Homes for Homers

As noted by Raphy in the previous post, Baseball-Reference’s Play Index Split Finder is out of beta and now available in more polished form to the general Play index subscribership. One quick use of that new tool produces the following list of the players with the most career, regular-season major league home runs in a single ballpark:

1. Mel Ott, Polo Grounds: 323 homers
2. Sammy Sosa, Wrigley Field: 293 homers
3. Ernie Banks, Wrigley Field: 290 homers
4. Mickey Mantle, Yankee Stadium: 266 homers
5. Mike Schmidt, Veterans Stadium: 265 homers
6. Frank Thomas, New Comiskey Park: 263 homers
7. Babe Ruth, Yankee Stadium: 259 homers
8. Stan Musial, Sportsman’s Park: 252 homers
9. Lou Gehrig, Yankee Stadium: 251 homers
10. Paul Konerko, New Comiskey Park: 249 homers

Note that only six parks make this top 10.

Konerko has one more season left on his current White Sox contract. If he stays healthy and productive, and remains with the Sox all season, he could move up nicely on this list in 2013. If he re-ups with them after the season, he could go as high as fourth.

The other guys with more than 150 homers in a single park and expected to be active, or possibly active, in MLB in 2013:
Todd Helton, Coors Field: 214 homers
Jim Thome, Jacobs Field: 190 homers
David Ortiz, Fenway Park: 164 homers
Lance Berkman, Minute Maid Park: 156 homers
Ryan Howard, Citizens Bank Park: 151 homers

Helton, Ortiz and Howard are expected to play their 2013 home games in the park where they have hit those homers. Berkman signed with the Rangers and has thus moved to the AL West, but Minute Maid Park has, too, so Lance will get some chances to add to his homer total there, including in the Rangers’ opening series of the 2013 season. Jim Thome is still an unsigned free agent; it remains to be seen whether he will have a chance to hit any more homers in Cleveland.

How about most homers surrendered by a pitcher in a single ballpark?
1. Phil Niekro, Fulton County Stadium: 225 homers
2. Tim Wakefield, Fenway Park: 205 homers
3. Mickey Lolich, Tiger Stadium: 194 homers
4. Robin Roberts, Connie Mack Stadium (Shibe Park): 186 homers
5. Jack Morris, Tiger Stadium: 180 homers


Comments

Homes for Homers — 33 Comments

  1. Interesting list of pitchers: two Hall of Famers, one who might get elected this year, one with career numbers very similar to the one who might get elected this year, and Tim Wakefield.

    • Pitchers who are less than excellent would never last as long in the majors as is nececessary to give up so many career home runs.

    • Actually 226, according to baseball-reference. Tied with Chipper Jones at Turner Field for 16th on the list of homers by a single player in a single park.

      11. Ted Williams, Fenway Park 248
      12. Harmon Killebrew, Metropolitan Stadium 246
      13. Carl Yastrzemski, Fenway Park 237
      14. Willie McCovey, Candlestick Park 236
      15. Billy Williams, Wrigley Field 231
      T16. Kaline and Chipper

  2. Ted Williams missed by one of making this list (Fenway/248), he actually hit 25 more HR on the road.

    I was a little surprised by this, as I’ve heard since I was a kid what an advantage Fenway is for LH hitters. Yaz did hit 22 more HR at home (237/215).

    • Fenway’s a great place for hitting, but not necessarily for HRs. It’s a doubles factory. Williams benefited from the place, hitting .361/.496/.652 at home, but the home/road split on doubles is telling 319 vs. 206. Of course, he was a great hitter everywhere. Just more dangerous at Fenway.

  3. So to make the list it would be good to be good so the player sticks with the same team, and of course it would be good to hit HRs!

    Master Melvin certainly benefited greatly from his home park when it came to the long ball, although on the flip side, the Polo Grounds greatly reduced his doubles. Kind of an extreme version of Yankee Stadium in that sense. Regardless, Ott was a great hitter at home or on the road, the latter where he triple slashed at .311/.408/.510.

    • Mike D:

      Not sure if I’m reading you correctly, but it is an illusion that old Yankee Stadium was a home run paradise—except for players who were lefty and dead pull hitters. If I’m totaling correctly, Ruth hit five more away than at home from 1923 to 1934, Mantle hit four more away, and Gehrig hit just 11 more at home.

      Ted Williams hit more home runs in almost every other park than in the Stadium, even Comiskey, which was a HR graveyard for a lot of hitters.

  4. Interesting to note that knuckleball pitchers rank 1 & 2 in their list. Among other things, Atlanta-Fulton Co. stadium was called “The Launching Pad” for a number of years, holding the distinction of being the ballpark at the highest elevation, approx 1000 ft above sea level, from 1966 until Coors Field came along.

  5. Not surprisingly, Ott also has the largest home-road gap, at 135. Frank Thomas looks like 2nd at 103.

    Never realized New Comiskey was such a homer palace.

    Just eye-balling, but Clemente looks like the biggest away gap, at just 36.

  6. I expected Barry Bonds in the first list, but the I realized he split some time in san francisco between Candlestick and the new stadium (I have a hard time following the current names of all the parks).

  7. So, Jason Vargas last year tied the known record of 26 road HRs allowed.

    The mark was first set in 1953 by Warren Hacker of the Cubs — 26 HRs on the road, but only 9 in Wrigley?!?

    Hacker gave up significantly more HRs away in 4 of his 5 full years in Wrigley. His Home/Away HR splits in those years:
    – 1952, 5/12
    – 1953, 9/26
    – 1954, 11/17
    – 1955, 16/22
    – 1956, 20/8

    In all, he allowed 61% of his 181 career HRs on the road, with some mind-bending numbers in certain parks:
    – Crosley Field, 22 HRs in 71 IP
    – Ebbets Field, 30 HRs in 125 IP
    – Polo Grounds, 19 HRs in 85 IP
    Combined, that’s 71 HRs in 281 IP, or 2.27 HR/9.

    He was a decent pitcher, though. Like Vargas.

  8. Bill Voiselle, 1944 Giants, allowed 25 of his 31 HRs in the Polo Grounds (the park record) … but he went 14-4 at home, 7-12 away.

    Carl Hubbell in 1935 allowed 20 of his 27 HRs in the P.G., but had a better OPS and ERA at home.

    This is a dangerous new toy…

  9. Through 1955, the Senators never hit or allowed more than 35 HRs in a home season.

    In 1956, they moved the fences, and their HRs hit rose from 20 to 63. Unfortunately, their HRs allowed soared from 25 to 95.

    Camilo Pascual went from 5 HRs in 129 IP, to 33 HRs in 189 IP. His season ERA went down, though.

  10. Here’s one about Cliff Lee — not the pitcher, the outfielder.

    In 1922, Lee hit 17 HRs — all of them in the Baker Bowl.

    Mel Ott holds the home percentage record with 18 of 18 in 1943. But Ott only batted .237/.927 at home.

    Clifford Walker Lee in 1922 hit .388/1.123 at home and .227/.607 away. That appears to be the biggest ratio of home to road OPS of any player with 400+ PAs.

  11. Visitors who out-homered Jason Bay in New Shea last year (Bay hit 2 HRs in 89 PAs): Jimmy Rollins (3 HRs in 42 PAs), Carlos Ruiz (3 in 22), Ian Desmond (3 in 27), ex-Met Ty Wigginton (3 in 24) and Brian McCann (3 in 31).

    Visitor Travis Ishikawa had 2 HRs in his only game there, and 5 RBI — one RBI shy of Bay’s home total. Wigginton had 10 RBI in 7 games, Ryan Howard 7 in 3 games, and four other visitors also topped Bay’s Flushing total.

    I honestly wish Jason the best in Seattle this year. But oy, thank goodness he’s gone.

  12. Ed, what did they do to Cleveland Stadium in 1970? All of a sudden, the Tribe hit 133 HRs at home, just 50 away. That’s the highest proportion of home HRs of any team that hit 100+ at home.

    • According to Ballparks.com, the fence angles were adjusted to reduce the power alleys to “only” 385 ft. It was the fourth change in 5 years:
      1965 – 380 to 400
      1967 – 400 to 390
      1968 – 390 to 395
      1970 – 395 to 385

      The also were fiddling with dead center at the same time
      1966 – 410 to 408
      1967 – 408 to 407
      1968 – 407 to 410
      1970 – 410 to 400

      In both cases, those were the last changes to those parts of the fences until 1991, just a few years before Jacobs Field opened.

      But, doesn’t seem that bit of fiddling would account for such a power surge. Maybe when the mound was lowered in ’69, the Indians didn’t do it because they wanted to protect Sudden Sam, and nobody found out until the next season? :)

      • First I’ve heard of that John. And since I was only one at the time, my recollection is a little fuzzy. :)

        Anyway, don’t have an answer. I thought it might be a righty/lefty thing but of the Indians top 6 home run hitters, 3 hit from the left side and 3 from the right side (only Graig Nettles had a “normal” split with 13 home runs at home, 13 on the road).

        The Indians’ pitchers show a similar split though not to the same degree. 103 homeruns at home, 60 on the road.

  13. Quite often, a high ratio of home/away HRs allowed makes little difference in overall effectiveness.

    Last year’s Brewers allowed 111 HRs at home, just 58 away, the highest ratio of this century. But their ERA and OPS were about the same, home and away.

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