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*Babe Ruth Thread*

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  • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
    That home run was only hit what, 465 in reality? With a stiff wind it landed 502 from home plate.
    Actually, the Red Sox have been shorting Williams for years. The red seat is 502 feet horizontally from home plate, and about +30 feet above field level. I have it flying about 534 feet, backed by a 21 mph wind (you're right about that). For whatever reason, the team chose to use the horizontal distance without trying to account for the additional distance that was precluded by its impact high above field level (which of course can only be estimated - I'd say the 534 number is plus or minus 5 feet or so...)
    ESPN Home Run Tracker
    Home run distances for every home run hit in MLB


    • The red seat is in the 37th row, however there are more contemporary accounts
      that state the 33rd row as the landing spot.


      • 1920's Fenway bleacher configuration overlay.
        Yellow arrow is the landing location of Babe Ruth's longest inside Fenway to the 45th row with wind.
        Attached Files


        • Bill Jenkinson asked for a reply to this!

          So, “csh’s” challenge has been accepted. I ask him to step out of the shadows, and identify himself. I will then ask SABR to arrange a debate between the two of us at next year’s convention. Additionally, I will use some of my media contacts to sponsor live debates on radio, and let the listeners decide who’s right.

          In the meantime, I also request that he do more than just complain about someone else’s work. If he has genuine intellectual integrity, he should provide us with factual counterpoints. So far, he has merely said that my estimates of Babe Ruth’s home run distances are wrong. He may not be a baseball historian, and it would be unreasonable for me to challenge him to research all 730 official Ruthian homers. There are also hundreds of references to unofficial homers hit during exhibition or barnstorming games. So, I urge him to pick one (just one!) that he disagrees with, and provide us with his facts. Assuming that he lives in the United States, the Babe hit a homer somewhere within driving distance of where he now resides. He should set aside one day, drive to the appropriate library, do the requisite work, and report his factual disagreement. I’ll be waiting.


          • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
            ON that fans-especially die hard fans- are notorious for bloviating about our heroes of yore. I'm very guilty of it myself. My friends laugh at loud when I even suggest that Ruth or Cobb were probably the greatest players in history. In any athletic endeavor using objective metrics, the greatest today make the guys from 75+ years ago look like high schoolers.

            My friend laughed out loud last time we had this conversation about Ruth/Cobb being the greatest. He said (paraphrasing): "You can't be ever even SEEN film of those guys running? Puny untrained white guys who smoked and drank all the time? I saw Babe Ruth take three steps before hitting a pitch, for chrissake!!"

            Yes, baseball is far more complicated than track, and sure, guys today have a ton of advantages in training, nutrition, etc. etc. etc. But we can't use a time machine and move guys 25, 50, or 100+ years in time. How great they were then, against that level of average competition is not anywhere close to what guys face today. At least, all the objective evidence points that way.

            Suspension of Disbelief, folks. We're sentimentalists and waxing nostalgic here, for the most part. Everything rational points to Ruth, Wagner, Cobb wouldn't be nearly as dominant today. Not even remotely close. We worship these guys, but in all honestly, they're vestiges.
            I've been laughed at by my friends as well. They've even said that Ted Williams wouldn't make the minor leagues today. They mentioned that the reason players stats dropped off is that the talent from the new guys was simply too tough. I agree that the average player is better now. But some players are truly timeless. I was asked to show how a Ted Williams would do against, say, a Reggie Jackson or somebody that played in the 1970-1980s. Of course I can't. But I can show that some players from the past did well against a newer generation despite being WAY past their prime. Also, there are some players whose OPS+ held up very well into the latter years of their career. I could argue that this shows that the leagues were perhaps getting weaker in modern times. I don't believe that. But let's see how some alleged crummy hitters by today's standards stood the test of time. I'd like to use Ted Williams as an example, and then Hank Aaron, another amazing hitter that stood the test of time.

            Examples of players that had their careers overlap:

            player PA AVG/OBP/SLUG/OPS+

            Ted Williams 1954-1960, ages 35-41 3230 .337/.477/.624/188 .career OPS+ of real dropoff despite much tougher competition from ages 35-41

            Hank Aaron 1954-1960 ages 20-26 4530 .318/.369/.560/152 career OPS+ of 155

            Willie Mays, 1954-1960, ages 23-29 4630 .325/.396/.604/164 career OPS+ of 155

            Mickey Mantle, 1954-60, ages 22-28 4501 .312/.435/.594/181 career OPS+ of 172

            A washeup up Willliams more than holds his own against these elite players in their prime.

            Now, let's look at a washed up Hank Aaron vs Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt. I even game Schmidt a huge advantage by tossing out his first two years, since they were so rotten. Thus, I used 3 years for him when he won the HR crown each year. How fair is this to Aaron?

            Hank Aaron 1972-74, ages 38-40 1391 .278/.381/.550/152 not much of a drop compared to career 155 OPS+

            Reggie Jackson, 1972-74 ages 26-28 1805 .282/.375/.506/160 career OPS+ of 139

            Mike Schmidt, 1974-76, ages 24-26 2065 .264/.379/.531/150 career OPS+ of 147

            I can even show where Lou Gehrig took down Dimaggio during Dimaggio's prime. But Gehrig doesn't quite overlapp Willliams. Even at that, Gehrig's numbers from the 1930s don't quite match Williams' numbers from the late 1930s to early 1940s. This is why I like Ted Williams, even though his career started 72 years ago! And remember, I used Ted Williams' last 7 years of his career. Only Mantle in his prime even came close. I really get why Williams is considered the best hitter ever.


            • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
              The other side of the Babe, some small ball. I do have a couple of dozen game recaps where he would lay one down now. and then. Bill Jenkinson has 40 plus safe bunts with dates.
              That's a beautiful thing. I bet Ted Williams had only about 40 attempts in his career, much less bunt hits....Barry Bonds had 8 bunt attempts, total, from 1988-2007.

              Game 3, 46' World Series, Brecheen pitching...(Dyer had noted that they were throwing lefties at Williams, and he was really struggling)....with the Boudreau inspired shift on, Williams bunts and it reaches the outfield....Cronin caught hell for it from the sportwriters, but insisted it was Ted's idea. It was the only bunt attempt of his 1946 season. The headline in the Globe read "WILLIAMS BUNTS!" after the loss...

              In his autobiography "My Turn at Bat", Williams also claimed that he only had 10 infield hits in 57', when he hit .388, and that Mantle (in his best year, IMO), had 48 infield hits.
              Last edited by csh19792001; 02-07-2012, 07:32 PM.


              • Originally posted by gator92 View Post
                Actually, the Red Sox have been shorting Williams for years.
                Not the Sawx players or Sawx fans!

                Story of The Ted Williams Home Run and "The Seat"

                Mighty Mo Vaughn gazed into the horizon, located the red seat, shook his head and said, "Man, they keep moving it up higher every year."

                "It's hard to believe anybody could hit a ball that far," said Mo. "I know I've never even come close -- not even in batting practice. I mean, it's not even down the line. It's in the gap! You can barely see that thing."


                • I can't find anyone that overlaps Ted Williams career and beats him. This is all I have. Listed below are PA AVG/OBP/SLUG/OPS+

                  Jimmie Foxx 1930-1938, ages 22-30 5989 .334/.438/.648/171 career 163 OPS+

                  Lou Gehrig 1930-1938 ages 27-35, 6306 .344/.454/.641/181 career 178 OPS+

                  Ted Williams 1939-1949 ages 20-30 5348 .353/.488/.642/195 career 190 OPS+

                  Babe Ruth 1930-1934, ages 35-39 2974 .336/.475/.651/195, career 206 OPS

                  Ruth or Gehrig don't quite overlap with Williams. Foxx was Williams' teammate for a few years. And Foxx kept up with the younger Williams for two years until Foxx fell apart and Williams picked it up a notch.

                  Jimmie Foxx, 1939-40, ages 31-32, 1181 .327/.437/.634/168
                  Ted Williams, 1939-40 ages 20-21, 1338 .336/.439/.601/161

                  Ted Williams simply picked it up several notches. Of course, Jimmie was already hitting his steep decline. But Williams kicked it into a whole new gear altogether. Ruth's OPS+ of 195 from ages 35-39 is absolutely ridiculous and he's the only one that I see that can be compared to Williams. Granted, he's slightly before Williams' time. But it's not that much before Williams. I'm sure a Ruth vs Williams has been done already. But that to me would be the ultimate thread. Even Hank Aaron and Willie Mays during their prime get dusted against Williams in his decline phase.


                  • Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post

                    Revolutions are not necessarily inevitable. It was generally thought throughout the 1930s and 1940s that power hitters needed to use big, heavy bats. In the 1950s, Ernie Banks tried using a light bat - and he could get away with it because middle infielders weren't supposed to be power hitters. Ernie Banks ended up hitting a lot of home runs with his lighter, thinner bat, demonstrating that the conventional wisdom was wrong. Note that players at traditional power hitter positions - 1B and OF - would have been stopped from using the lighter bats then. Without Banks, there wasn't any guarantee that lighter bats would have been used to increase home run totals. Likewise, without Ruth, there wasn't any guarantee that the home run revolution would have happened.
                    I'm not sure why Ernie Banks gets so much credit for this...Ted Williams and, especially, Stan Musial were already using relatively thin handled and light bats before Ernie came along. You can still find Stan's model in stores, the M159...this exact model may be from later in his career, but it represents the style of bat he liked. Of course, with dense wood you can end up with a very heavy M159, but I believe Stan and Ted both ordered in the 32-34 oz range.
                    "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial


                    • Jenkinson has stated his qualifications to substantiate his data. Please state yours.
                      Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                      Many times. Last time I was there i sat about 10 rows down in section 42.

                      You kinda just made my point for me. That home run was only hit what, 465 in reality? With a stiff wind it landed 502 from home plate. Maybe Ruth hit 50+ home runs 500 feet, using your rigorously scientific/valid/reliable methodology, but there are far more reasons to believe it isn't scientifically true. Jenkinson's conclusions are skewed by hero worship. His work is much more a hagiography than a factually oriented, serious biographical piece of literature.

                      I love lore, man, but there's no reason to propagate conjecture as fact to prop up a guy who played nearly a century ago. (Although hype sure sells books, and who can blame him for wanting to sell as many books as he can).


                      • Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
                        Jenkinson has stated his qualifications to substantiate his data. Please state yours.
                        We're waiting, csh. Are slurs considered qualifications?
                        Last edited by Lpeters199; 02-08-2012, 12:36 PM.


                        • Ruth had 13 MVP type season in which he should have won about 10. He only won 1 due to the rules in the day.

                          Listed below him is the next best payer that year.

                          Here’s what I have:

                          Ruth blowouts 8 1916,1918,1919,1920,1921,1923,1924,1926
                          Ruth wins, but close call 2 1928,1929
                          Tie 3 1927,1930,1931

                          W L PCT ERA shutouts
                          1916 Ruth 23 12 .657 1.75 9
                          1916 Walter Johnson 25 20 .566 1.90 3

                          Year player R HR RBI AVG OB% SLUG%
                          1918 Ruth 50 11 66 .300 .411 .555
                          1918 Ty Cobb 83 3 64 .382 .440 .515

                          1919 Ruth 103 29 114 .322 .456 .657
                          1919 Ty Cobb 92 1 70 .384 .429 .515

                          1920 Ruth 158 54 137 .376 .532 .847
                          1920 George Sisler 137 19 122 .407 .449 .632

                          1921 Ruth 177 59 171 .378 .512 .847
                          1921 Harry Heilmann 114 19 139 .393 .444 .606

                          1923 Ruth 151 41 130 .393 .545 .764
                          1923 Harry Heilmann 121 18 115 .403 .481 .63

                          1924 Ruth 143 46 121 .378 .513 .739
                          1924 Goose Goslin 100 12 129 .344 .421 .516 ,

                          1926 Ruth 139 47 146 .372 .516 .737
                          1926 Al Simmons 90 19 109 .341 .392 .564

                          1927 Ruth 158 60 164 .356 .486 .772
                          1927 Lou Gehrig 149 47 175 .373 .474 .765

                          1928 Ruth 163 54 142 .323 .463 .709
                          1928 Lou Gehrig 139 27 142 .374 .467 .648

                          1929 Ruth 121 46 154 .345 .430 .697
                          1929 Al Simmons 114 34 157 .365 .398 .642

                          1930 Ruth 150 49 153 .359 .493 .732
                          1930 Lou Gehrig 143 41 174 .379 .473 .721

                          1931 Ruth 149 46 163 .373 .495 .700
                          1931 Lou Gehrig 163 46 184 .342 .451 .621


                          • How exactly does one "substantiate" fantasy?
                            Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                            Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                            Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                            Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                            Robin Bill Ernie JEDI


                            • Originally posted by hellborn View Post
                              I'm not sure why Ernie Banks gets so much credit for this...Ted Williams and, especially, Stan Musial were already using relatively thin handled and light bats before Ernie came along. You can still find Stan's model in stores, the M159...this exact model may be from later in his career, but it represents the style of bat he liked. Of course, with dense wood you can end up with a very heavy M159, but I believe Stan and Ted both ordered in the 32-34 oz range.
                              You are correct.Musial`s first order of 33 oz bats occurred in 1954,but he had long been using the M159 model(M stands for Musial) which has a handle that is only 15/16''in diameter.Along with the M110 model(that was introduced in 1943),the M159 had the thinnest handle of all models for years.Banks used a heavier bat than Musial when he first came up and it had a thicker handle(R43-Ruth model).Banks says that Monte Irvin of the Giants let him use some of his lighter bats.Banks started to use that model of bat at a lighter weight.It was the S2 model(Vern Stephens).Ernie was later amused that he used the same model as Stephens to break Stephens` record of most homers in a season by a shortstop.Irvin`s teammate Willie Mays also used the S2 as did Billy Williams,Eddie Mathews,Mickey Mantle(sometimes),and Pete Rose(in the late 60`s).Even the S2 has a slightly thicker handle than the M159 and the M110(the M stands for Malone as in Eddie).
                              Last edited by Nimrod; 02-09-2012, 04:01 PM.


                              • Look at his competition, still active, their age and his age and where they stand as power hitters in the NL at that time period. Not to mention, he retired three years ago. What is it with this guy.
                                Attached Files


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