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

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33 Comments on "Homes for Homers"

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Brendan Bingham
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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.

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

Kaline had 223 homeruns a Briggs/Tiger stadium.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

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).

MikeD
Guest

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.

MikeD
Guest

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.

no statistician but
Guest

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.

Atlcrackersfan
Guest

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.

Doug
Editor

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.

Richard Chester
Guest

Joe DiMaggio had 148 at home and 213 on the road, a discrepancy of 65.

Richard Chester
Guest

Goose Goslin had 64 more HR on the road.

Richard Chester
Guest

After Thomas come Ron Santo 90, Ken Wiliams 88, Dante Bichette, Chuck Klein and Paul Konerko 80.

Luis Gomez
Guest

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).

Luis Gomez
Guest

It should be “then I realized”. Sorry.

John Autin
Editor
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… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

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…

John Autin
Editor

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.

John Autin
Editor

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.

Richard Chester
Guest

According to The SABR Baseball List & Record Book Gavvy Cravath hit all of his 19 HR in 1914 at that same Baker Bowl.

In 1926 Goose Goslin hit all of his 17 HR on the road.

John Autin
Editor

Richard, thanks for the correction!

kds
Guest

In 1918 a part time pitcher hit 11 HR, all on the road, and tied for the league lead! He allowed 1 hr while pitching.

John Autin
Editor
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.… Read more »
Luis Gomez
Guest

Hey John, are you aware that both Jason Bay and Oliver Perez will play for the M´s this season? Forget about the Tigers! 🙂

John Autin
Editor

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.

Doug
Guest
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.… Read more »
Ed
Guest

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.

John Autin
Editor

Re: Cleveland Stadium 1970, it appears they shortened CF and the power alleys by 10 feet each.
http://www.baseball-statistics.com/Ballparks/Cle/ClevelandStad.htm

Doesn’t seem like 10 feet would make so much difference, but it was no fluke. Since 1961, their top 5 home/away ratios of HRs allowed all came from 1970-75, and their top 2 ratios of HRs hit were 1970 and ’72.

(Whoops, I didn’t see Doug above giving the same info.)

John Autin
Editor

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.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

So, Jack Morris gave up 180 solo shots in games in which his team already had a big lead? Was that 180 different games, or did he give up a few if he had a bigger lead?

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