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Would Babe Have Hit 104 Home Runs?

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  • Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    If the photo in the link is where the ticket booth is then that isn't 490 feet. The ticket booth is where the "new" scoreboard and bleachers are now.

    490 feet to the right of dead center just reaches Sheffield ave. The line in the picture reaches about 460 feet.
    Just so I'm clear what photo is that.

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    • Originally posted by TRfromBR View Post
      If Ruth transported his phenomenal batting skills to the rigged game we've witnessed over the last two decades, he would have averaged 70-something homers a year, and likely peaked over at over a hundred.

      Ruth not only had unparalled power, he also had incredible vision and reflexes. This is why he could hit those old balls so far, so often - despite the huge strike zone he had to deal with. To this day, no one has hit a ball as far as Ruth. Nor has anybody ever approached the frequency of his "tape measure" shots. No one today has power comparing to Ruth.

      Transporting Babe Ruth into an era fueled by puny strike zones, juiced balls and short fences alone would boost his average above 60 homers-a-year. Afford him all the lawful medical advances and training available today, his performance not only spikes up further, his longevity is greatly enhanced, also. Give him the body armor & far less aggressive pitching, and you can add another flock of homers.

      And then there's the steroids. Let's just put it this way: How many home runs did Brady Anderson hit? Was that 50, I heard?

      The only limit on Ruth in today's game would be how many good pitches he got. With so many other players having been able to them hit out in the home run derby era, that problem could be minimized. Heck, you could even put Brady at cleanup - or, you could have some real fun and bring in Gehrig. My vote is contingent on the premise that anyone would actually ever pitch to Ruth.

      If I was going to say anything it would probably be exactly this.
      Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Wee Willie View Post
        The diluted pitching argument is a fallacy. Pitchers are more skilled than they were in the early 20's - especially since 20's pitchers took a long time to adjust to the live ball. There are more teams today, sure, but the U.S. population (and especially the population of talent from which MLB takes) has grown at a faster rate than the # of MLB teams.

        You might be able to make an argument that today's pitching is diluted compared to the late 60's, but it certainly is not compared to the 20's.

        At first glance you would say that this correct about population explosion in the US as well as the Major Leagues drawing from all over the world. BUT!!! In the 20's there were only 2 sports that players made decent money in. Baseball and boxing. Now how many are there? A lot. Kids don't play baseball like they use to. That's a fact. So the population argument doesn't wash. The problem isn't diluted pitching. The problem is this: years ago there were a lot of players and a handful of really good ones. Now the average player is much bigger and stronger so they're all really good. The biggest problem though is the pu**y umpires. They are afraid to call strikes. The strike zone is a joke and god forbid you pitch inside to the guy wearing hockey equipment.
        Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

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        • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
          Time for some simple arithmetic.

          Let's say Babe plays all 162 games. He gets 700 plate appearances, but also inspires 200 walks. That right there reduces his at bats to 500. If he gets a homer every 10 At bats, he gets 50 homers.

          So, Babe is going to have to increase his HR efficiency. To hit his 75 homers, he will have to hit 1 homer/6.66 at bats. And that is pretty tough to do. Even for The Babe.

          Here is the all time record for HR/AB ratios. Baseball Reference
          You are correct to a degree. According to Jenkinson's book Babe Ruth almost never saw good pitches. Pitchers through outside the strike zone all the time. In one example he was called out for stepping on home plate while trying to hit an outside pitch while the opposite team was trying to intentionally walk him. He always got his hits while swinging at crappy pitches according to Jenkinson. Now with the super small strike zone the pitches would be closer and the fences WAY CLOSER!!!!!
          Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
            With Ruth's heavy bat and all these 95+ MPH relievers he's have a tough time.
            According to Jenkinson, Ruth never realized that the lighter bats were actually better for overall power numbers. In Jenkinson's book he tells a story of Ruth grabbing a teammate's light bat, probably 34 oz. and using it in an at bat. He supposedly hit a rocket of about 450 feet. When he got back to the dugout he said something like, "what a toothpick that thing is." I believe it was a macho thing for the Babe to swing a really heavy bat to prove his strength. Now he would swing a bat about 34 oz. and blast balls all over the yard.
            Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

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            • Originally posted by brett View Post
              I think people are applying wrong to the question at hand which was, if Ruth had grown up in modern times what would he have done. If he had grown up facing modern stuff he would have hit it well, but we still have specialized relievers who could be very difficult on him. He would likely get 1 at bat per game against a lefty with some wicked sidearm stuff brought in just to face him.

              Again, I have to consider that for several years he was facing career deadball pitchers who could still be effective against 80% of the guys in the league.
              When playing the Philadelphia Athletics at the end of games from 1925 to 1933 Connie Mack would bring in a "tough lefty" all the time to face Ruth. Ever hear of a guy named Lefty Grove?
              Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

              Comment


              • The story of the black and hispanic players is this. According to Bill Jenkinson's book "The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Homeruns" whenever Babe travelled at the end of the season with a barnstorming tour he fared very well against the Negro League stars. He even addresses the fact that it was just a "show" and that they would let the Babe hit. Absolutely not the old Negro League stars use to say. They tried very hard to stop the Babe and weren't very successful. He was too good. Consider how good Babe Ruth really was. He never shortened his stroke. He always swung for the fences and he hardly ever saw good pitches to hit.
                Last edited by cgcoyne2; 06-03-2008, 08:56 PM.
                Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                  Time for some simple arithmetic.

                  Let's say Babe plays all 162 games. He gets 700 plate appearances, but also inspires 200 walks. That right there reduces his at bats to 500. If he gets a homer every 10 At bats, he gets 50 homers.

                  So, Babe is going to have to increase his HR efficiency. To hit his 75 homers, he will have to hit 1 homer/6.66 at bats. And that is pretty tough to do. Even for The Babe.

                  Here is the all time record for HR/AB ratios. Baseball Reference
                  Who can really take Mac and Barry seriously.
                  That list you cite Bill at BASEBALL REFERENCE.
                  Only ten seasons in the history of the game did any hitter carry a AB/HR ratio of 9.00 or lower in a season.

                  Of the ten McGwire---------3 times---1996-1997-1998
                  -----------Bonds----------4 times----2001-2002-2003-2004
                  ------------Ruth-----------2 times----1920-1927
                  -----------Sosa------------1 time-----2001
                  Strange except for Babe 1920-1927 all the rest came after 1996...... do we really have to ask why that might be. Where was mac and Barry before 1996, another dumb question.

                  Watching the phony lovefest, Sammy and Mac, smiling, hugging, my thoughts at that time and I am sure others.........something is not on the level here. How did these two clowns turn in to super sluggers. Where is Mac today, anyone remember his words a few years ago, he would come out and speak about steroids and the game. At the hearings he didn't want to talk.

                  The other clown, now Sammy so so brought his attorney with him. He forgot how to speak English at least for that day. Interviewed only weeks before, no problem.
                  Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 06-03-2008, 09:14 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                    With Ruth's heavy bat and all these 95+ MPH relievers he's have a tough time.
                    I think he would fix that problem quickly. To be remembered Babe Ruth was not only the greatest slugger over a whole career but also one of the greatest hitters of all time. He is 5th in career batting average of all modern day hitters. He knew the art of hitting, not only hitting home runs.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
                      I assume it because it has happened and I find it unlikely that any league in existance would let anybody do that more then once.
                      Why do you believe that, ceteris paribus- based on all your experience and readings- that Ruth would not exceed Bonds in HR production in today's game?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by cgcoyne2 View Post
                        When playing the Philadelphia Athletics at the end of games from 1925 to 1933 Connie Mack would bring in a "tough lefty" all the time to face Ruth. Ever hear of a guy named Lefty Grove?
                        I've heard quite a bit about this guy Lefty "Groves". Read Kaplan's biography if interested.

                        In any case, since you brought it up:

                        Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
                        For Grove vs. Ruth I found about 129 at bats in which Ruth got 39 hits, of those hits I could find 9 homers and 1 double. Along with 17 K's and 9 walks.

                        His batting average was .313 and his SLG was .527.

                        I'm pretty sure that I am missing some at bats and this isn't the final numbers. But it is a ballpark estimate, and if I had to guess I would say both numbers might go down slightly.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by cgcoyne2 View Post
                          He was too good. Consider how good Babe Ruth really was. He never shortened his stroke. He always swung for the fences and he hardly ever saw good pitches to hit.
                          Originally posted by blackout805 View Post
                          Did anyone ever find Babe's stats vs Negro Leaguers?
                          Here you go:

                          Originally posted by Bench 5 View Post
                          Chris,

                          Bill Jenkinson has documented 16 exhibition games in which Ruth played against black pitchers. He also mentions 3 other games for which there isn't any contemporary primary sources. Below is a summary of how he performed in the documented games per Jenkinson:

                          AB - 55
                          1B - 11
                          2B - 2
                          3B - 0
                          HR - 12
                          BA - .455
                          SA - 1.145

                          Before I read his book I had independently collected many of the same games and a few others from ProQuest, and John Holway's book. The sample size isn't large but he his rate stats against black pitchers is much better than the best hitting stats of the best black players of the time in Negro League play.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Macker
                            There wasn't "quite a number of pitchers" allowed to continue using the spitter. There were 17. After 1920, Ruth never faced 8 of them due to them being in the NL (Bill Doak, Phil Douglas, Dana Fillingim, Ray Fisher, Marv Goodwin, Burleigh Grimes, Clarence Mitchell, & Dick Rudolph.)

                            That leaves 9, but two were done in the AL in 1921 (Ray Caldwell & Doc Ayers.) After 1922, Allen Sothoron went to the NL. After 1924, Urban Shocker was Ruth's teammate. Duth Leonard & Allan Russell closed out in 1925. The only spitballers Ruth faced after 1925 were Red Faber (1922-33), Jack Quinn (1922-30) & Stan Coveleski (1920-27.) Doesn't look like Ruth had a big hardship in facing spitballers.


                            Though you are correct. What happens when a ball hits the ground on a pitch today? ZIP!!! Out of play. I've read that a baseball in the Major Leagues today only lasts 6 PITCHES!!!! Who needed to put anything on the ball back in the 20's. It already has dirt, cuts, bruises, etc.
                            Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                              I've heard quite a bit about this guy Lefty "Groves". Read Kaplan's biography if interested.

                              In any case, since you brought it up:
                              In your post you insert a post that Ubi posted some time ago, Ruth batting against Lefty Grove. Ubi gives these numbers in 129 at bats Ruth hit 9 home runs and he does say there could be more at bats which I would go along with.
                              On what we do have not bad numbers batting against one of the best left handed pitchers ever. Can't speak for the total at bats but I can tell you the 9 home runs off of Grove is correct. A note here April 15, 1930 at Shibe Park Philadelphia Babe Ruth hit a long drive to right centerfield, the ball cleared the wall but struck speaker supports and bounced back on to the playing field. There was no ground rule to cover this in 1930 so the umps sent Ruth back to second base, a double. The Yanks lost the argument, a double. The pitcher was Lefty Grove.

                              But lets work with what we have and since 129 at bats might not be the complete number, look at the years. Ruth never faced Grove until he(Ruth) was 30 years old in 1925. 30 years old not ancient but to point out in the years they faced off Ruth's age 30-39. So they faced off for a total of 10 seasons 1925-1934, I think it's at least reasonable that had Ruth and Lefty met with a younger Ruth that total home runs could have been close to 15.

                              I'm sure ome of the best ever Grove as great as he was was trying even harder, giving it his all when facing Ruth.

                              1925-1934 in the AL Lefty gave up 89 home runs put him at 13th in the AL and only one pitcher Whitehill (10,581) faced more batters than Lefty's 10,566.

                              Are there any other tests that Ruth has to pass to show he could hit the best. Black pitchers telling of Ruth almost killing a second baseman with a hard grounder, Ruth "hitting a ball into the next county, never threw him another low pitch,". I guess the name Hub Pruett may come up but he's only one pitcher.
                              The point all this talk about Ruth not getting around on todays pitchers with that big bat, not buying, he would just go to a lighter bat, the guy did know something about hitting.
                              Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 06-04-2008, 05:00 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post

                                I'm sure some of the best ever Grove as great as he was was trying even harder, giving it his all when facing Ruth.

                                The point all this talk about Ruth not getting around on todays pitchers with that big bat, not buying, he would just go to a lighter bat, the guy did know something about hitting.
                                Hi Joe,
                                I think Ruth was much more versatile than 99% of casual fans give him credit for.

                                Ruth himself would frequently bunt for hits when the defenses gave it to him- and in late September 1928 with the A's and Yankees virtually deadlocked and the score tied in the bottom of the eighth with Gehrig on second:

                                "What more? Ruth, with his wonderful sense of theater, bunted on the first pitch- foul by inches. Just think of it: Babe Ruth giving himself up to move Gehrig ninety feet. Or beat out a bunt. The Babe was saying simply this, "I can beat you every which way, busher."

                                Ruth then homered to right on a 1-1 fastball, which proved to be the decisive blow not only in the game but to the A's pennant hopes.

                                -Kaplan (p. 111)


                                As to Babe hitting lefties, as you discussed....I would guess, also, that he hit lefties very well (avg/obp/slg). All we have are his LHP/RHP hr splits, and they're very strong. We don't know AB's against, but we do know his HR% against LHP was higher than the % of LHP in the league (around 25%).

                                I'm not sure the same can and will be said for Ted Williams. I'm very interested to see what the retrosheet volunteers unveil in the future. I went to a book store awhile back and combed through the three major biographies of Williams looking for platoon splits, anecdotal information, anything that would yield some insight. One of the Williams biography has basically every split except breakdown by handedness.

                                It is possible Williams faced lefties very, very seldom in comparison to average and/or that he did very well against them prior to 1956 for average/obp. It seems less likely that he slugged well against LHP, while Babe's career slugging was probably pretty high against LHP.

                                The breakdown is as thus (list is as of 1995, when the book was published):
                                Code:
                                Name	       Total  Vs. RHP  Vs. LHP   %*
                                [B]Babe Ruth	714	495	219	30.7[/B]
                                Reggie Jackson	563	384	179	31.8
                                Willie McCovey	521	421	100	19.2
                                [B]Ted Williams	521	457	64	12.3[/B]
                                Eddie Mathews	512	418	94	18.4
                                Mel Ott	        511	400	111	21.7
                                Lou Gehrig	493	350	143	29.0
                                Stan Musial	475	320	155	32.6
                                Willie Stargell	475	372	103	21.7
                                Carl Yastrzemski452	374	78	17.3
                                Billy Williams	426	325	101	23.7
                                Darrell Evans	414	317	97	23.4
                                [B]Duke Snider	407	374	33	8.1[/B]
                                Graig Nettles	390	281	109	27.9
                                Norm Cash	377	316	61	16.2
                                Johnny Mize	359	274	85	23.7
                                Yogi Berra	358	273	85	23.7
                                Dave Parker	339	237	102	30.1
                                Boog Powell	339	270	69	20.4
                                George Brett	317	229	88	27.8
                                Fred Lynn	306	246	60	19.6
                                Harold Baines 	301	243	58	19.3
                                Chuck Klein	300	241	59	19.7
                                
                                * - Percentage of total home runs hit against LHP.
                                Anyway, the point of all this is that if Ruth's HR% were very low against LHP, I think it would factor into people's feelings about how many homers he would/could hit in a season today. I believe that the best LHH face LHP (and certainly specialists) more often today than in Ruth's day. Not that Babe didn't face it much than the average hitter in his day- he clearly did. 1/3rd of Bonds' career PA's were against LHP, and in his monster years after the 6th inning, it seemed as if the opposing teams would usually bring in a lefty and/or a specialist to face him.
                                Last edited by csh19792001; 06-04-2008, 09:25 AM.

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