In a sport married to numbers and statistics more than any other, some of baseball’s age old stats are tied to the home run.
For ardent baseball fans and even the sport’s casual observers, the sacred numbers and those that reached them are as well known as one’s home team’s starting lineup.
60 Fri. Sept. 30, 1927 Yankee Stadium (New York) Washington Senators vs. 30 with a two run shot in the 8th inning off Senator southpaw Tom Zachary to break a 2 2 tie . This broke Ruth’s own record of 59 set in 1923
Notes: Ruth, who had hit 17 home runs that September, hit four home runs in his last three games to reach 60 . Zachary would become a teammate of Ruth’s in 1928 when he was traded to the Yankees jerseys from Washington in mid season.
61 Sun. Oct. 1, 1961 . Yankee Stadium (New York) Boston Red Sox jerseys vs. Yankees jerseys BATTER: Roger Maris (Yanks) PITCHER: Tracy Stallard (Red Sox jerseys)
Setting the Stage: Bottom of the 4th inning in a scoreless tie at Yankee Stadium the House that Ruth Built . Maris, who had 60 home runs (tying Ruth’s record set in 1927) entering the final regular season game, led off the Yankee fourth and hit a Tracy Stallard 2 0 pitch into the right field seats for No. 61 and the game’s only run.
Notes: Ironically, this was the anniversary of Babe Ruth’s 15th and final World Series home run (then a series record) Oct. 1, 1932 better known as the called shot against Chicago’s Charlie Root in Wrigley Field . Maris was born Roger Eugene Maras (9/10/34) and later officially changed his name to Maris Stallard, a 24 year old rookie, was 7 12 in ’61.
70 Sun. Sept., 27, 1998 Busch Stadium (St. Louis) Montreal Expos vs. St. Louis Cards
BATTER: Mark McGuire (Cards) PITCHER: Carl Pavano (Expos)
Setting the Stage: The Cards’ Mark McGuire entered the season’s final game with a major league leading 68 home runs, two ahead of Sammy Sosa McGuire hit No.69 (3rd inning off Mike Thurman) and No. 70 in the 7th The last one, a 3 run shot off Carl Pavano, gave McGuire the single season record which he held until 2001
Notes: McGuire and Sosa were tied at 66 with two games remaining, but McGuire hit home runs in the final two games Sosa hit none for the home run title and record.
73 Sun. Oct. Dodgers jerseys vs. Giants jerseys
BATTER: Barry Bonds (Giants jerseys) PITCHER: Dennis Springer (Dodgers jerseys)
Setting the Stage: First inning of the season’s final game Bonds hit a major league record 73rd home run off of Dennis Springer (3 2, 2 out pitch) in a 2 1 Giants jerseys win .
Notes: Bonds broke Mark McGuire’s record (70) with Nos. 71 and 72 on Fri. Oct. 5 off Dodger pitcher Chan Ho Park.
714 Sat. May 25, 1935 Forbes Field (Pittsburgh) Boston Braves jerseys vs. Pittsburgh Pirates jerseys
BATTER: Babe Ruth (Braves jerseys) PITCHER: Guy Bush (Pirates jerseys)
Setting the Stage: In his final days as a major league player, Ruth and the Braves jerseys traveled to Pittsburgh for a three game series Ruth went out with a bang as he hit three home runs on the day 712 was hit off of starter Red Lucas in the first inning, while Nos. 713 (third) and 714 (seventh) were hit off of Guy Bush
Notes: Ruth was 4 for 4 cheap jerseys on the day with three runs and six RBIs Pittsburgh won, 11 7 Ruth, who played for three teams in a 22 year major league career, retired in June . The career major league record of 714 stood for 39 years, until Hank Aaron hit 715 in 1974.
715 Tues. Dodgers jerseys vs. Atlanta Braves jerseys
BATTER: Hank Aaron (Braves jerseys) PITCHER: Al Downing (Dodgers jerseys)
Notes: And the player who caught the home run ball in the left field bullpen? Another pitcher, Braves jerseys reliever Tom House . Atlanta won the game, 7 4.