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best year of Babe Ruths career poll

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  • pheasant
    replied
    Originally posted by willshad View Post
    I'd like to say, that even though they technically do not rank among his best 3 or 4 seasons, 1931 and 1932 have always impressed me for Ruth. At age 36 and 37 he was putting up seasons that would be the best season for just about anybody else, except maybe Ted Williams. I think his 1926-1933 run impresses me more than his early string of seasons, due to the consistency and the fact that he was well into his 30s. Plus the 'deadball' mindset was being done away with, with more offense overall, and more people were swinging for the fences..making those 200 OPS+ scores all that much more impressive.
    That's a great point, Willshad. From 1930-1934(ages 35-39) Ruth of course declined greatly during his last three years during that run, yet posted a 5 year OPS of 195. I.e, a washed up fat Ruth still beat Gehrig and foxx during that span, despited his binge drinking and eating at an advanced age. As a a matter of fact, neither Gehrig nor Foxx EVER had a 5 year run in which his OPS+ was 195 or better, even during their prime. Yet Ruth did this during the twilight of his career.
    Last edited by pheasant; 03-17-2012, 09:41 PM.

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  • willshad
    replied
    I'd like to say, that even though they technically do not rank among his best 3 or 4 seasons, 1931 and 1932 have always impressed me for Ruth. At age 36 and 37 he was putting up seasons that would be the best season for just about anybody else, except maybe Ted Williams. I think his 1926-1933 run impresses me more than his early string of seasons, due to the consistency and the fact that he was well into his 30s. Plus the 'deadball' mindset was being done away with, with more offense overall, and more people were swinging for the fences..making those 200 OPS+ scores all that much more impressive.
    Last edited by willshad; 03-17-2012, 10:29 AM.

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  • pheasant
    replied
    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    Quick glance on EBH's 1920-21-22 , home and away, wiil double check the numbers.

    ----------2b-----3b----Hr
    Home----52-----18-----75
    Road-----52-----15----73
    Not much difference in EBH's home away and only two more home runs at home.
    That looks about right. In 1922, Ruth hit far better on the road than at home to balance out the numbers. It's too bad he got suspended in 1922 for all of those games. He never did get back on track that year. Also, that was his only poor performance in the World Series as well. When Ruth was told that he let down all of those kids that year, he allegedly broke down in tears and he promised to play much better in 1923(according to Ken Burns Baseball part 3 that I just watched). He also allegedly said that he'd trade a year of his life in order to hit a HR in the first game of 1923, the year Yankee stadium opened. Ruth did indeed hit a HR and drove in 3 runs in a 4-1 win. Apparently, that game had oved 70000 fans. They said that stadium was rocking with cheers. I can't even imagine.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    Quick glance on EBH's 1920-21-22 , home and away, wiil double check the numbers.

    ----------2b-----3b----Hr
    Home----52-----18-----75
    Road-----52-----15----73
    Not much difference in EBH's home away and only two more home runs at home.
    Being much more astute a hitter than most give him credit for, and the greatest slugging/hitting talent (probably in the history of ALL leagues), I'm sure Ruth tried to pull the ball there much more than he did in, say, Detroit, or Griffith. I would love to know how many were hit where, and your research is a tremendous help, Joe. Thank you for all the time you put in to finding these articles.

    Fact is, Babe's line at The Grounds was better than anywhere else he played a lot of games. It was only 216 games, granted, but as I said before, that includes pitching seasons, and the disastrous 22' season.

    This is a lot like the Mel Ott dilemma....I used to think Ott was just an "exploitationist" (that's not a word, but I'm making it up anyway). But there is a very good argument to be made that Ott was highly adaptive and intelligent, and knew exactly how to tailor his approach and swing to his home park. Sure, his HR splits are ridiculous, but he actually hit for a much higher average on the road, and had WAY more triples and doubles per AB away from that bathtub shaped park.

    Ott's career ROAD OPS is definitely top 50 all time (.918) juxtaposed with road stats for everyone. So, he's probably overrated by in one sense, and underrated in another.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 03-08-2012, 08:42 PM.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
    Such statistics are salient as to Wills, but completely irrelevant as to Ruth. Wills was not a home run hitter. Using a banjo hitter's stats to prove a point regarding Ruth is absolute idiocy!
    That was merely an obscure footnote/addendum. It served only to prove that The Polo Grounds probably gave up the cheapest of cheapies, among the parks of the 20th century. Hell, Babe himself used to hit fungoes out one handed during batting practice for laughs.

    As far as your "idiocy" claim, well, the facts about The Polo Grounds being a fantastic HR park are all there, in black and white. I provided the link to Schell's book in the post previous, which proved my point. You either didn't read it, or are dismissing it.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Quick glance on EBH's 1920-21-22 , home and away, wiil double check the numbers.

    ----------2b-----3b----Hr
    Home----52-----18-----75
    Road-----52-----15----73
    Not much difference in EBH's home away and only two more home runs at home.

    Leave a comment:


  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Again, no way to ever know what Babe gained in home runs at the Polo Grounds. I did find one homer that he lined into the lower deck in 1921, June 11.
    I go back to my earlier post statement. If he is hitting so many at other parks for long distances, it stands to reason that he was also getting good wood on a good many he was hitting at the Polo Grounds and driving them for long distances or that would have traveled far if not obstructed by seats in the upper deck..
    It can't be all his long distance drives are on the road, he was hitting the ball hard on the road and at home.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 03-08-2012, 06:31 AM.

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  • stuarthouse
    replied
    Such statistics are salient as to Wills, but completely irrelevant as to Ruth. Wills was not a home run hitter. Using a banjo hitter's stats to prove a point regarding Ruth is absolute idiocy!
    Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
    To wit:

    Maury Wills hit 20 home runs in a career of almost 2,000 games. 4 of those career home runs were hit (in 18 games) at The Polo Grounds.

    The point being, along with Schell's data, this is proof that it gave up more cheapies than it took away in that cavernous CF.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    No way to ever know how many home runs Babe hit at the Polo Grounds that may not have been homers in in other parks, but I doubt it would be a significant number. Here is an article describing some of his homers at the Polo Grounds. I realize the upper deck is not that deep. But since he was setting distance records at all the other parks I would assume most of his Polo Ground homers were not aided by the Polo Grounds.

    In, June 1921 he hit two on consecutive days the Polo Gounds that reached the centerfield bleachers, at that time 433 feet.
    Attached Files

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  • BigRon
    replied
    I'm very familiar with Ruth's career, but reviewing some of his stats again just leaves me shaking my head. Imagine what players/managers/owners/fans of that time must have been thinking- there had never been a force like this.

    Interestingly, Bill James had a fairly lengthy commnet years ago in his second Historical Abstract about Ruth's 1919 season and, how, in some ways, it was as great as anything else he did.

    I've always had a real sense of awe about the overall greatness of his 1923 season. That said, I give the narrowest of edges to 1921. in 1920 he absolutely shattered the HR mark, then whacked that over the head the following season, while collecting an incomprehensible 119 extra base hits. Yeah, he was helped some by the Polo Grounds, but he still hit 27 HR on the road, and had at least 55 EBH on the road. And of course, in all those seasons through at least 1924 or so, he was a quality defensive outfielder. So, 1921 by the narrowest of margins over 1923 and 1920.

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
    Earl Wilson. 7 games in 1964. I read regularly hit cleanup in the minors. In 59' Minneapolis (AAA Sox farm team) he hit .356 with a .622 slugging, going 10-2 on the mound. Bob Lemon hit 4th a few games in 46'.

    It's very likely that many guys did so in the 19th Century.
    I didn't know that about Wilson. Lemon was a good hitting pitcher for the Indians.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
    Ruth may have been the only pitcher to hit clean-up in Major League history.
    Earl Wilson. 7 games in 1964. I read regularly hit cleanup in the minors. In 59' Minneapolis (AAA Sox farm team) he hit .356 with a .622 slugging, going 10-2 on the mound. Bob Lemon hit 4th a few games in 46'.

    It's very likely that many guys did so in the 19th Century.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    To wit:

    Maury Wills hit 20 home runs in a career of almost 2,000 games. 4 of those career home runs were hit (in 18 games) at The Polo Grounds.

    The point being, along with Schell's data, this is proof that it gave up more cheapies than it took away in that cavernous CF.

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by stuarthouse View Post
    I do not believe that the Polo Grounds aided in anyway in his home runs, as he probably lost more to deep center than he gained from the short right field corner. It undoubtedly helped with extra base hits to the huge open center field area. He was younger, lighter and more daredevil in his base running during those years than in later years. Center field was a lot of ground for any fielder to cover.
    I wrote this about 6 years ago, and have done quite a bit of reading since then. Hopefully I'm at least a bit wiser. The Polo Grounds certainly didn't "make" Ruth, but it certainly helped HR hitters and sluggers. Significantly.

    In this fantastic book, on page 92, Schell lists the best and worst parks for home runs in modern baseball history, in overlapping 5-10 year periods.

    The Polo Grounds is listed for FIVE separate timeframes in that top 20 list. This is proof that it was a great HR park.

    Also, consider that Babe's career line at The Polo Grounds (1918 on) was .369/.503/.840 (216 games). Even for Babe, that's out of this world. True, he was young, but there were a couple deadball seasons thrown in there, and his 22' year, where he got sick.

    In fact, Babe's slugging and overall production were better at The Polo Grounds than any other park he played in during his entire career.

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by pheasant View Post
    Nice breakdown of his stats while pitching. That is amazing. When you think about it, he had a big advantage while pitching back in the day. Ruth had a Hall of Fame type DH hitter in the lineup while he pitched. I.e, you may as well leave him in during the late innings since a pinch hitter would be lowering your chances of getting a clutch hit.
    Ruth may have been the only pitcher to hit clean-up in Major League history.

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