The Real HR Record Threat

The Real HR Record Threat


Journalist George Will of stated in an article about Barry Bonds on May 12th, 2006: “(Barry) Bonds’ records must remain part of baseball’s history. His hits happened. Erase them and there will be discrepancies in baseball’s bookkeeping about the records of the pitchers who gave them up. George Orwell said that in totalitarian societies, yesterday’s weather could be changed by decree. Baseball, indeed America, is not like that. Besides, the people who care about the record book – serious fans – will know how to read it. That may be Bonds’ biggest worry.”
George Frederick Will, on this planet since May 4, 1941, is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He has won a Pulitzer Prize and is renowned for his conservative commentary on politics. In 1986, the Wall Street Journal called him “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America.” And I wholeheartedly concur with his opinion that real baseball fans will know how to read MLB’s bible, the record book.
I consider myself a serious fan of baseball. In fact I love the damn sport and think there is no better game throughout the universe… well at least in my limited version of the universe. And if you have ever read my essay, “Baseball: Pure and Simple” which was once posted on the now defunct website and Sports Illustrated’s Fannation ( I think that it is self-evident how I feel about the game despite its certain blemishes (PEDS, blown calls, et. al.,.).
So, this morning, whilst drinking my jolt of joe, I turned through the New York Daily News sports pages today as any good baseball would do. I wended my way through the various sports articles and sports columnists opinions; the ARod bullshit and other PED stuff such as  MLB is looking at agents in regards to PED use among the players, now and I got through the rigmarole and hubbub about enhanced replay and the ability for managers to throw MLB’s version of football’s challenge flag. And I finally got to every baseball junkies true delight: The up-dated statistical listings. And under AL Leaders I go down to Home Runs and there is the number that stands out to me: 44. And the name associated with that number is Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles.

Chris Davis
Why is that number so important to me?
Well, despite the fact that he is giving me a ton of points for my fantasy team, the main reason is that if you do some quick math… here, I’ll do it for you right here, it’s that fast… O’s have played, as of the August 15th, 120 games; Davis has 44 HRs, which means that he is on target to reach 59 HRs for the year. He is one hot streak away from surpassing that projected total and maybe reaching 61… or 62… or even 63!!!!! He has a chance, a damn good chance, to beat the real HR record which is Roger Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris 61

Now to me that is pretty damn exciting, that someone is challenging a record that has stood for 52 years. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know there are those other HR numbers in the record book but 61 is the only one that matters to me and someone has a good chance to surpass that number this year.
My hats off to you, Mr. Davis, and, I wish you the best of luck.





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  1. Like you I am a real baseball fan. But, with the changing times we have to accept the changes to the records. For many years there were those purist who did not accept Maris’ 61 as the true number. Why? Because he did it on the very last day of the newly generated 162 game season. All those Ruth fan’s declared it was not fair, he had more games to do it in. Others cried fould because it was an expansion year and the pitching was “watered down”.

    Like it or not, baseball changes.

  2. I failed to mentioned, IMO, I feel that baseball records should be recorded in eras/periods. Let fans decide the debatable stats, not the record books. For its like you said, when you try to rewrite history, you have to rewrite it all; pitchers included.

  3. Archie,
    Actually you have a point. Different eras always have different relevant statistics. So, why shouldn’t the record book be divided into eras and as you say we the fans can make our own arguements about the stuff in the record books. Heck, we all argue about that stuff any way.

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