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700 homers
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Author:  LTKfRGM [ Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  700 homers

This is a rather obscure point, but I got thinking about Willie Mays and his days as a met, and I checked his stats. I hadn't realized, Mays missed the better part of two seasons doing military service.

He missed most of 1952 and all of 1953. For his career he hit 660 homers. It's tough to say how many he'd have hit in the 1 3/4's year he missed. If we give him the same number of homers in 1952 as 1951, that's 20 total, or 16 more than he hit in the partial year, and if we give him 30 (about the average between his 1953 and 1951 estimate), that's plus 46 homers over his missed time.

660 + 46 = 706. He'd have had a good shot at 700 and a legit shot at breaking babe Ruth's record if he'd not missed time doing military service, arguably before Hank Aaron broke it.

Mays also changed his approach to hitting late in his career, drawing 1 walk every 5.5 PAs over his final 3 years, age 40-42 including a career best .425 OBP at 40 and a 6.3 war that season. I find that very impressive, a 6.3 war at 40 and a walk every 5.5 PAs and to add to that, he might have gotten to 715 before hank did if he'd played 1952 and 53. Though, perhaps, not chasing the record allowed him to focus more on the game.

Nothing against Hank, but Mays was Amazing. It would have made a great story to see those 2 guys chasing Babe Ruth at the same time.

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