Thursday, April 21, 2011
"I have just one superstition. Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases." - Babe Ruth
I am not a Yankees fan.....about as far from it as can be, actually. But I bleed baseball, and I've been enamored with Babe Ruth since I was a kid. An American icon. The single most dominant player in the history of team sports. More feared, revered and loved in his time than any other athlete ever. He's been my answer to the "If you could meet any one person, from any point in history, who would it be?" question since I was 7....and if I ever do get that time machine, I know exactly where I'm pointing it.
Here come the stats! (Look away, Timmy.....)
Ruth's Career Stats:
Batting average: .342
Home runs: 714
Pitching W/L record: 94-46
Ruth led the AL in Home Runs 12 times. But what always astounded me is how he did it, and the time in which it was done. In 1919, Ruth led the league with 29 HR.....the next closest to him hit 10. In 1920, Ruth's first season with the Yankees, George Sisler was second in the league with 19 HR....... Ruth hit 54!
Hank Aaron, easily one of the greatest players ever, and the All-Time Home Run King (until modern medicine took over), hit 755 HR in his career, 41 more than the Babe. Aaron did that in 12,364 at bats........3,965 more than Ruth. Project Ruth's totals over the same number of at bats (which is silly, I know)....you get 1,051 HR (not to mention, 3,258 RBI).
And as sick to my stomach as he makes me, I'll even do the same with Barry Bonds. Bonds hit 762 career HR (roughly 317 of which were, um, juicy....that we know of). That was over 9,847 career at bats. Give Ruth that many ABs......you get 837 HR.
And here, have a look at the greatest (statistical) season ever, Ruth's 1921 campaign:
.378 AVG, 59 HR, 171 RBI, 177 R, 457 TB, .512 OB, .846 SLG, 145 BB
I could go on forever.....so I'll stop.
Rich Hennemann, 2011
11 x 15, Watercolor on cold press block