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  • Once again, I think the premise of the Jenkinson book is misinterpreted. The book is not intended to prove or even advocate that Ruth would have hit that many home runs either in a season or a career if todays fences existed back then, or if Ruth were playing today. The premise is that ANY PLAYER who hit that particular long ball would have had a home run under average modern stadium layouts. These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power. This is done by the time-honored "all-other-things-being-equal" method. And as we all know, such things can never really be "equal" because of so many variables being in play. Any player on a pace to hit 104 home runs in a season today would certainly inspire creative pitching tactics in an attempt to neutralize such an offensive onslaught, not the least of which would be the intentional walk. Once again, the book is intended to highlight Ruth's power quotient in a statistically intelligent and understandable way. Not to be an accurate predictor of the truly unpredictable!
    Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    Bill Jenkinson's book on Ruth's 104 HRs is very interesting. It reaches the furthest extent of my imagination, which is fun, but not realistic. According to Jenkinson, Ruth would have hit 1158 career HRs had he played today. Granted, he did list the distances of several balls that went 375-450 feet that were doubles, triples, or outs that would have left the average park today. So I get that, provided that this info is accurate. Then, he went so far as to list the advantages and disadvantages that a hitter would have had in the 1920s vs today. This is where the whole thing falls apart to me. He concluded that pitching was "a little harder for Ruth". This is obviously subjective and I think he's way off base. I was with him when he mentioned the Ball Parks were much bigger, the equipment was much worse, training and medicine were much worse, and so on. But there's no way that Ruth faced a little bit tougher pitching than guys today, at least not in 1921. What actually is interesting to me is Ruth's 1918 season, which really isn't covered too much in the book. That year, Ruth still slugged .555 despite playing in the Dead Ball era while batting against beat up baseballs. Spitters, shineballs, and emery balls were all legal then,despite the large strike zone. Ruth's 1918 season to me is the single best testament that Ruth would still crush pitching today. And if the length of Ruth's hits are accurate in his book, then Ruth would have hit 42 HRs in only 317 at-bats in 1918 in ball parks with today's dimensions.. Given the fact that Ruth smashed 26 doubles, 11 triples, and 11 HRs, that doesn't sound too far-fetched, although I believe that 42 is a bit inflated. By simply looking at the number of doubles and triples he hit in those big parks, I easily buy 30 HRs that year in today's parks. I.e, I see his 48 extra-base hits redistributed to 20 doubles, 3triples, and 25 HRs in today's park. And I would think that he hit at least 5 fly balls back then that would have left today's park. That gets him to 30 HRs in 317 at-bats. That to me along with his 13-7 record on the mound absolutely insane. 1918 is actually my favorite season of Ruth's, not his more impressive 1921 season.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by pheasant View Post
      And Fenway back then was impossible for lefties. I see that in 1919, Ruth slugged 20 HRs in only 232 at-bats on the road.
      I wonder, had Babe stayed with the Bosox as an outfielder, would they shorten the dimensions on the right side to take advantage of his long ball hitting. When Ted Williams came to Boston in 1939, the dimensions on the right side were brought in, 1940. Was it done for Ted, I really don't know but it was more favorable in Ted's time for a lefty then when Babe played there.

      Babe's time------RF-358-----------------------CF488 then 468 in 1930. Center filed "deep niche" 490+ feet
      Pre-Ted---------RF-332--RF power alley- 405--CF 420
      1940------------RF-302--RF power alley- 380--CF 420

      When Al Simmons went to the White Sox in 1933 he hit 14 home runs, the year before with Philadelphia 35.
      Chicago moved home plate out 14 feet in 1934 to help Al with the long ball.
      No good 1934, 18 home runs and 1935 16 home runs.
      But others took advantage Home run index before moving home plate out 90 after-1934--166---1935--161
      1936 Al went to the Tigers and Comiskey went back close to the old deeper dimensions.
      Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 02-23-2012, 05:48 AM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
        Once again, I think the premise of the Jenkinson book is misinterpreted. The book is not intended to prove or even advocate that Ruth would have hit that many home runs either in a season or a career if todays fences existed back then, or if Ruth were playing today. The premise is that ANY PLAYER who hit that particular long ball would have had a home run under average modern stadium layouts. These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power. This is done by the time-honored "all-other-things-being-equal" method. And as we all know, such things can never really be "equal" because of so many variables being in play. Any player on a pace to hit 104 home runs in a season today would certainly inspire creative pitching tactics in an attempt to neutralize such an offensive onslaught, not the least of which would be the intentional walk. Once again, the book is intended to highlight Ruth's power quotient in a statistically intelligent and understandable way. Not to be an accurate predictor of the truly unpredictable!
        This obvious point (well expounded here) has been stated and glossed over repeatedly over the past 50+ pages, not to mention in the book's forward. It astounds me how many otherwise-intelligent fans here and elsewhere continue to propound a cursory and fallacious reading of Jenkinson's illustrative example.
        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


        • Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark View Post
          This obvious point (well expounded here) has been stated and glossed over repeatedly over the past 50+ pages, not to mention in the book's forward. It astounds me how many otherwise-intelligent fans here and elsewhere continue to propound a cursory and fallacious reading of Jenkinson's illustrative example.
          I think the fall back stems from the sheer amount of hype that comes with Ruth. When you hear so much about how far ahead he was from other players, then a book comes out that illustrates such a notion, those who are not in line with the thinking kind of revolt. I admit, I was rather unfair, myself, and did miss the actual point of the exercise until actually thought about it.
          Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
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          Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
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          Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

          Comment


          • Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
            Once again, I think the premise of the Jenkinson book is misinterpreted. The book is not intended to prove or even advocate that Ruth would have hit that many home runs either in a season or a career if todays fences existed back then, or if Ruth were playing today. The premise is that ANY PLAYER who hit that particular long ball would have had a home run under average modern stadium layouts. These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power. This is done by the time-honored "all-other-things-being-equal" method. And as we all know, such things can never really be "equal" because of so many variables being in play. Any player on a pace to hit 104 home runs in a season today would certainly inspire creative pitching tactics in an attempt to neutralize such an offensive onslaught, not the least of which would be the intentional walk. Once again, the book is intended to highlight Ruth's power quotient in a statistically intelligent and understandable way. Not to be an accurate predictor of the truly unpredictable!
            A good point stuarthouse. Ruth's power domination is almost unparalleled in American sports. The only other athlete that I consider to have dominated his sport to the extent Ruth did was Wilt Chamberlain with his insane scoring and rebounding.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
              A good point stuarthouse. Ruth's power domination is almost unparalleled in American sports. The only other athlete that I consider to have dominated his sport to the extent Ruth did was Wilt Chamberlain with his insane scoring and rebounding.
              And, AGAIN, an otherwise-intelligent poster misses the point. *sigh*
              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


              • Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark View Post
                And, AGAIN, an otherwise-intelligent poster misses the point. *sigh*
                Then please, by all means, tells us what is "the point"? I was responding to thre bolded part of sturathouse's post.

                Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
                Once again, I think the premise of the Jenkinson book is misinterpreted. The book is not intended to prove or even advocate that Ruth would have hit that many home runs either in a season or a career if todays fences existed back then, or if Ruth were playing today. The premise is that ANY PLAYER who hit that particular long ball would have had a home run under average modern stadium layouts. These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power. This is done by the time-honored "all-other-things-being-equal" method. And as we all know, such things can never really be "equal" because of so many variables being in play. Any player on a pace to hit 104 home runs in a season today would certainly inspire creative pitching tactics in an attempt to neutralize such an offensive onslaught, not the least of which would be the intentional walk. Once again, the book is intended to highlight Ruth's power quotient in a statistically intelligent and understandable way. Not to be an accurate predictor of the truly unpredictable!
                Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 02-24-2012, 10:24 AM.
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  Then please, by all means, tells us what is "the point"? I was responding to thre bolded part of sturathouse's post.
                  Please correct me if I misconstrue. Your reply to stuarthouse seemed to be addressing the issue of competitive dominance (as in your analogy to Wilt Chamberlain). Whereas the cited Jenkinson exercise illustrates solely Ruth's distance hitting power, which has nothing whatever to do with the matters of competitive dominance.
                  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


                  • Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark View Post
                    Please correct me if I misconstrue. Your reply to stuarthouse seemed to be addressing the issue of competitive dominance (as in your analogy to Wilt Chamberlain).

                    Whereas the cited Jenkinson exercise illustrates solely Ruth's distance hitting power, which has nothing whatever to do with the matters of competitive dominance.
                    I was commenting on stuarthouse's sentence:

                    "These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power."

                    The bolded part is reffering Ruth competitive dominance IMO which led to my comment about Wilt Chamberlain. That is all.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                    Comment


                    • When a single player (Ruth) hits more home runs in a season than any other team I think it safe to use the words "competitive dominance." Not to nitpick, but it was Ruth who was the first to hit 30, then 40, then 50, then 60 home runs in a season. He was the first to hit a home run in the House That Ruth Built, and on opening day at that. He was the first player to hit a home run in an All-Star game. He was the first to hit three home runs in a World Series game, and he did that twice. Had the opposition in the World Series been more competitive he may have hit a total of 20 homers in the World Series. While Ruth was playing the Yankees actually won 12 World Series games (not in consecutive years however) in a row. I know this is speculation, but I wonder how many more dingers he would have hit if those Series had gone 7 games each. I used to think Ruth was all hype and myth, especially after seeing old footage when he weighed so much and also viewing that abomination The Babe Ruth Story starring William Bendix. But I finally got around to Smelser's epic bio The Life That Ruth Built and became aware of just how great he really was. If you haven't read it, get a copy. Smelser was an historian who taught at Notre Dame. His bio wasn't mere hagiography. He showed Ruth warts and all, but there's no doubt he was the ne plus ultra of power in baseball, truly sui generis.
                      ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                        I was commenting on stuarthouse's sentence:

                        "These statistics were intended merely to highlight Ruth's unparalleled power."

                        The bolded part is reffering Ruth competitive dominance IMO which led to my comment about Wilt Chamberlain. That is all.
                        No, your comparison as used is a non-sequitur. When stuarthouse is referring, in the quoted post, to "Ruth's unparalleled power", he seems to be remarking solely on the sheer linear distance he was able to achieve in his power hitting, not in any way to how far he outclassed his contemporaries in power numbers. (stuarthouse can correct me if I misconstrue.) How far you hit the ball is not, in itself, a competitive aspect in the game of baseball. A 450-ft. home run and a 330-ft. home run are of equal value when putting runs on the board. (Further underscoring this illustration is the fact that a 330-ft. home run is of scoring value, whereas a 450-ft. flyball caught for an out is not.)

                        When you bring up Chamberlain and his "insane scoring and rebounding"--basketball actions related solely to its competitive aspects--you seem to be making an argument about competitive dominance. (Chamberlain is otherwise seldom brought up in conversations about Ruth, unless it in reference to his equally-awesome ability to bed women.) If you had instead brought up the example of Bob Beamon, and how much further he could jump than his contemporaries (at least that one time); or Usain Bolt and how much he outclasses his running peers in footspeed, your analogy would have been relevant and made sense, and would not have solicited my concern.
                        Last edited by HitchedtoaSpark; 02-24-2012, 01:08 PM. Reason: clarifying
                        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


                        • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
                          When a single player (Ruth) hits more home runs in a season than any other team I think it safe to use the words "competitive dominance." Not to nitpick, but it was Ruth who was the first to hit 30, then 40, then 50, then 60 home runs in a season. He was the first to hit a home run in the House That Ruth Built, and on opening day at that. He was the first player to hit a home run in an All-Star game. He was the first to hit three home runs in a World Series game, and he did that twice. Had the opposition in the World Series been more competitive he may have hit a total of 20 homers in the World Series. While Ruth was playing the Yankees actually won 12 World Series games (not in consecutive years however) in a row. I know this is speculation, but I wonder how many more dingers he would have hit if those Series had gone 7 games each. I used to think Ruth was all hype and myth, especially after seeing old footage when he weighed so much and also viewing that abomination The Babe Ruth Story starring William Bendix. But I finally got around to Smelser's epic bio The Life That Ruth Built and became aware of just how great he really was. If you haven't read it, get a copy. Smelser was an historian who taught at Notre Dame. His bio wasn't mere hagiography. He showed Ruth warts and all, but there's no doubt he was the ne plus ultra of power in baseball, truly sui generis.
                          First of all, they should take the Bendix Babe movie and the John Goodman Babe movie..............burn them both.They portray Ruth as a big clumsy oaf. I think there is even one scene in the Goodman movie where Babe hits one out, runs to first and a pinch runner rounds the bases for him..........leave it to Hollywood. The only real good Babe movie was one made for TV in the 1990s starring Stephen Lang. I have searched every where, can't locate it on DVD or even VHS.

                          With that said, Robert Creamer's book "Babe The Legend Comes To Life" is a great book, but Smelser's is more than a match, it's my favorite Babe book. It gives more details than Creamers, excerpts of articles that appeared in newspapers and comments from teammates and others who played against Babe.

                          I've posted this article before,in the field, a bit long but interesting. I shows the real Babe, who always went all out, I have a sequence of him doing a head first dive but being tagged out at home plate, close play.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by HitchedtoaSpark View Post
                            No, your comparison as used is a non-sequitur. When stuarthouse is referring, in the quoted post, to "Ruth's unparalleled power", he seems to be remarking solely on the sheer linear distance he was able to achieve in his power hitting, not in any way to how far he outclassed his contemporaries in power numbers. (stuarthouse can correct me if I misconstrue.) How far you hit the ball is not, in itself, a competitive aspect in the game of baseball. A 450-ft. home run and a 330-ft. home run are of equal value when putting runs on the board. (Further underscoring this illustration is the fact that a 330-ft. home run is of scoring value, whereas a 450-ft. flyball caught for an out is not.)

                            When you bring up Chamberlain and his "insane scoring and rebounding"--basketball actions related solely to its competitive aspects--you seem to be making an argument about competitive dominance. (Chamberlain is otherwise seldom brought up in conversations about Ruth, unless it in reference to his equally-awesome ability to bed women.) If you had instead brought up the example of Bob Beamon, and how much further he could jump than his contemporaries (at least that one time); or Usain Bolt and how much he outclasses his running peers in footspeed, your analogy would have been relevant and made sense, and would not have solicited my concern.
                            I'm not sure what you are really arguing about? stuarthouse used the phrase "unparalleled power". Unparalleled with respect to whom? To other HR hitters I would assume. That is no different than my "insane scoring and rebonding" comment about Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt outscored and out rebounded his follow basketball contemporaries by huge amounts. How is that any different that Ruth's "unparalleled power"? By the way why are you "concerned" how others post in this thread?
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                            Comment


                            • More Babe in the field, he did go all out, played the game hard. Might have been more difficult to put on the brakes after downing all those hot dogs but...............the point is, he went all out.
                              Attached Files

                              Comment


                              • Okay. Can we take it down a notch? I understand and appreciate the Wilt Chamberlain comparison. It relates to the statistical offensive dominance of their respective games during their tenure. While this may have been the subtext of the Jenkinson work, its major premise was to statistically illustrate Ruth's particular ability to hit a baseball harder and farther than any other player ever. While this too is a form of dominance, it is more extensive in nature and less related to the actual offensive numbers wherein the Chamberlain comparison is more apt. In other words, even if Ruth were a .250 hitter, this distance hitting ability would still have set him apart from all others.
                                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                                I'm not sure what you are really arguing about? stuarthouse used the phrase "unparalleled power". Unparalleled with respect to whom? To other HR hitters I would assume. That is no different than my "insane scoring and rebonding" comment about Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt outscored and out rebounded his follow basketball contemporaries by huge amounts. How is that any different that Ruth's "unparalleled power"? By the way why are you "concerned" how others post in this thread?

                                Comment

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