June 15, 2010

Babe Ruth Game Logs

Babe Ruth had one of the greatest seasons in baseball history in 1920. B-Ref now has game logs for the 1920s, so I looked at Ruth's batting in his first year with the Yankees.

He had a slow start to his time in New York, batting .210 and slugging a mere .371 in his first 18 games.

But on May 11, everything clicked. For the rest of the season -- 124 games, 547 plate appearances -- Ruth batted .403/.564/.924 for an OPS of 1.488. There were only nine games in which he did not have a hit or walk -- and six of those came in those initial 18 games before he caught fire. So in his final 124 games of 1920, Ruth failed to get a hit or walk only three times.

May 11 to August 14 (90 games): .427/.584/.986/1.570, with 40 home runs and only 45 strikeouts.

In June and July (63 games): .445/.596/.965/1.561.

Even in the 33 games in which he went hitless, Ruth drew 42 walks, for an OBP of .326!

1920
        GMS   AVG   OBP    SLG    OPS
Home 66 .399 .545 .990 1.535
Road 76 .358 .523 .736 1.260
vs LHP 32 .382 .500 1.000 1.500
vs RHP 110 .375 .542 .801 1.343
In 1921, Ruth batted .378/.512/.846. At home in the Polo Grounds, Ruth hit .402 and slugged .926.

In 276 games from May 11, 1920 to end of 1921, he batted .388.

In 1923, Ruth nearly hit .400. He was at .402 on the morning of September 2 and finished the season at .393. He did not win the batting title, however, because Harry Heilmann hit .403*.

I initially looked at Heilmann's 1921 logs by mistake, so I saw that at the end of July 1921 (96 games), his batting average was .430!

There was a 51-game stretch in the summer of 1923 -- July 7 to September 1 -- in which Ruth batted .460. In his last 62 games of the year, Babe batted .423.

Ruth once said that if he had tried to hit only singles instead of walloping home runs, he would have batted .600. When you really look at some of his stats, what sounds like a crazy exaggeration actually starts to sound somewhat plausible.

3 comments:

johngoldfine said...

Of course, the spring of 1920 was the first year Babe Ruth had played without alcohol (Prohibition had come in just before spring training), so, barring the possibility of steroids, it must have been his new-found sobriety that upped those stats.

;)

L-girl said...

Of course, the spring of 1920 was the first year Babe Ruth had played without alcohol (Prohibition had come in just before spring training),

You can be guaranteed that the Babe never played without alcohol!

RedSoxDiehard said...

Fun stuff!

His OPS is almost as good as Daniel Nava's (currently 1.625).