- Home run
baseball, a home run (abbreviated HR) is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle all the bases, ending at home plate and scoring runs for himself and each runner who was already on base, with no errors by the defensive team on the play. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfieldfence between the foul poles (or making contact with either foul pole) without first touching the ground or outfield fence, resulting in an automatic home run. Circling the bases while the ball is in play on the field, an "inside-the-park" home run, is rare in modern baseball.
When a home run is scored, the batter is also credited with a hit and a run scored, and an
RBIfor each runner that scores, including himself. Likewise, the pitcher is recorded as having given up a hit, a run for each runner that scores including the batter, and an earned runeach for the batter and for all baserunners who did not initially reach base on error.
Home runs are among the most popular aspects of baseball and, as a result, prolific home run hitters are usually the most popular among fans and consequently the highest paid by teams, hence the old saying, variously attributed to slugger
Ralph Kiner, or to a teammate talking about Kiner, "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, and singles hitters drive Fords." [http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=a&bid=1066&pid=7516]
Types of home runs
Outside the park
The most common type of home run involves hitting the ball over the outfield fence,
in flight, in fair territory, i.e., out of the playing field, without it being caught or deflected back by an outfielder into the playing field. This is sometimes called a home run "out of the ballpark", although that term is frequently used to indicate a blow that completely clears any outfield seating.
A batted ball is also considered a home run if the ball touches any of the following while
in flight, regardless of whether the ball subsequently rebounds back onto the playing field:
* Foul pole or attached screen
* Glove, hat, or any equipment or apparel deliberately thrown by a fielder in an attempt to stop or deflect a fair ball that, in the umpires' judgment, would have otherwise been a home run [This rarely occurs in professional baseball, but is still contained in the official rules: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2008/official_rules/07_the_runner.pdf] .
* Any fixed object where a particular ballpark's ground rules specifically state that a batted ball striking that object is a home run. This usually applies to objects such as ladders, scoreboard supports, etc. which are beyond the outfield fence in fair territory, but are located such that it is difficult for an umpire to quickly judge their position in relation to the field from several hundred feet away.
A home run accomplished in any of the above manners is an automatic home run. The ball is considered dead, and the batter and any preceding runners cannot be put out at any time while running the bases. However, if one or more runners fail to touch a base or one runner passes another before reaching home plate, that runner or runners can be called out on appeal per MLB Rule 7.10(b) [This stipulation is in Approved Ruling (2) of Rule 7.10(b). http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2008/official_rules/07_the_runner.pdf] .
An automatic home run counts for the same number of runs whether it cleared the fence by 1 foot or by 200 feet, but the more impressive a home run's distance is, the more superlatives and colorful adjectives are likely to be applied to it by the media: "tattooed", "hammered", "drilled", "towering", "tape measure", "in orbit", etc.
Inside-the-park home run
inside-the-park home runoccurs when a batter hits the ball into play and is able to circle the bases before the fielders can put him out. Unlike with an outside-the-park home run, the batter-runner and all preceding runners are liable to be put out by the defensive team at any time while running the bases.
In the early days of baseball, outfields were relatively much more spacious, reducing the likelihood of an over-the-fence home run, while increasing the likelihood of an inside-the-park home run, as a ball getting past an outfielder typically had more distance that it could roll before a fielder could track it down.
With outfields much less spacious and more uniformly designed than in the game's early days, inside-the-park home runs are now a rarity. They are usually the result of a ball being hit by a fast runner, coupled with an outfielder either misjudging the flight of the ball (e.g., diving and missing) or the ball taking an unexpected bounce, either way sending the ball into open space in the outfield and thereby allowing the batter-runner to circle the bases before the defensive team can put him out.
If any defensive play on an inside-the-park home run is labeled an error by the official scorer, a home run is not scored; instead, it is scored as a single, double, etc., and the
batter-runnerand any applicable preceding runners are said to have taken all additional bases on error. All runs scored on such a play, however, still count.
An example of a diving miss was committed by
Torii Hunterof the Minnesota Twinsin Game 2 of the 2006 ALDS vs. the Oakland Athleticsat the Metrodome. He came in on a fly ball hit by Mark Kotsay, dove and completely missed the ball. It rolled behind him toward the center field area, with a fence 408 feet from home plate, while Kotsay dashed around the bases.
An example of an unexpected bounce occurred during the
2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Gameon July 10, 2007. Ichiro Suzukiof the American Leagueteam hit a fly ball off the right-center field wall, which caromed in the opposite direction from where National Leagueright fielder Ken Griffey, Jr.was expecting it to go. By the time the ball was relayed, Ichiro had already crossed the plate standing up. This was the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history, and led to Ichiro being named the game's MVP.
The most famous post-season inside the park home run was probably the one hit by
Mule Haasof the Philadelphia Athletics in Game 4 of the 1929 World Seriesat Shibe Parkin Philadelphia. In the eighth inning, the Cubs led 8-0 and were six outs away from bringing the Series to a 2-2 tie, until disaster struck. The late afternoon, autumn sun angle at Shibe tended to be almost directly in the eyes of the center fielder. This fact, along with a center field corner that was about convert|470|ft|m|0 from home plate, caught up to Chicago Cubscenter fielder Hack Wilson, who lost Haas' fly ball in the sun. It sailed past Wilson, allowing Haas to round the bases while the short and chunky Wilson futilely chased after it. This punctuated a 10-run inning that effectively doomed the Cubs in that Series.
pecific situation home runs
These types of home runs are characterized by the specific game situation in which they occur, and can theoretically occur on either an outside-the-park or inside-the-park home run.
Home runs are often characterized by the number of runners on base at the time, if any. A home run hit with the bases empty is seldom called a "one-run homer", but rather a "solo" homer. With one or two runners on base, the home runs are usually called "two-run homers" or "three-run homers". The term "four-run homer" is seldom used. Instead, it is nearly always called a "grand slam".
A grand slam occurs when the bases are "loaded" (that is, there are base runners standing at first, second, and third base) and the batter hits a home run. According to "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary", the term originated in the card game of
contract bridge. An inside-the-park grand slam is a grand slam without the ball leaving the field, and it is very rare, due to the relative rarity of loading the bases along with the significant rarity (nowadays) of inside-the-park home runs.
July 25, 1956 Roberto Clementebecame the only MLB player to have ever scored a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam in a 9-8 Pittsburgh Pirateswin over the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field.
Walk-off home run
A walk-off home run is a home run hit by the
home teamin the bottom of the ninth inning, any extra inning, or other scheduled final inning, which gives the home team the lead and thereby ends the game. The term is attributed to Hall of Fame relief pitcher Dennis Eckersleycite news|first=Lowell|last=Cohn|title=What the Eck?|work=San Francisco Chronicle|date=April 21, 1988|page=D1] , so named because after the run is scored, the players can "walk off" the field. The name initially meant that the pitcher walked off the field with his head hung in shame, but changed over time to mean that the batter, by necessity of the home team, would walk off the field to the cheers of the crowd.Fact|date=March 2007 An ultimate grand slam is a specific type of walk-off home run (see "grand slam" above). This type of home run is also called "sayonara home run," "sayonara" meaning "good-bye" in Japanese.
World Serieshave ended via the "walk-off" home run. The first was the 1960 World Serieswhen Bill Mazeroskiof the Pittsburgh Pirateshit a 9th inning solo home run in the 7th game of the series off New York Yankeespitcher Ralph Terryto give the Pirates the World Championship. The second time was the 1993 World Serieswhen Joe Carterof the Toronto Blue Jayshit a 9th inning 3-run home run off Philadelphia Philliespitcher Mitch Williamsin Game 6 of the series.
Such a home run can also be called a "sudden death" or "sudden victory" home run. That usage has lessened as "walk-off home run" has gained favor. Along with Mazeroski's 1960 shot, the most famous walk-off or sudden-death homer would probably be the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" hit by
Bobby Thomsonto win the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.
The term "back-to-back" is a colloquialism for "consecutive", specifically referring to two like events occurring consecutively. One example "back-to-back" in general is winning two consecutive championships.
In baseball, back-to-back can refer to two consecutive players hitting a home run, or it could refer to an individual hitting home runs in two consecutive at bats. The former usage is probably more common.
When two consecutive batters each hit a home run, this is described as back-to-back home runs. It is still considered back-to-back even if both batters hit their home runs off of different pitchers. A third batter hitting a home run is commonly referred to as back-to-back-to-back, although at that point the anatomical analogy no longer works. Four home runs in a row by consecutive batters has only occurred six times in the history of Major League Baseball. Following convention, this is called back-to-back-to-back-to-back. The most recent occurrence was on
August 14, 2008, when the Chicago White Soxhit four in a row against the Kansas City Royalsin U.S. Cellular Fieldas Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirezand Juan Uribehomered off pitchers Joel Peralta(the first three) and Robinson Tejada.
title=Sox tie mark with four straight homers
date=April 23, 2007
] Two pitchers have surrendered back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs;
Paul Foytackon July 31, 1963, and Chase Wrighton April 22, 2007. Come-from-behind back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs occured on September 18, 2006. Trailing 9-5 to the San Diego Padres in the 9th inning, Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to tie the game (The Dodgers won the game in the 10th).
Simple back-to-back home runs are a relatively frequent occurrence. If a pitcher gives up a homer, he might have his concentration broken, and might alter his normal approach in an attempt to "make up for it" by striking out the next batter with some fastballs. Sometimes the next batter will be expecting that, and will capitalize on it. A notable back-to-back home run of that type in
World Seriesplay involved " Babe Ruth's called shot" in 1932, which was accompanied by various Ruthian theatrics, yet the pitcher, Charlie Root, was allowed to stay in the game. He delivered just one more pitch, which Lou Gehrigdrilled out of the park for a back-to-back shot, after which Root was removed from the game.
In Game 3 of the 1976 NLCS, George Foster and
Johnny Benchhit back-to-back homers in the last of the ninth off Ron Reedto tie the game. The Series-winning run was scored later in the inning.
Another notable pair of back-to-back home runs occurred on September 14, 1990, when
Ken Griffey, Sr.and Ken Griffey, Jr.hit back-to-back home runs, off Kirk McCaskill, the only father-and-son duo to do so in Major League history.
Likewise, individuals hitting home runs in consecutive at bats is not unusual, but three or more is rare. The record for consecutive home runs by a batter under any circumstances is 4.
Of the fifteen players (through 2006) who have hit 4 in one game, six have hit them consecutively. 28 other batters have hit four consecutive across two games.
Bases on balls do not count as at-bats, and
Ted Williamsholds the record for consecutive home runs across the most games, 4 in four games played, during September 17-22, 1957, for the Red Sox. [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/schedule.php?y=1957&t=BOS] Williams hit a pinch-hit homer on the 17th; walked as a pinch-hitter on the 18th; there was no game on the 19th; hit another pinch-homer on the 20th; homered and then was lifted for a pinch-runner after at least one walk, on the 21st; and homered after at least one walk on the 22nd. All in all, he had 4 walks interspersed among his 4 homers.
World Seriesplay, Reggie Jacksonwas the most recent to hit a record three in one Series game, the final game in 1977. Those were consecutive in his first three at bats. He had also hit one in his last at bat the previous game, so he owns the record for consecutive homers across two Series games, which again is 4. Nomar Garciaparraholds the record for consecutive home runs in the shortest time in terms of innings: 3 homers in 2 innings, on July 23, 2002, for the Boston Red Sox.
Home run cycle
An offshoot of
hitting for the cycle, a "home run cycle" is where a player hits a solo, 2-run, 3-run, and grand slam home run all in one game. This is an extremely rare feat, as it requires the batter to not only hit four home runs in a game (which itself has only occurred 15 times in the Major Leagues [ [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/rare_feats/index.jsp?feature=four_homer_game The Official Site of Major League Baseball: History: Rare Feats ] ] ), but also to hit those home runs with the specific number of runners already on base. Although it is a rare accomplishment, it is largely dependent on circumstances outside the player's control, such as his preceding teammates' ability to get on base, as well as the order in which he comes to bat in any particular inning.
Though multiple home run cycles have been recorded in collegiate baseball,
publisher=St. Olaf Magazine (St. Olaf College)
date=May , 2004
publisher=Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Inc.
title="Louisville Slugger's" All-American Baseball Teams
date=May 28, 1999
] the only home run cycle in a professional baseball game belongs to Tyrone Horne, who stroked four long balls for the
minor league, Double-A Arkansas Travelersin a game against the San Antonio Missionson July 27, 1998.
title=Horne's 'home run cycle' has yet to be replicated
date=August 11, 2006
] A major league player has come close to hitting for the home run cycle twice. The first was on
April 26, 2005when Alex Rodriguezof the New York Yankeeshit 3 home runs off Los Angeles Angelspitcher Bartolo Colón. [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=250426110 Los Angeles Angels/New York Yankees Box Score Tuesday April 26, 2005] "Yahoo Sports", April 26, 2005] Rodriguez hit a 3-run home run, 2-run home run, and a grand slam in the first, third, and fourth innings, respectively. He later, in the bottom of the eighth inning, just missed a solo home run, lining out to Jeff DaVanonin deep center field. [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore?gid=250426110&page=plays Los Angeles Angels/New York Yankees Play by Play Tuesday April 26, 2005] "Yahoo Sports", April 26, 2005] . The second was on May 16, 2008when Jayson Werthof the Philadelphia Phillieshit 3 home runs off Toronto Blue Jayspitchers David Purceyand Jesse Litsch. Werth hit a 3-run home run, a grand slam, and a solo home run in the second, third, and fifth innings, respectively.
History of the home run
In the early days of the game, when the ball was less lively and the ballparks generally had very large outfields, most home runs were of the inside-the-park variety. The first home run ever hit in the
National Leaguewas by Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings(now known as the Chicago Cubs), in 1876. The home "run" was literally descriptive. Home runs over the fence were rare, and only in ballparks where a fence was fairly close. Hitters were discouraged from trying to hit home runs, with the conventional wisdom being that if they tried to do so they would simply fly out. This was a serious concern in the 19th century, because in baseball's early days a ball caught after one bounce was still an out. The emphasis was on place-hitting and what is now called "manufacturing runs" or "small ball".
The home run's place in baseball changed dramatically when the
live-ball erabegan after World War I. First, the materials and manufacturing processes improved significantly, making the ball somewhat more lively. Batters such as Babe Ruthand Rogers Hornsbytook full advantage of rules changes that were instituted during the 1920s, particularly prohibition of the spitball, and the requirement that balls be replaced when worn or dirty. Along with the baseball being easier to see and capable of being hit farther, as the game's popularity boomed more outfield seating was built, shrinking the size of the outfield and increasing the chances of a long fly ball resulting in a home run. The teams with the sluggers, typified by the New York Yankees, became the championship teams, and other teams had to change their focus from the "inside game" to the "power game" in order to keep up.
Prior to 1931, a ball that bounced over an outfield fence during a major league game was considered a home run. The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became
ground rule doubles in most parks. A carryover of the old rule is that if a player deflects a ball over the outfield fence without it touching the ground, it is a home run.
Also, until approximately that time, the ball had to not only go over the fence in fair territory, but to land in the
bleachers in fair territory or to still be visibly fair when disappearing behind a wall. The rule stipulated "fair when last seen" by the umpires. Photos from that era in ballparks, such as the Polo Groundsand Yankee Stadium, show ropes strung from the foul poles to the back of the bleachers, or a second "foul pole" at the back of the bleachers, in a straight line with the foul line, as a visual aid for the umpire. Ballparks still use a visual aid much like the ropes; a net or screen attached to the foul poles on the fair side has replaced ropes. As with American football, where a touchdown once required a literal "touch down" of the ball in the end zone but now only requires the "breaking of the [vertical] plane" of the goal line, in baseball the ball need only "break the plane" of the fence in fair territory (unless the balls is caught by a player who is in play, in which case the batter is called out). Babe Ruth's 60th home run in 1927 was somewhat controversial, because it landed barely in fair territory in the stands down the right fieldline. Ruth lost a number of home runs in his career due to the when-last-seen rule. Bill Jenkinson, in "The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs", estimates that Ruth lost at least 50 and as many as 78 in his career due to this rule.
Further, the rules once stipulated that an over-the-fence home run in a sudden-victory situation would only count for as many bases as was necessary to "force" the winning run home. For example, if a team trailed by two runs with the bases loaded, and the batter hit a fair ball over the fence, it only counted as a triple, because the runner immediately ahead of him had technically already scored the game-winning run. That rule was changed in the 1920s as home runs became increasingly frequent and popular. Babe Ruth's career total of 714 would have been one higher had that rule not been in effect in the early part of his career.
The all-time, verified professional baseball record for home runs is held by
Sadaharu Oh, a former player and manager of the Yomiuri Giantsand current manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawksin Japan's league which is called Nippon Professional Baseball. Oh holds the all-time home run world record, having hit 868 home runs in his career.
Major League Baseball, the record is 762, held by Barry Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's record on August 7, 2007, when he hit his 756th home run at AT&T Park. Only five other major league players have hit as many as 600: Hank Aaron(755), Babe Ruth(714), Willie Mays(660), Ken Griffey, Jr.(611 and counting) and Sammy Sosa(609). The single season record is 73, set by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Negro League slugger
Josh Gibson's Baseball Hall of Fame plaque says he hit "almost 800" home runs in his career. The " Guinness Book of World Records" lists Gibson's lifetime home run total at 800. Gibson's true total is not known, in part due to inconsistent record keeping in the Negro Leagues. The 1993 edition of the MacMillan "Baseball Encyclopedia" attempted to compile a set of Negro League records, and subsequent work has expanded on that effort. Those records demonstrate that Gibson and Ruth were of comparable power. The 1993 book had Gibson hitting 146 home runs in the 501 "official" Negro League games they were able to account for in his 17-year career, about 1 homer every 3.4 games. Babe Ruth, in 22 seasons (several of them in the dead-ball era), hit 714 in 2503 games, or 1 homer every 3.5 games. The large gap in the numbers for Gibson reflect the fact that Negro League clubs played relatively far fewer league games and many more "barnstorming" or exhibition games during the course of a season, than did the major league clubs of that era.
Other legendary home run hitters include
Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle(who on September 10, 1960, mythically hit "the longest home run ever" at an estimated distance of convert|643|ft|m|0, although this was measured after the ball stopped rolling [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/art_hr.shtml] ), Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Ernie Banks, Mike Schmidt, Dave Kingman, Sammy Sosa(who has hit 60 or more home runs in a season 3 times but has never led the league in that category), Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey, Jr.and Eddie Mathews. The longest verifiable home run distance is about convert|575|ft|m|0, by Babe Ruth, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field and prior to the double-deck), which landed nearly across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.
The location of where Hank Aaron's record 755th home run landed has been monumented in Milwaukee. [http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070607&content_id=2011893&vkey=news_mil&fext=.jsp&c_id=mil] The hallowed spot sits outside Miller Park, where the Milwaukee Brewers currently play. Similarly, the point where Aaron's 715th homer landed, upon breaking Ruth's career record in 1974, is marked in the
Turner Fieldparking lot.
Home run slang
Slang terms for home runs include: "big fly", "blast", "bomb", "circuit clout", "dinger", "ding-dong", "dong", "four-bagger", "four-base knock", "goner", "gopher ball", "homer", "jack", "long ball", "moonshot", "quadruple", "round-tripper", "shot", "slam", "swat", "tape-measure shot", "tater", and "wallop". The act of hitting a home run can be called "going deep" or "going yard" or "going home"; additionally, with men on base, it can be called "clearing the table". A comparatively long home run can be described as "Ruthian", named after
Babe Ruth's legendary drives. The act of attempting to hit a home run, whether successful or not, can also be termed "swinging for the fences". A game with many home runs in it can be referred to as a "slugfest" or "home run derby". A player who hits a home run is said to have "dialed 8", from the practice of having to dial 8 from a hotelroom telephoneto dial long distance. A grand slam is often referred to as a "grand salami" or simply, a " salami".
Player nicknames that describe home run-hitting prowess include:
*The "Sultan of Swat", the "Colossus of Clout", the "Wali of Wallop" (
*The "Crown Prince of Swat" (
Lou Gehrig, a play on Ruth's nickname)
*The "Rajah of Swat" (
Rogers Hornsby, a play on Ruth's nickname, as well as his own name)
*"Hammerin' Hank" Greenberg
*"Hammerin' Hank", "The Hammer", "The New Sultan of Swat" (
*"Hammerin' Hank", "Homerin' Hank", and "The Hammer" (
*"Mr. Home Run" (
*Frank "Home Run" Baker
*The "Bash Brothers" (
Mark McGwireand José Canseco)
*"Slammin' Sammy" (
Sammy Sosa), a play on golfer "Slammin' Sammy" Snead, also known for long drives
*"The Killer" (
*"Juan Gone" (Juan Gonzalez), as in "long gone"
Murderers' Row" (the 1927 New York Yankeeslineup)
*"The Blake Street Bombers" (
Colorado Rockieshitters of the 90s)
*Bill "Swish" Nicholson, imitative of his home run swing
*"Vlad the Impaler" (
*The "Big Hurt" (Frank Thomas)
Progression of the Major League Baseball single-season home run record
: 5, by George Hall, Philadelphia Athletics (NL), 1876 (70 game schedule): 9, by
Charley Jones, Boston Red Stockings (NL), 1879 (84 game schedule):14, by Harry Stovey, Philadelphia Athletics (AA), 1883 (98 game schedule):27, by Ned Williamson, Chicago White Stockings (NL), 1884 (112 game schedule)::Williamson benefited from a very short outfield fence in his home ballpark, Lakeshore Park. During the park's previous years, balls hit over the fence in that park were ground-rule doubles, but in 1884 (its final year) they were credited as home runs. Williamson led the pace, but several of his Chicago teammates also topped the 20 HR mark that season. Of Williamson's total, 25 were hit at home, and only 2 on the road. Noticing the fluke involved, fans of the early 20th century were more impressed with Buck Freeman's total of 25 home runs in 1899 or Gavvy Cravath's 1915 total of 24.:29, by Babe Ruth, Boston Red Sox(AL), 1919 (140 game schedule)::Even with that relatively small quantity, and still pitching part-time, Ruth alone hit more home runs than did 10 of the 15 other major league clubs. The second-highest individual total was 12, by Gavvy Cravath of the Philadelphia Phillies. Ruth homered in every park in the league, the first time anyone had achieved that distinction. Ruth was a pitcherby trade, and the ultimate exception to the axiom that pitchers can't hit. Ruth had led the league with 11 in 1918, despite playing only 95 games, and still in the "dead-ball" era. By 1919, after the War, the materials for baseballs began to improve and became naturally "livelier".:54, Babe Ruth, New York Yankees(AL), 1920 (154 game schedule)::Ruth hit just a few more home runs on the road (26) than he had the previous year (20), but he hit far more (29) in the Polo Grounds in New York (where the Yankees played at the time) than he had in Fenway Park(9) in Boston the year before, as he took full advantage of the nearby right field wall, although he also hit many long drives at the Polo Grounds. Of the other 15 major league clubs, only the Philadelphia Phillies exceeded Ruth's single-handed total, hitting 64 in their bandbox ballpark Baker Bowl. The second-highest individual total was the St. Louis Browns' George Sisler's 19. Ruth's major-league record slugging percentage (total bases / at bats) of .847 stood for the next 80 years.:59, by Ruth, New York (AL), 1921 (154 game schedule)::Ruth's slugging percentage was just .001 less than his record-setting average the previous year.:60, by Ruth, New York (AL), 1927 (154 game schedule)::Ruth hit more home runs in 1927 than any of the other seven American League teams. His closest rival was his teammate Lou Gehrig, who hit 47 homers that year.:61, by Roger Maris, New York (AL), 1961 (162 game schedule)::Pushing Maris that year was teammate Mickey Mantle; slowed by an injury late in the season, Mantle finished with 54. With the season being 8 games longer than in previous years -- leading to the suggestion that that official record keepers place an " asterisk" next to the record, many observers derided this situation as a major public relations gaffe by major league baseball.:70, by Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals(NL), 1998 (162 game schedule)::After an epic battle between McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr., who both got into the 50s in 1997, many expected the two to take on Maris in 1998. However, the player that competed for the record with McGwire in 1998 was Sammy Sosaof the Chicago Cubs, who propelled himself into the race with a record-setting 20 home runs that June. He would finish with 66 that season and actually led McGwire for approximately 45 minutes after hitting his 66th, until McGwire hit his own 66th, and four more in his final three games of the season. McGwire broke the old records in 144 games - fewer than even the old 154 game season. That removed season-length as a source of " asterisk" controversy, but McGwire's connection to the steroid scandal introduced a new call for asterisks on this and other records set in this era.See e.g. cite news|title=Tarnished Records Deserve an Asterisk|author=Michael Wilbon|date=December 4, 2004|publisher= Washington Post|page=D10|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33718-2004Dec3.html] :73, by Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants(NL), 2001 (162 game schedule)::In part due to 9/11 terrorist attacks, the then-recently set record of only three years by McGwire, and Bonds' poor relationship with the media and some fans, Bonds' record setting was not as publicized as the previous chasesFact | date=June 2008 | Correlation between 9/11 Attacks and coverage of Bonds' home run chase needs citation. Also, failure to reference Bonds' involvement in BALCO steroid scandal as a contributing factor.. Bonds was initially chased closely by Sammy Sosaof the Chicago Cubsand Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Gonzalez faded late and finished with 57, while Sosa finished closer with 64 to become the first player to exceed 60 home runs in three separate seasons. McGwire was not a factor, in his final major season, with the injuries that had plagued him for much of his career finally taking their toll, although he still hit at a pace that would have put him near 50 if he had played a full season. Bonds' slugging percentageof .863 broke the major league record set by Ruth in 1920. As happened with McGwire's record, Bonds' connection to the steroid scandal resulted in further calls for asterisks on this and other records set in this era.
Past single-season home run record holders by average home runs per game: Number of home runs in the season divided by "number of games in schedule" (not games played)
Barry Bonds:0.43 Mark McGwire:0.39 Babe Ruth(1):0.383 Babe Ruth(2):0.377 Roger Maris:0.35 Babe Ruth(3):0.24 Ned Williamson:0.20 Babe Ruth(4):0.14 Harry Stovey:0.10 Charley Jones:0.07 George Hall
Selected list of pitchers giving up record-breaking home runs:
Jack Neagle, Allegheny Club of PittsburgSic - Harry Stovey's 10th of the season
Waite Hoyt, New York Yankees - Babe Ruth's 28th of the season
Dickie Kerr, Chicago White Sox - Babe Ruth's 30th of the season
Bill Bayne, St. Louis Browns - Babe Ruth's 55th of the season
Tom Zachary, Washington Nats/Senators - Babe Ruth's 60th of the season
Tracy Stallard, Boston Red Sox - Roger Maris' 61st of the season
*1974 - Al Downing, Los Angeles Dodgers - Hank Aaron's 715th of his career
Steve Trachsel, Chicago Cubs - Mark McGwire's 62nd of the season
Chan Ho Park, Los Angeles Dodgers - Barry Bonds' 71st of the season
*2007 - Mike Bacsik, Washington Nationals - Barry Bonds' 756 CareerThis includes only the home runs that broke a record set in a previous year, not home runs that extended a record within the same year.
In November 2007, the general managers of Major League Baseball voted in favor of implementing
instant replayreviews on boundary home run calls [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3096923 ESPN - GMs vote 25-5 to use replay to aid home run decisions - MLB ] ] . The proposal limited the use of instant replay to determining whether a boundary home run call is:
* A fair (home run) or foul ball
* A live ball (ball hit fence and rebounded onto the field),
ground rule double(ball hit fence before leaving the field), or home run (ball hit some object beyond the fence while in flight)
* Spectator interference or home run (spectator touched ball after it broke the plane of the fence).
August 28, 2008, instant replay review became available in MLB for reviewing calls in accordance with the above proposal. It was first utilized on September 3, 2008in a game between the New York Yankeesand the Tampa Bay Raysat Tropicana Field. [http://mlb.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20080903&content_id=3412731&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy] Alex Rodriguezof the Yankees hit what appeared to be a home run, but the ball hit a catwalk behind the foul pole. It was at first called a home run, until Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddonargued the call, and the umpires decided to review the play. After 2 minutes and 15 seconds, the umpires came back and ruled it a home run.
61*", a 2001 made-for-TV baseball moviechronicling Maris' 1961 season
List of home run calls in baseball
Home Run Derby
* [http://www.hrpace.com/ MLB's Home Run Leaders] - batting statistics for over 16,000 players
Career achievement list
List of lifetime home run leaders through history
Major League Baseball home run milestones
500 home run club
List of top 500 Major League Baseball home run hitters
*All-Time leaders in home runs for a pitcher
Home run in first major league at bat
Home run in final at-bat
List of top home run hitters by birthplace
ingle game or season achievements
Batters hitting two home runs in one inning: Accomplished close to 50 times in the course of major league history. Special mention for
Nomar Garciaparra, who hit two in the third inning and one in the fourth inning, in the first game on July 23, 2002 -- the only player (through 2007) to hit three homers over two consecutive innings. Also notable was Fernando Tatis, who hit two grand slams off of Chan Ho Parkin a single inning
Most home runs in a doubleheader:
Stan Musialhit 5 on May 2, 1954. Nate Colbertequalled the feat on August 1, 1972.
MLB hitters with four home runs in one game
MLB hitters with three home runs in one game
Batters with two grand slams in the same baseball game
*Players who have hit 30 or more home runs before the All-Star break
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.