Monday, June 20, 2005

Sammy Sosa in the Top 6

Sammy Sosa tied Mark McGwire for 6th place on the all time HR list, with

Sure this is an accomplishment for Sammy, but do I feel Sosa is in the same category as McGwire.

Simply put, No.

It shouldn't surprise anyone (except Barry Bonds) that Babe Ruth is on top of the list (see table below) with a good margin between him and everyone else excluding Mark McGwire. Of course Babe Ruth was a much better offensive player than Mark. When it came to HR production per 100 out's, Mark McGwire was only second to Babe Ruth. Sammy Sosa falls to seventh, which is still impressive.

Longivity for career homeruns is a major factor on the list. Case in point Hank Aaron.

Hammering Hank was a great player, no doubt. Was he a great homerun hitter, no doubt. Was he the best homerun hitter, no. During his 23 year career, he only lead the league in homeruns 3 times. Altough he was in the top 10, 18 of those 22 years. Top 5, 14 times. That is how he became the Career Homerun King. He averaged 32.83 homers per year.

Mark McGwire played for only 16 years and was in the Top 10, 10 of those years. Top 5, nine times. No. 1, four times. He averaged 36.44 homers per year.

Sammy Sosa has played 16 seasons (excluding 2005) and was in the Top 10, 11 times. Top 5, 7 times. No. 1, twice. He has averaged 35.88 homers per year.

Babe Ruth played 22 years and was in the Top 10, 18 of those years. Top 5, 16 of those years. 12 years as the top 1 position. He averaged 32.46 homers per year, but remember he was a pitcher, then a pitcher/outfielder, then an outfielder.

Barry Bonds has played 19 seasons and was in the Top 10, 14 times. Top 5, 12 times. No 1, twice. He has averaged 37 homers per year.

Ted Williams played 19 seasons and was in the Top 10, 15 times. Top 5, 10 times. No. 1, four times. He averaged 27.42 homers per year, but two of his career years had only 101 AB together because he was in the war. Eventhough, he only had 101 AB during those years, he still hit 14 homeruns!

Sammy Sosa will probably end up with over 600 homeruns for his career, but I don't think he is close to Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, or Barry Bonds when you compare their careers.

When it comes down to fun personalities, Sammy Sosa, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth top my list.

CAREER HR/Per 100 Outs with at least 7000 plate appearances (thru 2004 season)

HR/100 OUTS                   HR/OUT   
1    Babe Ruth                 12.40   
2    Mark McGwire              12.15   
3    Barry Bonds               10.43   
4    Jim Thome                  9.90   
5    Ted Williams               9.85   
6    Jimmie Foxx                9.37   
7    Sammy Sosa                 9.30   
8    Ken Griffey Jr.            9.09   
9    Mickey Mantle              9.09   
10   Lou Gehrig                 8.98