As loath as I am to link to a column by the execrable Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, I will this time.
Mainly because I ran across this bit of "wisdom" that Plaschke researched. The column is about why Barry Bonds is not Babe Ruth. (For starters, Barry Bonds is not dead is what I would say.)
* Bonds has had four sacrifice bunts in his 20-year career.*
*Ruth once had 10 sacrifice bunts in one season.*
1. I don't know why Plaschke picked out Ruth's 1926 season for sacrifices. He had more sacrifices in other season. Ruth had 21 of them in 1930.
2. But sacrifices in Ruth's day weren't all bunts. There were sacrifice flies. And they were all just lumped together as "sacrifices". I doubt Ruth bunted all that much. Sacrifice flies weren't counted separately.
However, Ruth probably did bunt a little bit more than Bonds has. Why? Because managers in Ruth's day would play for one run more often.
Interestingly, in 1931, the sacrifice fly rule was revoked and it wouldn't return until the 1950s.
How many sacrifices was Ruth credited with for the 1931 season. In 145 games, Ruth had *ZERO*. How many runs did the Yankees score that season? 1067! The Yankees had 87 sacrifices in 1931. They had 162 in 1930. And they scored 1062 runs in 1930. I doubt Joe McCarthy was playing little ball with anyone on his roster other than his pitchers and guys like Joe Sewell.
Check out the career sacrifices for Lou Gehrig and how they drop off sharply after the elimination of the sacrifice fly rule in 1931.
Harmon Killebrew played 22 seasons and NEVER SACRIFICED. Is Killebrew some sort of monster? No, Killebrew was a slugger who played in an era of low offensive output and he was far more valuable to the Twins by trying to hit a home run.
But I've been told that Bill Plaschke is a keen observer of baseball...