Snowing under the competition
This article was published in the 1972 Baseball Research Journal.
In 1920 Babe Ruth startled the baseball world by hitting 54 home runs, while his nearest competitor in the AL, George Sisler, hit only 19. In 1962, young Willie Davis of he Dodgers stole 32 bases, normally enough to lead the league, but teammate Maury Wills stole 104 that season. Both Ruth and Wills outclassed their closest rivals by essentially a 3-1 margin, a domination that was almost embarrassing to the runners-up.
In 1971, Ron Hunt was hit by pitches a record 50 times. The season averages indicate that the number 2 player in that category in the NL was teammate Rusty Staub, who was hit only 9 times. This gave Hunt more than s 5-1 margin.
The prime examples of major league runaway races in the various batting departments since 1900 are shown below:
|1971||NL||HBP||Ron Hunt||50||Rusty Staub||9|
|1962||NL||SB||Maury Wills||104||Willie Davis||32|
|1920||AL||HR||Babe Ruth||54||Geo. Sisler||19|
|1904||NL||2B||Hans Wagner||44||Bus Mertes||28|
|1946||NL||Hits||Stan Musial||228||Dixie Walker||184|
|1921||AL||Runs||Babe Ruth||177||John Tobin||132|
|1921||AL||Slug.||Babe Ruth .||.846||H. Heilmann||.606|
This article originally appeared in the 1972 "Baseball Research Journal."