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Random Record of the Week #21
2007-08-20 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

Page 21- Most home runs against one club, season - 14, Lou Gehrig New York vs. Cleveland, 1936 (6 at New York, 8 at Cleveland)

The 1936 New York Yankees were a team that steamrolled the entire AL, scoring 1065 runs, and winning 102 games to beat out second place Detroit, the winner of the two previous AL pennants, by 19 1/2 games. And leading that offense was Lou Gehrig, the team's incomparable first baseman.

Gehrig batted .354 (5th best in the AL, but only second best on his team as catcher Bill Dickey batted .362), driving in 152 runs, drawing 130 walks, and striking out just 46 times. Gehrig led the AL in slugging at .696 and in OBP at .478. Gehrig reached base safely 342 times. And he hit 49 home runs, the best in the AL. And of those 49, nearly 29% of them came against third place Cleveland.


Gehrig's attack on Cleveland pitching started on April 28 when he hit a solo home run against Lloyd Brown at Yankee Stadium. His second against Cleveland came at League Park, the Indians home park for weekdays, against George Blaeholder on May 19. Sources state that League Park was a cozy 290 feet to right field.

(Blaeholder is most famous for claiming that he invented the slider. George Uhle is the other pitcher who claims to have invented the pitch.)

Homer #3 against Cleveland came on June 5 at Yankee Stadium and it was an inside-the-park job hit to left, but the Indians were playing Gehrig to pull and the ball caromed around the left fielder corner and outfielder Joe Vosmik was helpless to get to the ball before Gehrig circled the bases. Gehrig homered against Mel Harder the next day in a more conventional over-the-fence method.

The Yankees traveled back to Cleveland on June 16 and Gehrig hit two homers at League Park. The first one came in the second and was followed by a homer by Dickey. That one was against Blaeholder. Gehrig homered again in the seventh against Denny Galehouse.

Gehrig homered in each of the next two games against Cleveland, against Thornton Lee on June 17, and against Johnny Allen on June 18, which Dickey again followed with a homer.

The All-Star game was played on July 7 and Gehrig homered in that game also, off of Curt Davis. And right after the break, the Yankees hosted Cleveland and Gehrig went back to pounding them into submission.

Gehrig hit his ninth home run off of Cleveland on July 9 against Allen. The next day, Gehrig hit a pair against Brown in a game the Yankees won 18-0.

The Yankees traveled to Cleveland on July 31. And in his first game back at League Park, Gehrig homered off of Harder, his 12th of the year against Cleveland and 33rd overall. Gehrig didn't homer in the next two games at Cleveland, both of which went in to extra innings.

The Indians came to New York for two games on September 2 and 3, but Gehrig did not homer in those games.

New York had three more games left in Cleveland, a doubleheader on September 9 and a single game on September 10.

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Yankees clinched the pennant with an 11-3 rout of Cleveland. Gehrig did not homer in that game. But in the nightcap, Gehrig did homer against Oral Hildebrand, his 44th of the year. Rookie Joe DiMaggio preceded Gehrig with his 26th homer.

The Yankees last game against Cleveland ended with a 2-run walkoff homer by Hal Trosky of Cleveland against the interestingly named Kemper Wick. But Gehrig homered in the third off of Allen, his 14th of the year against Cleveland and 45th overall.

Gehrig would hit one more home run in Detroit, two in St. Louis, and his final home run on September 24 back at Yankee Stadium against the Philadelphia A's.

Overall, Gehrig hit 27 of his home runs at Yankee Stadium. He hit 8 at League Park, 1 at Fenway Park, 4 at Comiskey Park, 3 at Sportsman's Park, 3 at Shibe Park, and 3 at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field). Gehrig did not homer at Griffith Stadium in Washington or Muncipal Stadium in Cleveland.

The NL records for most homers against one team is 13 and that was done twice. Hank Sauer of the Cubs hit 13 homers against the Pirates in 1954 and Joe Adcock of Milwaukee did the same against Brooklyn in 1956. In Barry Bonds record-setting 73-homer season in 2001, his favorite opponent was San Diego, whom he hit 11 home runs against. Bonds also faced 19 different teams in the regular season, while Gehrig faced just 7 different teams. Mark McGwire did not hit more than seven home runs against any one team in his 70-homer season of 1998. Roger Maris hit 13 homers against the White Sox in 1961.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times, Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book

2007-08-20 10:38:02
1.   Eric Enders
I would have guessed that Sammy Sosa held this record, or at least the NL version, against Milwaukee in 1998. Seemed like all his homers came against them. But turns out it was only 12.

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