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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FanGraphs: Carruth: Marking the 500 HR Creation

Meh…give Mark Reynolds another week or two.

The 1960s saw, in addition to Williams, the entrance of Willie Mays (1965), Mickey Mantle (1967), Eddie Matthews (1967) and Hank Aaron (1968) in perhaps the greatest decade of hitting talent that is still revered today. Williams is commonly regarded as the best pure hitter of all time, Aaron the best non-tainted slugger (yet), Mays perhaps the most valuable hitter (combining his offense with his center field play) and obviously Matthews and Mantle are well regarded as well, though Matthews sometimes seems lost in the shuffle more than he should.

Three more players joined in the first two years of the 1970s: Ernie Banks (1970), Harmon Killebrew (1971) and Frank Robinson a month after Harmon. All told, between September 13th, 1965 (Mays) and September 13th, 1971 (Robinson), seven players hit their 500th career home run. Seven, in six years. Remember that.

Things really slowed down after that with Willie McCovey coming next in 1978, Reggie Jackson in 1984, Mike Schmidt in 1987 and Eddie Murray in 1996. And then came the steroid-era sluggers. Over the just-under-ten-year period from August 5th, 1999 (when Mark McGwire hit number 500) and April 17th, 2009 (when the latest member, Gary Sheffield, joined), ten players (those two included) made it past 500 all time home runs.

This era is largely being remembered for it lessening the importance of the 500 home run club. That is understandable in the sense that we now view most everything from the 1990s and 2000s with an air of suspicion and that the list of members did grow from 15 to its present 25 in just ten years. However, looking back to the 1965-71 period, does ten new members in ten years look much different than seven in six years?

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, special topics, steroids

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   1. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM (#3289968)
Funny, because when I was growing up (1980s) the 400 club was the big deal. I remember Reggie Jackson hitting his 400th HR in 1980 being a major big deal, for example. I was allowed to stay up late and watch the game for example (IIRC he hit of Britt Burns and the White Sox softball uni's). Now it's 500, so just the fact that it's changed from 400 to 500 says something about adjusting for the steroid era.

Until Dave Kingman made the club and not the Hall of Fame, the 400 club was considered automatic entry, like 3000 hits. There were plenty of articles in the mid-late 80s talking about whether or not he'd get in or reverse the trend, etc..
   2. BDC Posted: August 12, 2009 at 01:15 PM (#3290004)
And when I was growing up (1960s), the 300 HR club was the big deal. There were about two dozen members, and the entire list was printed in the sports section of the Information Please Almanac every year. 400 was not really a "club" because so few guys had stopped between 400 and 500. Aside from those just passing through, there was Duke Snider at 407, Stan Musial at 475, and Lou Gehrig at 493 – they were the only guys with 400 who hadn't reached and weren't going to reach 500. Of course, at the same time, 300 was not a HOF threshold, because the 300 club included Colavito, Hodges, Adcock, and Roy Sievers, guys my father scorned because their batting averages were so pitiful (and insofar as BA was in their cases an indication of mediocre OBP, he was right to think of them as Hall-unworthy; though his scorn also took in Ralph Kiner, so he was no proto-saberist).

Now I want to hear from Harveys about growing up with the 100 HR club.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 12, 2009 at 01:53 PM (#3290056)
When I first took notice of such things as a lad (early 1960s), Joe DiMaggio was 7th in career HRs with 361, now he's 69th. Of course, we're now farther away from DiMaggio's time than he was from 19th century baseball.
   4. GEB4000 Posted: August 12, 2009 at 02:34 PM (#3290109)
I must a grown up in a different 80's. 400 HR didn't seem like a big deal. By 1980, there were already 12 players with more than 500 HR. An Adam Dunn type player wasn't getting in to the Hall without 500 hr by that time. Now that type of player has to hit 600 HR to force his way in.
   5. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 02:49 PM (#3290128)
Too much is made of "the steroid era". With or without steroids, it's just easier to pile up homers today than it was 30 years ago, because of effects of ballparks and a livelier ball.

Someone else has made the case before that the jump we saw from 1992 to 1993 and 1994 has to be an external condition to the game, most likely livlier ball but an addition of a park in Denver doesn't hurt either. The jump was an instantly higher BABIP and HR rates across all of baseball. The jump has largely been sustained ever since, we instantly went from one stable level of offense to a higher, stable level of offense.

So it's necessary to up our standards of greatness for HR hitters, but it really doesn't have much to do with steroids. To make the case that the 1992-1994 jump was due to steroids, you'd have to believe that very few players used before 1992 (outside of Canseco), and a great number of players suddenly started juicing all at the same time. Which is possible, but seems hard to believe. I think this progression of players using:

1% - 5% - 10% - 15% - 20% -25% 30% is more believable than

0% - 1% (Jose) - 40%
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: August 12, 2009 at 02:57 PM (#3290142)
I must a grown up in a different 80's. 400 HR didn't seem like a big deal. By 1980, there were already 12 players with more than 500 HR. An Adam Dunn type player wasn't getting in to the Hall without 500 hr by that time. Now that type of player has to hit 600 HR to force his way in.


Well its true that each of the members before Kingman were in the Hall of Fame (and no Chris, it wouldn't have mattered if Kong had reached 500, he still wasn't getting the call to Cooperstown). So it was a big deal in a sense, but I still think 500 was THE BIG DEAL even then.

And it's Mathews. Fangraphs writers should know that.
   7. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 02:58 PM (#3290146)
Of the post-Murray members of the 500 club, and my guess of how much they benefitted:

Bonds - doesn't pass Aaron, but well over 500, probably over 600
Griffey - non roider
Sosa - probably falls short
McGwire - probably falls short
A-Rod - loses a few homers. Worst case he's short of 500, but gets there anyway soon
Palmeiro - Don't think he would have developed his power game without roids. He'd be Will Clark.
Thome - not a suspect as far as I know
Ramirez - see A-Rod comment
Thomas - non roider
Sheffield - I tend to believe him, minimal effect

If my guesses are right, 7 of the 10 still get to 500 without roids. I think McGwire would still have a huge HR rate, but wouldn't have been on the field enough to get there. Sosa winds up with Andre Dawson numbers, and Palmeiro is somewhere between Will Clark and Wally Joyner. Just a complete guess.
   8. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3290151)
Since Kingman, Canseco, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, and Darrell Evans are members of the 400 club with zero chance of Cooperstown.
   9. Randy Jones Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3290156)
Griffey - non roider
Thome - not a suspect as far as I know
Thomas - non roider


All 3 of them are clearly roiders to me.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3290161)
Since Kingman, Canseco, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Giambi, and Darrell Evans are members of the 400 club with zero chance of Cooperstown.


Which only reinforces my belief on the automatic induction powers of certain round numbers. I don't think writers have been as tied to them as is commonly believed, but that reaching them has historically signified a Hall of Fame caliber player.
   11. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:14 PM (#3290169)
It took Killebrew 4 years to get in. I guess there shouldn't have been any doubt he'd make it eventually since he got 59% his first year. It looks like there was some debate on his actual value, since he didn't have a HOF batting average.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3290178)
It took Mathews five tries, and he was probably the greatest third baseman in baseball history when he retired.
   13. Mark Armour Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3290196)
You can't compare voting patterns decades ago to today. Everyone knew Killebrew was going to make it, and he was just waiting his turn. There was not a lot of ranting about what ballot people got in on back in the day.
   14. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3290203)
Everyone knew Killebrew was going to make it, and he was just waiting his turn.


Plus, he had some stiff competition. Aaron and F Robinson in 1982, B Robinson and Marichal in 1983, got in in 1984.
   15. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3290207)
If Kingman had played in the modern era, how many homers would he have hit?
   16. DJ Endless Grudge Is Nobody's Disciple Posted: August 12, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3290218)
If Kingman had played in the modern era, how many homers would he have hit?


I would expect a guy like Kingman to be less affected than other players, actually. A livelier ball and smaller ballparks don't mean as much to a guy who hits so many no-doubters. The guys most likely to benefit from the modern era are guys who hit a lot of warning track outs previously that would now turn into cheapie homers. At the extreme ends of the spectrum - Kingman at one end, and say Juan Pierre at the other - it starts to matter a lot less.
   17. Mark Armour Posted: August 12, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3290230)
I have said this before, but the biggest reason for the increased offense is the size of the strike zone. In fact, the strike zone indirectly led to muscle enhancement, including steroids. Mark McGwire, to list one example, could not have defended a 1960s strike zone with that body. Henry Aaron's swing was flexible, allowing him to adjust to a pitch that could be at the shoulders or knees. McGwire just needed raw power, since the zone was less than half the height of the old zone.

And I do not believe that increasing the zone further would lead ultimately to more strikeouts. It would at first, but batters would adjust and shorten their swings.
   18. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 12, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3290232)
That's an interesting idea. We should remember that factor as well.

And I do not believe that increasing the zone further would lead ultimately to more strikeouts. It would at first, but batters would adjust and shorten their swings.


"Batters" as a whole would shorten their swings, but I think the league is what would adjust, as players with raw power disappeared and were replaced by the more flexible type.
   19. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 12, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3290243)
I must a grown up in a different 80's. 400 HR didn't seem like a big deal. By 1980, there were already 12 players with more than 500 HR. An Adam Dunn type player wasn't getting in to the Hall without 500 hr by that time. Now that type of player has to hit 600 HR to force his way in.
I think you did grow up in a different 80s. Sure, 500 HRs was bigger than 400. (Duh.) But in 1980, every single player who had hit 400 HRs was either a HOFer or a future HOFer (Yaz, Billy Williams, Reggie, Killebrew). It wasn't until 1985 that anybody reached the 400 mark while clearly not being a HOFer. And 1988 got us the second one (Darrell Evans, who wouldn't be the worst choice, not that I'm advocating him).

Indeed, even now -- not factoring in any steroids-related exclusions -- only about 7 of 45 players in the 400 HR club aren't current or future HOFers. (McGriff -- who should be, Canseco, Gonzalez, Evans, Kingman, Delgado, Giambi).
   20. Repoz Posted: August 12, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3290253)
Of the post-Murray members of the 500 club, and my guess of how many HR's they missed from not playing their whole career during Live Ball Era II.

Bonds - Blows by Aaron and ends up with close to 900 HR's.
Griffey - Would be hitting his 700th HR this season.
Sosa - Early part time play during Live Ball Era II only cost him about 50 extra HR's.
McGwire - Ends up tied with Willie Mays at 660...and silently retires.
A-Rod - Did not play before Live Ball Era II.
Palmeiro - Finishes with 650 career HR's.
Thome - Slight effect and would be nearing 600 HR's this season.
Ramirez - See A-Rod comments...although, one extra HR for Manny because I like him.
Thomas - Ends up with over 550 HR's and few realize it.
Sheffield - 50 extra HR's...unless he throws them away...
   21. DJ Endless Grudge Is Nobody's Disciple Posted: August 12, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3290261)
I have said this before, but the biggest reason for the increased offense is the size of the strike zone. In fact, the strike zone indirectly led to muscle enhancement, including steroids. Mark McGwire, to list one example, could not have defended a 1960s strike zone with that body. Henry Aaron's swing was flexible, allowing him to adjust to a pitch that could be at the shoulders or knees. McGwire just needed raw power, since the zone was less than half the height of the old zone.


Unless the smaller strike zone started in 1993 I have a hard time believing this.
   22. salvomania Posted: August 12, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3290449)
I think the general hitting approach is far different now than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

The higher totals of home runs and strikeouts are both influenced by a hitting approach that accepts the latter in the pursuit of the former. There just weren't as many players back then who'd swing from the heels pretty much all the time, much less with two strikes.
   23. Jeff K. Posted: August 12, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3290477)
I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out what Williams debuted in the 60s that was considered the best pure hitter ever. Immediately, of course, I had Billy (though he apparently got 20 games in '59), but while a fine hitter, I'd never heard that appellation. I was killing myself for apparently forgetting someone obvious when I finally clicked through. Damnation.
   24. whoisalhedges Posted: August 12, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3290502)
Palmeiro - Don't think he would have developed his power game without roids. He'd be Will Clark.

A healthy Will Clark with a consistent 20-year career is a no-doubt Hall of Famer.
   25. Esoteric Posted: August 12, 2009 at 06:56 PM (#3290530)
All 3 of them are clearly roiders to me.
Frank Thomas? Seriously? Or are you just one of those BBTF trolls who only shows up to say controversial things and stir #### up?

I mean, it's possible, I suppose. But everything Thomas has ever said and done during his career would strongly suggest otherwise.
   26. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:10 PM (#3290560)
I mean, it's possible, I suppose. But everything Thomas has ever said and done during his career would strongly suggest otherwise.
Same with pretty much everyone else not named "Canseco."
   27. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3290570)
Frank Thomas? Seriously? Or are you just one of those BBTF trolls who only shows up to say controversial things and stir #### up?


I read that comment as sarcasm. There's a big difference between a sarcastic comment and troll behavior.
   28. Randy Jones Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3290571)
I mean, it's possible, I suppose. But everything Thomas has ever said and done during his career would strongly suggest otherwise.


Frank Thomas played football for Auburn in the 80's.

Also, I make posts like that because at this point it is ridiculous to claim that anyone is a "non-roider".
   29. Lest we forget Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3290595)
i've never even heard of a 400 club, and my teens were in the 70s : )
   30. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3290598)
Frank Thomas played football for Auburn in the 80's.


The theory is that's the point. He didn't need it because he was just naturally big, saw what it did to others in college (I'm referring to the negative effects) and has been dead set against it ever since . . . he proposed his entire team skip the tests, so they'd be considered positive and trigger mandatory testing for everyone. Everything he's ever said or done shows him being strongly against it.

More than anyone else, I'd be shocked if Thomas is guilty of using PEDs. He's literally the last person I'd suspect, and I'm one of those than thinks 50-75% of MLB was using at the peak.
   31. Randy Jones Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:29 PM (#3290602)
The theory is that's the point. He didn't need it because he was just naturally big, saw what it did to other and has been dead set against it ever since . . . he proposed his entire team skip the tests, so they'd be considered positive and trigger mandatory testing for everyone. Everything he's ever said or done shows him being strongly against it.

More than anyone else, I'd be shocked if Thomas is guilty of using PEDs. He's literally the last person I'd suspect, and I'm one of those than thinks 50-75% of MLB was using at the peak.


Or maybe he used them and experienced some of the negative side effects and that's why he's been so against them since. The whole point is that we have no idea, so to label anyone as a "non-roider" is foolish.
   32. McCoy Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3290612)
he proposed his entire team skip the tests, so they'd be considered positive and trigger mandatory testing for everyone. Everything he's ever said or done shows him being strongly against it.

Maybe he wanted company in the positive test camp, or maybe he wanted to hide the fact that he was taking them by not taking the test.

David Ortiz and Rafael Palmeiro are two guys who stood up and said they were against steroid use as well.
   33. Jeff K. Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3290615)
Well, there's a difference there. If it came out that Thomas used in college while playing football, but could somehow definitively prove no use since he signed his contract after the draft, would you consider him a "roider" or not?
   34. Chris Dial Posted: August 12, 2009 at 07:47 PM (#3290638)
Well, there's a difference there. If it came out that Thomas used in college while playing football, but could somehow definitively prove no use since he signed his contract after the draft, would you consider him a "roider" or not?
Is there? One of the general arguments about why steroids are more cheating than amphetamines is steroids change your body - iif Frank got the muscles and kept them, wouldn't it be?
   35. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3290713)
If Kingman had played in the modern era, how many homers would he have hit?

I'm honestly not sure Kingman would hack it in this era. Kingman K'd a lot for his time and didn't walk much. He was more Wily Mo Pena than he was Adam Dunn and he had, if anything, less defensive value than Dunn. I'm having a hard time thinking of a single successful modern slugger with Kingman's offensive profile -- Andruw Jones maybe (still a better walk rate).

Obviously it comes down to what you think would get boosted if Kingman played today. He K'd about 1 per 3.5 AB when the average was about 1 per 6.5. These days the average is about 1 per 5 so we might expect Kingman to K about 1 per 3 which is dreadful -- if anything, we'd expect his BA to be lower. He'd hit for a higher ISO presumably which might generate more walks but maybe not. My best guess is that 2009 Kingman would be roughly 230/300/530 with no defensive value, Mike Jacobs with more power. I don't see many players like that around the majors getting significant playing time.

The counter-argument would be that Kingman already had an all-or-nothing swing and so he wouldn't really be any different today than then and might benefit from the era boost in on-contact BA and ISO and put up a better BA and SLG. Under that scenario, maybe he'd fall somewhere between Mark Reynolds 2008 and 2009 but still with no defensive value. But the boost in on-contact BA and ISO is probably due to more players taking a Kingman-esque approach so it's not clear he'd benefit from any era effect whatsoever. His career numbers definitely wouldn't cut it today.

Or you just take his OPS+ (or his EQA or whatever) and assume it translates. His career OPS+ was 115, average for a corner hitter these days, with replacement level defense. That's just not very valuable -- somewhere around Mike Jacobs and Pat Burrell. I suppose the difference between them and Kingman is that he'd have more HR and fewer doubles.

In short, I think Kingman 2009 would be lucky to reach 400 career HR because his low OBP, poor defense, and that few teams seem willing to carry pure DHs unless they post monster numbers would greatly reduce his playing time.

Mainly Kingman 2009 would need the same thing that Kingman 1979 needed -- a good hitting coach who could teach him to recognize which pitches he could kill and to take (most of) the rest.
   36. RJ in TO Posted: August 12, 2009 at 08:33 PM (#3290721)
I'm having a hard time thinking of a single successful modern slugger with Kingman's offensive profile -- Andruw Jones maybe (still a better walk rate).


On a relatively modern level, Joe Carter sort of works as a comparison, althought I think Carter K'd less.
   37. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 12, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3290731)
From those who saw Kingman play 3B, why was he considered so bad?

His range factors are excellent (3.22 vs. league AV of 2.99). He made a ton of errors (48 in ~1300 innings), but you'd think with some work, that could have been improved on, especially with his decent range. It's weird that his FPct got worse from 1972 -> 1974. Actually he really wasn't all that bad, other than the 19 starts in 1974 (.797 FPct). League average during the time he played 3B was .948. An AV 3B would have made 27 errors in his chances and he made 48. According to BPro's numbers (using because they are easy to find), he was essentially average, except for 1974.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 12, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3290760)
Joe:

Other than Dave was angry, resentful and turned all his energies toward hitting long home runs and pretty much took the approach of "F*ck It" with respect to all other parts of the game I really can't say why his defense at third base wasn't regarded more positively............
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 12, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3290772)
My best guess is that 2009 Kingman would be roughly 230/300/530 with no defensive value, Mike Jacobs with more power. I don't see many players like that around the majors getting significant playing time.


Russell Branyan seems like a reasonable comp. Branyan has a career OPS+ of 113, compared to Kingman's 115.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 12, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3290781)
Russell and Dave are physically similar in being long, lean, muscular guys. Russell, of course, being better defensively. But that is like saying Mickey Rooney was taller than Billy Barty.
   41. BDC Posted: August 12, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3290835)
2009 Kingman would be roughly 230/300/530 with no defensive value, Mike Jacobs with more power

I've seen that recently, it's Chris Davis and it's scary :)
   42. Rally Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3290936)
Kingman played, over about 3 years, the equivalent of 1 full year at third. He made 48 errors. His totalzone rating is only -5. It's probably wrong, an inaccurate estimate of his opportunities. If he had below average but acceptable fielding numbers for many years, I might believe it, but from what we have I trust the error totals and observers a lot more.
   43. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3290945)
I'm having a hard time thinking of a single successful modern slugger with Kingman's offensive profile -- Andruw Jones maybe (still a better walk rate).


Mark Reynolds?
   44. Steve Treder Posted: August 12, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3290975)
From those who saw Kingman play 3B, why was he considered so bad?

Kingman in the early '70s wasn't nearly as heavy as he later became. In his early years he was remarkably quick on his feet, very agile for 6-foot-6. His hands weren't great, but he didn't exhibit the "clank" factor he later perfected, either. He had very good range to his left, and a howitzer for an arm.

Alas, the howitzer was something less than accurate. The great majority of his errors were on throws.

And alas, the Giants exhibited utterly no patience and consistency with Kingman; rather than allowing him to settle in, play his way through the rough patches and gain some comfort and confidence at 3B, they yanked him on and off the position on a week-to-week basis, with no plan of any sort in evidence.

And alas, Kingman grew less and less open and coachable and more and more sullen and apathetic. Giants' management was his worst enemy to begin with, but he made himself his own worst enemy over time.

It was a perfect storm of How to Fail.

Physically, there was no reason Kingman couldn't have, with time, become an adequate third baseman (and a very good first baseman or corner outfielder). But let's just say it wasn't meant to be.
   45. Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3291034)
Kingman was noted for hitting sky high drives -- if they went far enough, they were home runs. If they didn't, the fielder would get under it, and hope he didn't get a bad crick in his neck while he waited for it to come down.

I always wondered what he would have been like, if he had come up in the Boston organization as a DH. You have to think a lot of his high, long outs that were caught in other parks would go over that wall.
   46. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:46 AM (#3291060)
I always wondered what he would have been like, if he had come up in the Boston organization as a DH. You have to think a lot of his high, long outs that were caught in other parks would go over that wall.


Kingman had a higher career OPS in Fenway (1.161) than any other park and hit 13 HRs there in 84 PAs. If he'd hit HRs at that rate with Fenway as his home park his entire career, he'd have hit 570 HRs at home in his career (3,680 home PAs). Added to his 212 actual road HRs (he hit 225, but 13 of those were in Fenway), we'd have a new career HR champ with 782 HRs.

(No, I don't believe that's the right way to estimate what he'd do as a career-long Red Sock. It's just kind of fun to see.)
   47. Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3291081)
Kiko, I sort of knew the numbers were something like that. If he had been a life-long Red Sock, I think he would have sailed well past 500 HRs. And although we all would agree that, even with that, he was not HOF worthy, the writers might just have put him in, depending on how high up the list he climbed.
   48. Rally Posted: August 13, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3291084)
Kingman in the early '70s wasn't nearly as heavy as he later became.


How heavy did he get? As far as I remember Kong never carried any extra weight, not much fat.
   49. Rally Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:00 AM (#3291093)
Kingman with the A's
   50. puck Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3291110)
Davekingmanfan.com ?

"The Official Web Site of retired Major League Baseball player Dave Kingman. Major League Baseball's most feared slugger of the 70's and 80's."

Oh no.

Actually, it's kind of a cool site with some old photos, like this one of Kong dunking.
   51. Rally Posted: August 13, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3291145)
I wish somebody had taken pictures of me dunking. Just so I could prove that once upon a time I had hops.
   52. baric Posted: August 13, 2009 at 03:02 AM (#3291197)
Sorry for stumbling across this article so late. There are two objective reasons why the 500-HR club started expanding in the 60s... more players (expansion) with more opportunity (162-game schedules). Then you have the increase in free-swingers, a high-K, high-power attitude validated by stars like Mantle, Killebrew and later Jackson.

When you have 15-20% more players in the league and 6% more games per season, that raises the baseline by 20-25% with no other factors considered. But since the 500-HR sample is so small anyway, there's not enough confidence to draw reasonable inferences. Too much noise in the data.
   53. Jeff K. Posted: August 13, 2009 at 03:44 AM (#3291216)
Is there? One of the general arguments about why steroids are more cheating than amphetamines is steroids change your body - iif Frank got the muscles and kept them, wouldn't it be?

Unless they change your body permanently and irreversibly even long after ceasing use, no, that would not be the same. It may be the same on a moral level, that was my question,, but anyone arguing the former would be an idiot.

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