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  • Career Home Run List

    Didn't know where else to put this, but I've been doing some tinkering with the career home run list lately. It dawned on me that, at present, 4 of the top 10 on the career ladder are active, or relatively recent, players. That's extremely unusual, I would think. There are only 2 more players from the "steroid era", however, who crack the top 25 at present.

    A guy today could hit 400 home runs and not sniff the top 25 on the career chart. I wondered how many 500 HR hitters finished among the top 10 at the time they retired, how many 400+ HR hitters did, etc.

    Here's what I found...

    Every player to hit at least 700 home runs finished with the all-time record by the time he retired.

    Every player to hit at least 600 home runs has retired among the top 3 in career homers.

    Of the 20 players to hit at least 500 home runs, only Eddie Murray retired without cracking the top 9 on the career board. (Murray retired 15th on the list.)

    Of the 40 players to hit at least 400 home runs, 13 have retired outside the top 10 in career homers, 7 of those outside the top 20, and 2 outside the top 30.

    Looking at it another way: of the top 100 retired players on the career home run list...
    2% finished 1st all-time
    4% finished 2nd or better
    8% finished in the top 3
    16% finished in the top 5
    28% finished in the top 10
    51% finished in the top 25
    78% finished in the top 50
    98% finished in the top 100

    As you might expect, those who placed much further down the career list at their retirement (regardless of the number of home runs they hit) are heavily weighted towards more recent years.

    Of all players with at least 300 career home runs, "Indian Bob" Johnson is the only player to retire among the top 10 on that list - 8th, in his case - and not be elected to the Hall of Fame.
    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

  • #2
    That all who hit 700 needs to read so far--bonds has 708 and no record yet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by four tool
      That all who hit 700 needs to read so far--bonds has 708 and no record yet.
      He said by the time he retired, which includes a grand total of two guys
      Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
      Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Chancellor
        Of all players with at least 300 career home runs, "Indian Bob" Johnson is the only player to retire among the top 10 on that list - 8th, in his case - and not be elected to the Hall of Fame.

        Interesting stuff. Gil Hodges ranked 11th at the time of his retirement and hasn't made the HoF either (which is what you said).
        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chancellor
          Didn't know where else to put this, but I've been doing some tinkering with the career home run list lately.
          Interesting work Chancellor, that must have took a nice chunk of time.

          Safe to say that this era will produce the most 500+ HR guys in the history of the game?

          Bonds
          Mac
          Sosa
          Palmeiro
          Griffey Jr.
          McGriff (should have got there)
          Sheffield
          Bagwell
          Thomas
          Pujols
          Manny
          Gonzalez (barring a miracle health-wise)
          Piazza (3 more good years, 4 very good ones)
          Delgado (26hr/yr for five more years (he'll be 38 yrs old))
          Thome
          Arod
          Andruw Jones (should get there)
          Chipper (28hr/yr for six more years (he'll be 39 yrs old))

          Probably missing some eventual guys.

          Is it any wonder why the "bar" needs to be moved up from 500 for Cooperstown. The 500 HR list is going to more than double just from this era.
          Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 04-11-2006, 11:53 PM.

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          • #6
            Five are there and 12 more coming that we "know" of (I'm not counting Crime Dog tho we probably should)--yep, time to change the criteria for the hall

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            • #7
              Frankly, I think that's a little optimistic.

              McGriff has been retired now since 2004. Almost zero chance of a return.

              Bagwell and Gonzo are limited to playing time/performance to the extent that both may retire this year. Doubtful they'll crack it either.

              I'm also extremely skeptical about Mike Piazza and Chipper Jones' chances of reaching 500.

              Andruw Jones may just get it done, but he's a long enough ways off to see where the offense-pitching pendulum swings over the next few years.

              I think Delgado and Thome have fair shots at it, Pujols has an excellent chance to do it. Sheffield and Man Ram are practically guarantees at this point and Frank Thomas could limp in there.

              To my way of thinking there are about 8-10 real candidates from this era who will finish with 500+ home runs. Yes, that would be the most from any era, but no, it doesn't necessarily mean that 500 HR isn't a Hall-of-Famer either.

              I think when everything is said and done, that 500 homers will look, 10 years from now, like 400 homers looked ten years ago. As a virtual lock for the Hall-of-Fame, but with one or two exceptions (Kingman, Evans, etc.)

              Frankly, even after this era of inflated offense, I still think 400 home runs is an incredible achievement and worthy of our attention when discussing potential Hall of Famers. It's the 200 and 300-homer candidates from this era who I won't think of as "power hitters."
              "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
              "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
              "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
              "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

              Comment


              • #8
                Chancellor,

                You honestly think the offense-pitching pendulum is going to swing the other way, ever?

                I say fat chance. What are they going to do? Until scouts begin to pay attention to the pitchers rather than the throwers, until baseball decides to call the strike zone where is supposed to be, until they put a regulation on these rocket launchers, get the ball back to where it should be, move some fences back, outlaw body armor, allow pitchers to throw inside, etc.. It ain't gonna happen.

                In order to swing the pendulum, too much needs to occur. You've got to somehow change the approach of hitters. How do you get them to cut down with 2 strikes when their margin for error is so huge, that they can be fooled and still hit homers off the facade of the upper deck? Just won't happen in this day of rewarding a .265 hitter with a fat contract even though he strikes out 150 time year. It's all about the 40 bombs he was able to hit. Defense and speed matter very little today. I just don't see it going back, ever. We're stuck with this style, imo.
                Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 04-12-2006, 03:47 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chancellor

                  Frankly, even after this era of inflated offense, I still think 400 home runs is an incredible achievement and worthy of our attention when discussing potential Hall of Famers. It's the 200 and 300-homer candidates from this era who I won't think of as "power hitters."
                  Doesn't really make sense to me here. If 200-300 homers don't have the same meaning, how does 400-500 have the same meaning?

                  Look at the number of times 20, 30, 40 homers are being hit in today's game. It's not difficult. So then it just comes down to health and longevity, something that's also never been easier to do with technology being the way it is, and with aggressive baserunning/stealing, and defense being such a small part of the game. It's station to station HR derby.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That's not really true Sultan.

                    In fact my research suggests that particularly OUTFIELD defense (because of the increased flyball rates) in becoming an increasingly important part of the game as are the DIPS categories (basically...the skills needed to pitch...high K rates, low BB rates, and low HR rates). And while the HR rate is increasing...so is the BABIP (batting average on balls in play)...meaning there's a lot more baserunning now than there was in 1970. Despite the increased HR totals...they still only account for about 1/3 of the actual run scoring.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SABR Matt
                      That's not really true Sultan.

                      In fact my research suggests that particularly OUTFIELD defense (because of the increased flyball rates) in becoming an increasingly important part of the game as are the DIPS categories (basically...the skills needed to pitch...high K rates, low BB rates, and low HR rates). And while the HR rate is increasing...so is the BABIP (batting average on balls in play)...meaning there's a lot more baserunning now than there was in 1970. Despite the increased HR totals...they still only account for about 1/3 of the actual run scoring.
                      That wasn't my point. My point was, that if you're ManRam, it doesn't matter if you can field or throw, or even give an effort. If you're 40 years old and can no longer field or throw well, you'll have a spot in today's game if you can hit 35 homers, even if your BA is low.

                      It's about what we value in today's game. We don't value baserunning/stealing/fielding, or BA. We value the HR and that's it.

                      Regarding the number of homers, it's becoming absurd. Not just on the homers, but on the balls where guys are on their front foot, or get fisted, it's carrying further than ever before. I've got the MLB extra innings package and watch pretty much every game I can. Happens extremely frequent. Check out David Wright's triple today for an example. Watch it on sportscenter tonight. Several announcers have even mentioned that the ball is "hot." It's becoming a joke. Not only that, but the number of pitches just below the belt that are being called balls is pretty sickening.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                        We don't value baserunning/stealing/fielding, or BA. We value the HR and that's it.
                        Shoot, someone should have told that to Ichiro - he better pack up and go back home then, because with his 200+ hits/seasons and his .332 BA, and his nearly 200 steals, and his spectacular arm and glove, he is obviously the opposite of what we want.

                        Actually, that is what makes him so amazing at this juncture of the game, that he isn't a power hitter, and is still one of the best, because he realizes that there is more to the game than just HR's, and he is good at all of those facets.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                          Doesn't really make sense to me here. If 200-300 homers don't have the same meaning, how does 400-500 have the same meaning?
                          Well having the ability to hit 20 HR a year, is not itself, reason enough for a player to be able to hang on for the 20 seasons necessary to reach 400.

                          Most of the guys who get that high are either actually elite power hitters or have sufficient peripheral skills to warrant their career to continue past the prime of their power.
                          THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                          In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Edgartohof
                            Shoot, someone should have told that to Ichiro - he better pack up and go back home then, because with his 200+ hits/seasons and his .332 BA, and his nearly 200 steals, and his spectacular arm and glove, he is obviously the opposite of what we want.

                            Actually, that is what makes him so amazing at this juncture of the game, that he isn't a power hitter, and is still one of the best, because he realizes that there is more to the game than just HR's, and he is good at all of those facets.
                            Bingo. He sticks out like like Manute Boll in a crowd of midgets.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by digglahhh
                              Well having the ability to hit 20 HR a year, is not itself, reason enough for a player to be able to hang on for the 20 seasons necessary to reach 400.

                              Most of the guys who get that high are either actually elite power hitters or have sufficient peripheral skills to warrant their career to continue past the prime of their power.
                              So we're left with the situation where if a guy stays healthy for long enough, he can be an average hitter and get to 350-400 homers. Average hitter in the sense that the environment is creating his homers. We were talking about the list of players who will most likely get to 500. I think we were being conservative. There will be plenty. Then think about 400? By the time this is said and done, we're gonna feel horrible about not realizing what we're witnessing and making adjustments sooner.

                              These "peripheral" skills you speak of, generally don't apply to todays game imo. Average doesn't matter. Defense doesn't matter. Strikeouts don't matter. Baserunning doesn't matter. Are any of those the reasons for the huge contracts, or are they just bonuses that hopefully come along with the great player. Hitting homers in this HR environment does matter though, and always will until they change some things.

                              Diggs, do you believe 500 homers still means what it used to. What about 40, 50, and 60 in a single season. Do you not view guys like Schmidt and Murphy's HR numbers in a better light based on what we're seeing? How bout Frank Robinson. You know he's managing these games, and just thinking to himself how nice it would be if he played today. Gotta be mentally licking his chops.

                              I love the game. I appreciate certain things that we hardly see anymore though. The hit and run, stolen base, dusting batters, drag bunts, solid outfield play, pitchers pitching not throwing, hustle, respect for the game and your opponents, etc...In the end it's still baseball and there's no better game imo, but baseball has created a monster that's out of control.

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