Consider this. 200 hits in a season is pretty damn good. But imagine if you hit 100 or more extra-base hits in a season. Now that’s something else entirely.
Only 13 players in baseball history have done it.
|1.||Babe Ruth||119||1921||L||New York Yankees|
|2.||Lou Gehrig||117||1927||L||New York Yankees|
|3.||Barry Bonds||107||2001||L||San Francisco Giants|
|3.||Chuck Klein||107||1930||L||Philadelphia Phillies|
|5.||Todd Helton||105||2001||L||Colorado Rockies|
|6.||Albert Belle||103||1995||R||Cleveland Indians|
|6.||Hank Greenberg||103||1937||R||Detoit Tigers|
|6.||Todd Helton||103||2000||L||Colorado Rockies|
|6.||Chuck Klein||103||1932||L||Philadelphia Phillies|
|6.||Stan Musial||103||1948||L||St. Louis Cardinals|
|6.||Sammy Sosa||103||2001||R||Chicago Cubs|
|12.||Rogers Hornsby||102||1922||R||St. Louis Cardinals|
|13.||Jimmie Foxx||100||1932||R||Philadelphia Athletics|
|13.||Lou Gehrig||100||1930||L||New York Yankees|
|13.||Luis Gonzalez||100||2001||L||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|16.||Albert Belle||99||1998||R||Chicago White Sox|
|16.||Carlos Delgado||99||2000||L||Toronto Blue Jays|
|16.||Hank Greenberg||99||1940||R||Detoit Tigers|
|16.||Derrek Lee||99||2005||R||Chicago Cubs|
|16.||Albert Pujols||99||2004||R||St. Louis Cardinals|
|16.||Babe Ruth||99||1920||L||New York Yankees|
|16.||Babe Ruth||99||1923||L||New York Yankees|
|16.||Larry Walker||99||1997||L||Colorado Rockies|
Baseball’s dead-ball era really ran from the game’s beginnings up until about 1919/1920, somewhere around when Babe Ruth went amok.
During the dead-ball era, ballplayers just couldn’t lay wood on the ball. Offensive numbers were anemic. “Sluggers” led the league with anywhere from four to, more rarely, the low twenty-something home runs. Then came the Babe in 1919 with 29 homers and again in 1920 with an unheard of 54. He topped that in 1921 with 59.
The dead-ball era was over.
But why the dead-ball era in the first place, and why did it give way so abruptly?
According to baseball-reference.com, “ironically given the Deadball name, dead baseballs probably were not the cause of low scoring.” They list several causes, including spit- and defaced- baseballs, but also the rules of the day and poorly employed offensive strategies.
Anyway, all this talk about hitting and home runs and the dead-ball era in a pitching post: Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leaders. What’s the point? And what does Mariano Rivera have to do with all of this?
Well, 19 of the top 20 lifetime ERA leaders pitched all or most of their careers in the dead-ball era. That makes sense. And it’s Mariano Rivera who is the only modern pitcher on the list. He’s 13th all-time.
“Not surprisingly, at the time Walsh’s spitball was considered the most effective pitch in baseball. Walsh disguised the pitch by going to his mouth before every delivery, regardless of what he was going to throw. When he did throw the spitter, according to Alfred Spink he moistened a spot on the ball between the seams an inch square.”
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|1.||Ed Walsh||1.816||R||1904-1917||Chicago White Sox; Boston Braves|
|2.||Addie Joss||1.887||R||1902-1910||Cleveland Bronchos, Naps|
|3.||Jim Devlin||1.896||R||1875-1877||Chicago White Stockings; Louisville Grays|
|4.||Jack Pfiester||2.024||L||1903-1911||Pittsburgh Pirates; Chicago Cubs|
|5.||Smoky Joe Wood||2.033||R||1908-1920||Boston Red Sox; Cleveland Indians|
|6.||Mordecai Brown||2.057||R||1903-1916||St. Louis Cardinals; Chicago Cubs; St. Louis Terriers; Brooklyn Tip-Tops; Chicago Whales|
|7.||Monte Ward||2.099||R||1878-1884||Providence Grays; New York Gothams|
|8.||Christy Mathewson||2.133||R||1900-1916||New York Giants; Cincinnati Reds|
|8.||Al Spalding||2.133||R||1871-1877||Boston Red Stockings; Chicago White Stockings|
|10.||Tommy Bond||2.138||R||1874-1884||Brooklyn Atlantics; Hartford Dark Blues; Boston Red Stockings; Worcester Ruby Legs; Boston Reds; Indianapolis Hoosiers|
|11.||Rube Waddell||2.161||L||1897-1910||Louisville Colonels; Pittsburgh Pirates; Chicago Orphans; Philadelphia Athletics; St. Louis Browns|
|12.||Walter Johnson||2.167||R||1907-1927||Washington Senators|
|13.||Mariano Rivera||2.214||R||1995-current||New York Yankees|
|14.||Jake Weimer||2.231||L||1903-1909||Chicago Cubs; Cincinnati Reds; New York Giants|
|15.||Orval Overall||2.233||R||1905-1913||Cincinnati Reds; Chicago Cubs|
|16.||Will White||2.276||R||1877-1886||Boston Red Stockings; Cincinnati Reds; Detroit Wolverines|
|17.||Babe Ruth||2.277||L||1914-1933||Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees|
|18.||Ed Reulbach||2.284||R||1905-1917||Chicago Cubs; Brooklyn Superbas; Brooklyn Robins; Newark Pepper; Boston Braves|
|19.||Jim Scott||2.298||R||1909-1917||Chicago White Sox|
|20.||Reb Russell||2.334||L||1913-1919||Chicago White Sox|
- Minimum 1,000 IP
- Date is range over which player pitched in any games. For example, Babe Ruth only pitched five games for the Yankees, between 1920 and 1933.
Who are the greatest home run hitters in major league baseball history?
There are a couple ways to look at it. Here’s a different one.
Which players have most often dominated their contemporaries in the home run leadership? In other words, who has won the most home run titles?
This, in one way, levels the playing field between different eras. It also accounts for other parameters like steroids.
These sluggers below all won at least four home run crowns. Some, like Harry Stovey (1880) and Gavvy Cravath (1918) from the dead ball era, won with as few as six or eight homers. Others, like Alex Rodriguez (2002) and Mark McGwire (1998) from the steroid era, banged as many as 57 and 70.
But, where on earth is Barry Bonds, the all-time career home run leader?
He only won two titles (1993, 2001), and when you look at it that way, Bonds really didn’t distinguish himself as truly dominant.
Thanks to baseball-reference.com, which is also providing the player links today! Check them out.
Follow me on Twitter @VinGetz.
|1.||Babe Ruth||12||Boston Red Sox||1918, 1919|
|New York Yankees||1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926-1931|
|2.||Mike Schmidt||8||Philadelphia Phillies||1974-1976, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986|
|3.||Ralph Kiner||7||Pittsburgh Pirates||1946-1952|
|4.||Gavvy Cravath||6||Philadelphia Phillies||1913-1915, 1917, 1919|
|4.||Harmon Killebrew||6||Washington Senators||1959|
|Minnesota Twins||1962-1964, 1967, 1969|
|4.||Mel Ott||6||New York Giants||1932, 1934, 1936-1938, 1942|
|7.||Alex Rodriguez||5||Texas Rangers||2001-2003, 2005, 2007|
|7.||Harry Stovey||5||Worcester Ruby Legs||1880|
|Philadelphia Atheltics||1883, 1885, 1889|
|9.||Hank Aaron||4||Milwaukee Braves||1957, 1963|
|Atlanta Braves||1966, 1967|
|9.||Home Run Baker||4||Philadelphia Athletics||1911-1914|
|9.||Harry Davis||4||Philadelphia Athletics||1904-1907|
|9.||Jimmie Foxx||4||Philadelphia Athletics||1932, 1933, 1935|
|Boston Red Sox||1939|
|9.||Hank Greenberg||4||Detroit Tigers||1935, 1938, 1940, 1946|
|9.||Ken Griffey, Jr.||4||Seattle Mariners||1994, 1997-1999|
|9.||Reggie Jackson||4||Oakland A’s||1973, 1975|
|New York Yankees||1980|
|9.||Chuck Klein||4||Philadelphia Phillies||1929, 1931-1933|
|9.||Mickey Mantle||4||New York Yankees||1955, 1956, 1958, 1960|
|9.||Willie Mays||4||New York Giants||1955|
|San Francisco Giants||1962, 1964, 1965|
|9.||Mark McGwire||4||Oakland A’s||1987, 1996|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1998, 1999|
|9.||Johnny Mize||4||St. Louis Cardinals||1939, 1940|
|New York Giants||1947, 1948|
|9.||Cy Williams||4||Chicago Cubs||1916|
|Philadelphia Phillies||1920, 1923, 1927|
|9.||Ted Williams||4||Boston Red Sox||1941, 1942, 1947, 1949|
|9.||Hack Wilson||4||Chicago Cubs||1926-1928, 1930|