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Imagining that Hitting A Baseball is not the Hardest Thing in Sport

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28 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Joe Bauman says hi.

I don't think it's that crazy.  McGwire hit 70 and 65, Sosa 66, 64, 63.  Bauman hit 72 in the minors.  Joe Hauser hit 63 in a season for the IL Orioles.

Of course in 1920 Babe Ruth hit 54 when the prior record had been his 29 in 1919, and before that 27.  Ned Williamson hit those 27 in a park that probably wasn't 300 feet to any fence.  30 homers was outlandish.

Earl Webb's 67 doubles is 14% more than anyone has hit since WWII.  Chief Wilson's 36 triples is 38% more than anyone has hit since 1900 and 56% more than anyone since WWII.  A guy named Lyman Lamb had a season in the Western League where he hit 100 doubles, which I think is at least 20 more than any professional in any league ever (he hit 68, 71, and 100 in consecutive years).  Some eras are more conducive to big numbers than others.

Lamb played in 168 games the year he hit 100 doubles.

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4 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Lamb played in 168 games the year he hit 100 doubles.

Yea, but at least it wasn't one of those eternal PCL schedules.  In 1910 the Angels won 101, but lost 121.

If you want to dock him (100/168)*162 = 4 doubles for the schedule Ford Frick would be proud.

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15 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

Oh, and how many MiL players stay in the minors if they can hit 70 HRs? 

Today, few.  Pre-WWII, some.  Buzz Arlett had one season in the majors, and he OPS'd .925 for the Phillies.  He hit 425 minor league homers, 54 in one year for the Orioles, and he'd hit .360 with 35 homers and 25 steals like clockwork.

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8 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Yea, but at least it wasn't one of those eternal PCL schedules.  In 1910 the Angels won 101, but lost 121.

If you want to dock him (100/168)*162 = 4 doubles for the schedule Ford Frick would be proud.

I'm not wanting to dock him, just adding some context since I happened to know a little something about that particular reference.

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o

 

I remember reading in a 1978 Mets scorecard that Dick Stuart, who briefly played for the Mets in 1966, once hit 66 home runs in a single season in the Minors.

 

o

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4 minutes ago, OFFNY said:

o

 

I remember reading in a 1978 Mets scorecard that Dick Stuart, who briefly played for the Mets in 1966, once hit 66 home runs in a single season in the Minors.

 

o

o

 

This is a neat list that I found.

 

It includes players at every level (Majors and Minors) who hit 49 or more home runs in a single season ........ that would include our beloved Frank Robinson, who hit 49 round-trippers in his Triple Crown/MVP season of 1966.

 

 

http://www.luckyshow.org/baseball/49 HR, one season.htm

 

o

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5 hours ago, LookinUp said:

The bat has to be in the right place at the right time. Steroids (combined with proper weight training, practice, natural skill and all of the things that make other hitters great) make the muscles in charge of physical process more effective, leaving more margin for error. Bonds could famously wait longer to pull the proverbial "trigger" because he was more physically able to load and swing quicker than others, including pre-full blown steroids Barry Bonds.

The muscles in charge of the physical process are set into motion by the central nervous system which is not improved by using steroids. The health and efficiency of the CNS is what determines your reaction time and reflexes.  Having big muscles will not increase your reaction time or your reflexes. The CNS (ie: muscle memory) pathways responsible for the movements need to be honed like a path would be carved through the bush if you walked down it enough times. Some people have more capable nervous systems than others with higher ceilings as far as ability goes, but the CNS is way more important when it comes to hitting a baseball. A car doesn't steer itself no matter how many HP is under the hood.

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14 hours ago, Sessh said:

The muscles in charge of the physical process are set into motion by the central nervous system which is not improved by using steroids. The health and efficiency of the CNS is what determines your reaction time and reflexes.  Having big muscles will not increase your reaction time or your reflexes. The CNS (ie: muscle memory) pathways responsible for the movements need to be honed like a path would be carved through the bush if you walked down it enough times. Some people have more capable nervous systems than others with higher ceilings as far as ability goes, but the CNS is way more important when it comes to hitting a baseball. A car doesn't steer itself no matter how many HP is under the hood.

I think people think I'm arguing things that I'm not arguing.

All things being equal, the addition of steroids can improve the physical act of swinging a bat. It doesn't make people who are uncoordinated, coordinated. It doesn't make people with a slow CNS suddenly have a faster CNS. It doesn't make blind people see. It doesn't make lazy people work out more. It doesn't make uncommitted baseball players more committed. It improves the physical act of swinging a bat. I can't believe this needs to be debated. 

If anyone wants to argue that steroids didn't result in a spike in HRs, please do. Then please explain how the spike in HRs was somehow unrelated to a hitter's swing.

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22 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

If anyone wants to argue that steroids didn't result in a spike in HRs, please do. Then please explain how the spike in HRs was somehow unrelated to a hitter's swing.

I won't argue that.  But will argue that much of what is thought of as steroid effects was actually goofing around with the ball and the strike zone and ballparks and increased acceptance of weight training.

I've often wondered how or why the whole world started doing vast quantities of steroids in 1993.  And also why they all took 'roids in '87 but not in '86 or '88.  Or how they started seriously testing around 2005 but isolated power really hasn't changed more than a few points and there; the decrease in slugging is mostly just lower averages from all the Ks.

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On 2/13/2019 at 10:43 AM, DrungoHazewood said:

I've often wondered how or why the whole world started doing vast quantities of steroids in 1993.

Well, I don't think that's entirely accurate. Players were using vast quantities of steroids in the 60's on top of common amphetamine use. What happened in the 90's seemed to have been a huge jump in the quality and effectiveness of the drugs. It only seemed like a jump in usage because the changes were dramatic, sudden and seemed to come out of nowhere. I've posted this before, but Tom House has described this here. That's just the first link in the search results, but there's many sources for the same stuff. Some quotes:

Quote

"I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House said. "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There's a lot more research and understanding."

...

House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.

"We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," he said. "And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."

So, it does seem steroids were being used heavily even back then. Steroids had been around since the mid 30's and their effects well known. Even without all this stuff, I still wouldn't buy that it took 60 years for athletes to discover what steroids could do for their career. Amphetamines had already been around for decades since the mid 1800's, so they were no strangers to chemical enhancements.

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2 minutes ago, Sessh said:

Well, I don't think that's entirely accurate. Players were using vast quantities of steroids in the 60's on top of common amphetamine use. What happened in the 90's seemed to have been a huge jump in the quality and effectiveness of the drugs. It only seemed like a jump in usage because the changes were dramatic, sudden and seemed to come out of nowhere. I've posted this before, but Tom House has described this here. That's just the first link in the search results, but there's many sources for the same stuff. Some quotes:

So, it does seem steroids were being used heavily even back then. Steroids had been around since the mid 30's and their effects well known. Even without all this stuff, I still wouldn't buy that it took 60 years for athletes to discover what steroids could do for their career. Amphetamines had already been around for decades since the mid 1800's, so they were no strangers to chemical enhancements.

I'm aware of the history.  I was being a little facetious.  It's pretty commonly stated that the steroid era started in 1993 when offenses took off.  But we know, 100% know, that people were doing PEDs in the 1950s and prior.  The 1993 line, I think, is drawn to gloss over things like Mays and Aaron using or at least experimenting with greenies.  If 1993 is the red line we don't have to think about the Golden Era guys doing bad stuff, too.  It's all those crazy Gen X losers.

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