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*Babe Ruth Thread*

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  • Originally posted by carsdaddy View Post
    Legend has it that a third baseman dived for a ball that he hit only to turn around and see the ball go into the left field seats
    That could be true, I can't say.
    But I did post and comment on BBF a while back, don't recall the page, I did witness something similar, a testament to how hard Frank could hit a ball.
    Don't recall the game, back then I taped many games to watch certain plays. One at bat, Frank hit a rifle shot, you could see the third baseman do a quick dip, down as though to spring back up, leap and attempt to catch the ball.
    So I did witness this play. Although the third baseman did not leap, for a fraction of a second he did think about it.
    Thats how low that line drive was, a home run, not far into the seats, first 4 or 5 rows. You would not think a liner that low would make the bleachers, don't recall the park.
    Dave Winfield, another giant with a level swing hit some low "quick" home runs.

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    • Frank said the hardest ball he ever hit was a liner to Brooks Robinson

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      • Originally posted by elmer View Post
        Frank said the hardest ball he ever hit was a liner to Brooks Robinson
        This is probably all referencing the same event: Davey Johnson was quoted years later as well in the 3rd reference.


        "Talking feared, I remember Brooks Robinson once said the most important play he ever made was on a Frank Howard line drive he didn't quite get to. Howard got all of the ball and didn't get much loft on it. Robinson said it would have torn his arm off if he'd reached it." http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/..._frank_howard/

        "Brooks Robinson of all people once said Howard hit a ball so hard, he didn't even see it until Don Buford picked it up on a hop in left." http://ultimatemets.com/profile.php?...e=5332&tabno=7

        Speaking of Johnson, Davey mentioned in this session hosted by Phil Wood that when he played for The Baltimore Orioles, Frank Howard lined the hardest hit line drive he's ever seen right past the head of Brooks Robinson (the Hall of Fame 3rd Baseman for the O's). "Brooksie was the greatest 3rd baseman ever, but even he couldn't get his glove up fast enough to catch that scorched liner. After the inning ended, I remember Brooks coming back to the dugout white as a ghost saying: 'If my head was just 1/2" higher--I would be dead now!!' I've never seen a ball hit so hard in my life." http://nats320.blogspot.com/2011/03/...ondo-nats.html

        According to Mantle, Frank White, Bobby Murcer and iirc Crosetti (none of whom would have a reason to lie), Howard hit one completely out of Yankee Stadium during a game, likely in 1965-1966. It was called foul but all 4 were quoted as saying it was fair. http://www.projectballpark.org/major/yankee.html

        I don't recall that one in New York, but I do recall seeing him hit the one that completely cleared the roof and went out of Tiger Stadium.



        Very nice guy too...though didn't have quite enough to get past the voters and into the Hall of Fame.
        Last edited by drstrangelove; 11-15-2014, 05:30 PM.
        "It's better to look good, than be good."

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        • One witness to the Yankee stadium hit said it was two feet foul another said it was 2 feet below the roof.
          with those witnesses describing the Robinson liner, it seems Frank may be right, hardest ball he ever hit,
          harder than any home run.
          If his swing had been like Mantle's right handed, long and sweeping, Howard would have hit them
          as far as Ruth. He had a wide stance and shorter arc. With Mantle's longer arc i think we would
          have seen 600 feet.
          Last edited by elmer; 11-15-2014, 05:45 PM.

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          • Going on the block, supposedly the heaviest of the Bam's bats that was auctioned off.
            Dave Henderson, that is not a plug, it does look like one.
            Attached Files

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            • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
              Going on the block, supposedly the heaviest of the Bam's bats that was auctioned off.
              Dave Henderson, that is not a plug, it does look like one.
              Great picture , I really respected validated information. 47 ozs is a tree. I'm going to futher look into the history of his bat sizes because I have read that he has used bats as heavy as 52 ozs. I know that because I read it that doesn't make it a fact ,but also because someone say's this is the heaviest bat known, it may only mean it's the heaviest known to him.

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              • Originally posted by carsdaddy View Post
                Great picture , I really respected validated information. 47 ozs is a tree. I'm going to futher look into the history of his bat sizes because I have read that he has used bats as heavy as 52 ozs. I know that because I read it that doesn't make it a fact ,but also because someone say's this is the heaviest bat known, it may only mean it's the heaviest known to him.
                I think the reference to 52oz bats may have been from a Ruth quote...was it in "Babe Ruth's Own Book Of Baseball"? I'll have to look...anyway, I think that might have been from his Bosox days and I'd bet his bats from then were less likely to survive. I think BMH posted in the 101 wood bat thread that Babe was using 37oz by the end of his career.

                On a tangent, I picked up a 37" 42oz Worth bat intended for Chicago-style 16" softball ages ago and used to try to play baseball with it as a twig armed teenager...I could honestly barely get around on slow pitch with it. I never tried to hit a baseball with it after I got older and a stronger, just used to put a ring weight on it and swing it around for exercise...I think if I tried to hit a ball with it now, I'd tear an elbow ligament. Strangely enough, the bat says "Bench Style" on it...I assume it's referring to Johnny, but what it would have to do with him I have no idea.
                "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                • Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                  I think the reference to 52oz bats may have been from a Ruth quote...was it in "Babe Ruth's Own Book Of Baseball"? I'll have to look...anyway, I think that might have been from his Bosox days and I'd bet his bats from then were less likely to survive. I think BMH posted in the 101 wood bat thread that Babe was using 37oz by the end of his career.

                  On a tangent, I picked up a 37" 42oz Worth bat intended for Chicago-style 16" softball ages ago and used to try to play baseball with it as a twig armed teenager...I could honestly barely get around on slow pitch with it. I never tried to hit a baseball with it after I got older and a stronger, just used to put a ring weight on it and swing it around for exercise...I think if I tried to hit a ball with it now, I'd tear an elbow ligament. Strangely enough, the bat says "Bench Style" on it...I assume it's referring to Johnny, but what it would have to do with him I have no idea.
                  I tent to agree with you about him using the 52 oz bat early in his career. What I've read about Ruth was that he only used it for a short period, just how long it didn't say. As for the 37 -42 oz bat I'm sure that was Johnny Bench . Bench, like most of the sluggers of the 60's and 70' used heavy bats , from 36 to the 42 oz bats of Clemente and Richie Allen . I saw a interview in 75 with Pete Rose where he said he used a 42 oz bat in one game and got 3 hits. He said he could handel the weight but like the control he could get with a lighter bat. Nowdays a 34 oz is considered heavy,with big guys swinging bats that, are to light I believe that plays a part in the high strikeout totals these day.Guys simply over swinging.

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                  • It seems Ted was trying to get Howard to trust his strength and look for his pitch? Howard said he wasn't even trying to walk. Not only did Howard's walks go up but his K-rate went down as well.
                    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 11-20-2014, 11:48 PM.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                    • It was pretty tough finding any footage of Frank Howard batting. The only AB I have found so far is Howard's lone AB in the 1971 all-Star. Go to time 1:31:45.

                      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 11-20-2014, 07:41 PM.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                      • 1958_howard_frank.jpg

                        Frank Howard played for the Rapid City Chiefs in the Basin league in 1957. my dad saw him play when the Chiefs came to Watertown that year. Dad said that Howard hit 4 doubles that day and all were just rockets.
                        This week's Giant

                        #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

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                        • Ok, I found more more Frank Howard AB, (actually just 1 swing). Howard hit a HR in the 5th inning of game 4 of the 1963 World Series. The 1963 World Series was Howards' only post season appearance of his entire career. Go to time 4:01.

                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                          • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                            I don't know how much you know about Frank Howard, Randy, but he was fricking HUGE in his day. He would be HUGE even in today's game (6'7", 260 lbs). Can you imagine if Howard played in the PED era? I have no doubt in my mind he could have hit 60-70 HRs in a season without any PED's. He was that crazy strong. And after Ted Williams got a hold of him, Howard became a better hitter.

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                            He was a great player with hall of fame talent who's career just wasn't long enough to be considered.

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                            • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                              I found this Randy.

                              After the Senators’ 10th-place finish, new owner Bob Short took over in January 1969 and decided to replace manager Jim Lemon after his single season. To replace Lemon, Short lured Ted Williams out of his eight-year retirement, surprising everyone around the game. For Howard, this would be another turning point, perhaps the most important one. Williams believed he knew how to make Howard a better hitter. “He called me into his office one day in the spring of ’69,” Howard recalled. “He said, ‘Bush! Come on in here.’ I’d only been in camp a couple of days, and I’m thinking, ‘Gee, I’m not in his doghouse already, am I?’”

                              “Can you tell me how a guy who hit 44 home runs only got 48 walks?” asked Williams. After Howard offered some explanation, his manager got to the point. “Well, let me ask you. Can you take a strike? I’m talking about if it’s a tough fastball in a tough zone, first pitch. Or if it’s a breaking ball, you’re sitting on a fastball … Can you take a strike? You know, try to get yourself a little better count to hit in?” Howard said he could. “Well try it for me.”...

                              “I did it without even trying to walk,” said Howard. “I was ready to hit, if it was my pitch, but if it was something other than I was looking for, I took it. I was laying off some bad pitches, getting more counts in my favor, and all because of Ted Williams. He’s one in a million! A marvelous, marvelous, man!” One wonders what kind of career Howard might have had if he had learned to do this 10 years earlier. People had been trying to get him to lay off bad pitches his entire career. Williams, with a very simple piece of advice, succeeded. Williams was impressed. “He still hit more home runs, some of them out of sight. I mean he crushed the ball. I think without question the biggest, strongest guy who ever played this game." Williams had quite an influence on the rest of the team as well, as they finished in fourth place in the new six-team AL East with a 86-76 record. Williams was named the league’s Manager of the Year.

                              ...
                              I'm sure there is more to it than this. I'll check out the newspaper accounts during that time period. In 1968 Howard walked 48 times. In 1969 he walked 102 times and in 1970 he walked 132 times. That's quite an improvement.
                              Ted told the same story in "The Science Of Hitting", that he just worked with Howard on his mental approach after telling him that he couldn't fathom how he could only draw 48 walks. I think that Frank's mechanics must have been good enough given that he could drive a ball out of Yankee, or at least come close. Howard was famous for chasing low and outside breaking balls when he was in LA, to the point that one sportswriter worried about a pitcher being vaporized if Frank would actually put some good wood on one and hit a rocket up the middle.

                              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                              It was pretty tough finding any footage of Frank Howard batting. The only AB I have found so far is Howard's lone AB in the 1971 all-Star. Go to time 1:31:45.
                              You know, I noticed this in some other footage of Bench and thought maybe it was an aberration...Johnny never gives Marichal a target! He always has his hand in his mitt while the pitcher is delivering the ball. I don't know jack about proper catching having learned on the fly filling in while playing in a crappy amateur "wannabe" league, but I always tried to show the pitcher where I wanted the ball. I can certainly see where you might want to give it late if there are runners on, particularly on 2nd...
                              Obviously, if HOFer and maybe greatest C of all time Bench didn't do it, it's not necessary...but, I'm going to watch ML catchers a lot more closely next season and see what the norm is. I do remember watching a Bosox C on TV who gave a target and then moved the glove just before the pitcher would release, which convinced me the guy was a terrible catcher (can't remember if it was Tek).
                              Just watched some IRod video, and it looks like he consistently gave a target.
                              "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                              • The "other' Babe Ruth, 1931.
                                Attached Files

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