Thorn: The ‘Babe Ruth Epidemic’ in baseball, 1921

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on June 19, 2017:

Three years ago home runs had declined to the lowest point, both in the number made and in the estimation of baseball fans, recorded in the past decade. “Batting science” was the watchword both of those who coached from the sidelines and those who howled from the bleachers, and the spectacular home run did not appeal.

Then came Babe Ruth, the same who is now going stronger than ever, and “overthrew the whole system of batting science” in favor of a “brand-new system of his own.” The home-run epidemic might better be called the Babe-Ruth epidemic, for the habit began with the so-called and so-much admired “Bambino.” This is the moral which F.C. Lane, one of the Baseball Magazine’s experts of the diamond, draws from the present “mad scramble for circuit clouts.” The career of Babe Ruth well illustrates the power of a dominating personality, says Mr. Lane.

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Originally published: June 19, 2017. Last Updated: June 19, 2017.