite a while, it's been a home run bonanza.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TRfromBR View Post
                  I wholeheartedly agree, JRB, though we may differ on the exact impact of PED's. I do think they impact performance and longevity significantly.

                  With concern to the new balls, they have not only been "juiced" in a manner that creates more resiliency and longer hits, they also significantly restrict a pitcher's grip and ability to get more movement. Yet another factor that has fueled the offensive explosion. I've heard that, since the URI Forensic Science study, and ensuing Lively Ball Colloquium, there have some changes, but MLB's heavy secrecy on these matters make that difficult to determine.
                  No disputing that. MLB balls have very small seams. Try holding an MLB ball next to a high school or youth ball. The difference in the size of the seams is significant.

                  But, anyway, a point to be made here is that for all the talk of how ridiculously juiced up the game is today, something that is overlooked is that the time in which Ruth came up was a time when the game became far more juiced up than it ever has. People are constantly decrying the balls today and how the public has been fooled by a new era of offense, well, why can't the same be said about the 1920s as can be said about the era from about 1994 to the present? The 1920s and 1930s were actually the two highest run scoring decades in history-not the 1990s or the 2000s. There were more runs scored in Ruth's era than this modern era and overall batting totals were higher. Home runs were not, but overall run scoring was. And that was coming off the deadball era. If MLB really fooled the American public and that is something that should be frowned upon so much, why isn't the same attitude given to the change of the game that occured in the 1920s?

                  I also simply don't understand what the problem is with MLB making the game such a huge HR game. If you don't like the game, that's okay, you don't have to like a certain style of game, but I can't blame MLB in the least for what they have done. Increases in attendance throughout the history of the game have come hand in hand with increases in offense. Baseball is a business. Given that it was a very sound business decision on the part of MLB and the owners to make baseball a more offensive game. And they are right and they're making more money than ever because of it. Don't blame the owners for doing their job as owners and businessmen. Even if you don't like it, you should realize where they're coming from.

                  And for all these supposed rabbit balls and all this supposed crazy offense one fact remains-the supposedly "pure" game of the 1920s and 1930s was more of a hitting and run scoring "bonanza" than today's game. Where are the outcries of the integrity of the game being ruined then? I think the way baseball is played just changes from time to time-and that's a good thing that we are exposed to a different kind of game in different eras. I don't think it's bad in the least that the game is continually changing. Baseball is baseball and it's integirty isn't and won't be ruined. People today are enjoying baseball more than ever.
                  Last edited by 538280; 07-22-2007, 06:59 PM.

                  Comment


                  • With the subject of this thread being how many home runs Ruth would hit today, Chris, I have focused on the comparative factors related to home runs. There is no doubt it's far easier to hit home runs in recent years than it was in Ruth's day. I agree it's been a home run bonanza.

                    With concern to the owners, their conduct has not been above board. That's the issue. They have repeatedly deceived the public and deny having done so. That is fraud, not good business. And one of those frauds has involved the encouragement and facilitation of (often illegal) steroid abuse. Again, not something to praise as good business. And to top it off, they pretend to have not been aware of the problem. Good business, Chris?

                    You haven't seen me praise anybody from the '20s for such deceit and malfaesance. I have simply praised the greatest long ball hitter that ever lived, and pointed out how he would hit even more home runs in today's game and parks.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by TRfromBR View Post
                      [COLOR="Blue"]With the subject of this thread being how many home runs Ruth would hit today, Chris, I have focused on the comparative factors related to home runs. There is no doubt it's far easier to hit home runs in recent years than it was in Ruth's day. I agree it's been a home run bonanza.
                      I agree about home runs. If you're talking about Ruth as an overall hitter, he played in a higher run environment so the same run contribution in his era is actually worth a little less than the same one today. For just home runs though, yes, it is far, far easier to hit home runs today. And, yes, that is the subject of the thread.

                      With concern to the owners, their conduct has not been above board. That's the issue. They have repeatedly deceived the public and deny having done so. That is fraud, not good business.
                      When has MLB denied the game being more HR oriented? What do you want them to do, come out and say "this is all fake. Every HR you see hit in this era is not the same as it is in other eras". If that's fraud to you then why don't you consider it fraud that they didn't say the same thing in the 20s/30s when the game saw an even bigger percentage increase in HRs (vs. deadball) and the game had ridiculous runs scored totals and BAs (the league BAs were over .300 a few times). If this era's home runs are a fraud then why aren't those things frauds too? Are league BAs being above .280 every year when usually they were around .250 fraud to you? It's just as much a large scale increase as HRs are today. Are when the previous 48 years of baseball produced a record of 29 HRs and then all of the sudden in twos decade that gets passed probably over 100 times, if this today is fraud that might not sound a little fishy to you if you were a fan in the 20s? If this era is fraud then I think that most eras in baseball history are frauds to you because every era saw big changes in the types of numbers put up. When in the 60s all of the sudden tons of pitchers were posting sub 2 ERAs, probably far more than in the past 4 decades, is that fraud?

                      And one of those frauds has involved the encouragement and facilitation of (often illegal) steroid abuse.
                      What evidence do you have that MLB has encouraged steroid abuse? They didn't do anything about it for a long time, which they should have I agree, but I've never heard at all that they encouraged it in any way
                      Last edited by 538280; 07-22-2007, 07:24 PM.

                      Comment


                      • If you like, Chris, please list all the ways you believe the MLB deceived the public in the '20s and '30s, and I'll condemn each unsavory and fraudulent act. But try to keep it connected to the subject of this thread. For instance, in advance I condemn the NL's juicing of their balls to try to compete with Babe Ruth.

                        I really don't want to get ensnared in the steroid debate, but I will say that to me it's plain as day that the MLB has long been aware of steroid use by ballplayers, encouraged it by refusing to timely restrict it and by its owners rewarding its usage, by lying to Congress, and on and on. You don't have to believe that, but it's obvious to me.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by TRfromBR; 07-22-2007, 07:38 PM.

                        Comment


                        • I'm not saying anyone deceived the public in the 20s/30s, TR. I'm also saying that no one is deceiving the public today. The game changes over time. The 20s/30s saw far more radical changes in the way the game was played and went to more extremes in terms of offensive success (run scoring) than the game has today. All that I'm saying is, if you regard the high HR totals of today as a fraud, then you should regard the offense of that era as a fraud as well. As well as the pitching numbers of the 60s. IMO, none of those things were frauds. Just changes in the way the game is played that have happened frequently in the game's history.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by 538280 View Post
                            But, anyway, a point to be made here is that for all the talk of how ridiculously juiced up the game is today, something that is overlooked is that the time in which Ruth came up was a time when the game became far more juiced up than it ever has. People are constantly decrying the balls today and how the public has been fooled by a new era of offense, well, why can't the same be said about the 1920s as can be said about the era from about 1994 to the present?
                            I would say the difference is that in the 1920's we knew what took place. The ball was different, possible the ball was changed in 1919. That one we can't be sure of but there were two other important changes in the game that swung the balance the hitters way.

                            Trick deliveries were banned, this took away one of the pitchers biggest weapons. They could not wet the ball, tobacco stain the ball, discolor it in any way making it more difficult for the batter to "pick up" the pitch.

                            Also very important balls were no longer left in the game for many innings. This practice came about around mid season 1920. Before than a ball could be left in the game for many innings, dirt stained, grass stained, scuffed up and having been hit several times. For some time spectators were obliged to return balls hit into the stands. Refusing meant being ejected from the park and in some cases some were even placed under arrest.

                            The death of Ray Chapman also played a part. It was believed that had the ball been clean and white he may have better seen the pitch.

                            Thats it all the reasons why the offense took of in the 1920s a different story in the early 1990s, fans wondering what took place, supposedly no major changes that we were aware of. The 1920s explosion was not questioned because we knew why it took place.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by 538280 View Post
                              I'm not saying anyone deceived the public in the 20s/30s, TR. I'm also saying that no one is deceiving the public today. The game changes over time. The 20s/30s saw far more radical changes in the way the game was played and went to more extremes in terms of offensive success (run scoring) than the game has today. All that I'm saying is, if you regard the high HR totals of today as a fraud, then you should regard the offense of that era as a fraud as well. As well as the pitching numbers of the 60s. IMO, none of those things were frauds. Just changes in the way the game is played that have happened frequently in the game's history.
                              I find that far too laissez-faire for my tastes, especially the complete lack of responsibility for the steroid fraud. But, in any case, it seems we agree that Ruth would hit even more hone runs today than he did in his own day. So, that's an important point of agreement, especially for this thread.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
                                I would say the difference is that in the 1920's we knew what took place. The ball was different, possible the ball was changed in 1919. That one we can't be sure of but there were two other important changes in the game that swung the balance the hitters way.

                                Trick deliveries were banned, this took away one of the pitchers biggest weapons. They could not wet the ball, tobacco stain the ball, discolor it in any way making it more difficult for the batter to "pick up" the pitch.

                                Also very important balls were no longer left in the game for many innings. This practice came about around mid season 1920. Before than a ball could be left in the game for many innings, dirt stained, grass stained, scuffed up and having been hit several times. For some time spectators were obliged to return balls hit into the stands. Refusing meant being ejected from the park and in some cases some were even placed under arrest.

                                The death of Ray Chapman also played a part. It was believed that had the ball been clean and white he may have better seen the pitch.

                                Thats it all the reasons why the offense took of in the 1920s a different story in the early 1990s, fans wondering what took place, supposedly no major changes that we were aware of. The 1920s explosion was not questioned because we knew why it took place.

                                Except if you read the articles of the time the ball was not changed. The leagues stated publicly that the ball was not altered. Studies came out that stated the ball was not changed. So if indeed the ball was changed they either knew and lied or found out and covered it up.


                                For me though the funny thing is that we sit here and discount what players did today based on balls, bats, stadiums, healthcare, etc, etc. But look at what I just quoted. You don't think people were doing the same thing in 1921? You honestly think "traditionalist" baseball fans saw the changes that took place in the early 20's as needed and beneficial?

                                Basically no one point in baseball is the true moment, the real moment when everything was authentic. There is no one era in baseball where one can point at and base everything else on how it compares to that one moment. There is no golden moment, there is opinions and choices but no Holy Grail.

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