August 22, 2017

Park-Neutral Home Runs

February 6, 2017 by · 3 Comments 

“The ways in which the ballparks alter the game and therefore the statistics of the players who play there are so massive that it is impossible to perceive the abilities of the players accurately without constantly adjusting the lens.” – Bill James, The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1983

The outcomes of batted balls in baseball are affected by many factors, including but not limited to the field dimensions (distances from home plate to the outfield fences), altitude, wind, weather, etc. In order to compensate for these effects to allow for comparison of individual player-seasons across time, it is necessary to compute park factors. Once park factors are determined we can essentially place all players on an equal (“neutral”) playing field. Although park effects can influence all batted balls and other events in any given contest, the ensuing analysis focuses solely on home runs.

Section 11.7 of “Analyzing Baseball Data with R” by Max Marchi and Jim Albert outlines a method for calculating park factors using event data from Retrosheet. I extended the R code to process the data for every player-season since 1930, with the following caveat:

“Event files for most seasons prior to 1974 are each missing a few games. For a list of the games that are missing (although some of them are in the event files with some innings reconstructed based on a partial game account and box score) see the Most Wanted List… Note that some games in our files have “99” for missing plays that were outs.” Retrosheet Event Files

To reconcile the potential for missing data prior to 1974, I added a column to my data tables which indicates the difference between actual balls in play (BIP) for every batter compared to the number of balls of play listed in the Retrosheet file. The differences are computed as BIPdiff and are generally greater prior to 1950.

Methodology

The R code provided by Marchi and Albert in Section 11.7 of “Analyzing Baseball Data with R” outlines the steps necessary to generate a home run park factor and estimate park-neutral home run totals for a single player-season. The example in the book describes the process for Andres Galarraga’s 1996 season with the Colorado Rockies.

I modified the code to process the data from every Retrosheet event file from 1930 through 2015. This generates a home and away home run park factor for every team-season in that timeframe. Then, looking at every plate appearance which resulted in a batted ball for each player-season, we determine the mean park factor for that player-season. The player’s actual home run total is divided by their mean park factor, resulting in their adjusted home run count. Galarraga’s park-neutral home run total in 1996 is estimated at 36, a difference of 11 from his actual output of 47 round-trippers (with Coors Field as his home park for half of his games).

What about the opposite effect, playing in a stadium where home run totals are diminished by the park factors? The Seamheads Ballpark database assesses the Astrodome in 1967 with a home run park factor of 44 (with 100 being neutral, above 100 increasing home run output). Jim “The Toy Cannon” Wynn belted 37 long balls in ’67 despite the difficulty in hitting for distance in his home park. Wynn’s adjusted home runs given a park-neutral context result in a markup of 13 additional circuit clouts, crediting him with a 50-homer campaign.

Terminology

EventsBIP total Balls In Play (BIP) events for each individual player as recorded in the Retrosheet Event files 

ActualBIP – total Balls In Play (BIP) calculated from individual player-season totals in the Lahman database 

BIPdiff difference in ActualBIP vs. EventsBIP due to missing events data 

HRdiff – difference in actual Home Runs vs. Park-Neutral Home Runs 

Revised_HR_Total sum of actual Home Runs and HRdiff to estimate the total home runs each player would hit given a ballpark-neutral environment

Mean_HRPF – average Home Run Park Factor calculated for individual player-season

 

Inflating the Balloon

Willie Stargell tops the list below with four appearances. The mean home run park factor of 67 at Forbes Field (1962-1970) depressed “Pops” output by 39 jacks. The adjusted totals vault Stargell from 475 to 521 career home runs. Forbes Field appears 12 times on the following list, affecting long ball production for Frank J. Thomas and Roberto Clemente. Jim Wynn makes two appearances in the top 10. In addition to the aforementioned adjustment for his ’67 season, Wynn is credited with dialing long distance on nine other occasions two years prior. Dickie Thon springs from 20 to 27 jacks in ’83 while Glenn Davis improves by 11 dingers over a two-year period (1987-88).

The home run factor at AT&T Park (originally known as Pac Bell Park) in San Francisco has never exceeded 100 during its 16-year history. Consequently, Barry Bonds record-setting 2001 output merits 12 additional clouts, enhancing his single-season mark to 85! Bonds’ career numbers yield an improvement of 40 circuit clouts to eclipse the 800-home run plateau. Underscoring the difficulty of launching a long ball at AT&T Park, Buster Posey joins Bonds’ former teammates Rich Aurilia and Jeff Kent among the top 40 entries in the list below.

Round-trippers were similarly inhibited in Milwaukee’s County Stadium after the Braves migrated west in 1953. Over a seven-year span, the park factor for home runs remained below average, dipping as low as 47 in 1954. The Braves’ potent lumber crew, consisting of Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, Del Crandall and Eddie Mathews, endured statistical repression as a result. Mathews places twice in the top 10 below, with a net gain of 19 four-baggers in 1953-54.

Cincinnati’s Crosley Field represented a significant challenge for the long ball through the 1937 season. Jim Bottomley, Nick Cullop, Chick Hafey, Babe Herman, Harry Heilmann and Ernie Lombardi all merit home run adjustments of 5 or greater during individual player-seasons during this timeframe. With the distances to both corners and center field reduced prior to the start of the ’38 campaign, the park’s home run factor jumped to league average by the subsequent season.

Royals Stadium in Kansas City curbed the long ball over the first two decades of its existence. The ballpark’s home run factor failed to eclipse the 100 mark through 1996, one year after the wall height was lowered from 12’ to 9’ across the outfield and the distances from home plate to the corners and power alleys reduced by 10’. George Brett (366 adjusted HR) increases his career home run total by 49, the largest margin of any player since 1930. Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni, Bo Jackson, John Mayberry Sr., Hal McRae, Amos Otis, Danny Tartabull and Frank White are rewarded handsomely after compensating for the “Royal Reduction”.

Four-base hits were in short supply at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. until the dimensions were altered in 1956. Since 1919, the park’s home run factor hovered below 60 for over three decades! Senators’ sluggers affected by the fence height and deep outfield gaps include Jimmy Bloodworth, Irv Noren, Eddie Robinson, Roy Sievers, Stan Spence, Mickey Vernon, Clyde Vollmer and Gee Walker. Vernon is awarded an increase of 36 big-flies, giving him 208 HR (career).

Greatest Positive Single-Season HRdiff (1930-2015)

Rank Player Year Team MeanHRPF BIP ActualBIP BIPdiff HR adjHR HRdiff
1 Jim Wynn 1967 HOU 73.77 466 470 4 37 50 13.15
2 Barry Bonds 2001 SFN 86.01 385 385 0 73 85 11.88
3 Frank J. Thomas 1958 PIT 77.88 486 492 6 35 45 9.94
4 Eddie Mathews 1954 ML1 80.44 395 425 30 40 50 9.73
5 Babe Herman 1932 CIN 62.22 485 537 52 16 26 9.71
6 Albert Belle 1991 CLE 74.82 367 367 0 28 37 9.42
7 Eddie Mathews 1953 ML1 83.74 430 497 67 47 56 9.12
8 Bo Jackson 1989 KCA 78.55 347 347 0 32 41 8.74
9 Jim Wynn 1965 HOU 71.97 448 448 0 22 31 8.57
10 Roy Sievers 1955 WS1 75.12 445 448 3 25 33 8.28
11 Willie Stargell 1966 PIT 79.97 372 386 14 33 41 8.27
12 Barry Bonds 2002 SFN 84.77 358 358 0 46 54 8.26
13 Leon Wagner 1962 LAA 82.22 523 536 13 37 45 8
14 Eddie Robinson 1949 WS1 69.69 462 499 37 18 26 7.83
15 Jeff Kent 2002 SFN 82.69 525 525 0 37 45 7.74
16 Vince DiMaggio 1941 PIT 73.18 192 434 242 21 29 7.7
17 Joe Adcock 1954 ML1 75.08 428 457 29 23 31 7.63
18 Bill Nicholson 1942 CHN 73.58 192 509 317 21 29 7.54
19 Roberto Clemente 1966 PIT 79.68 513 535 22 29 36 7.4
20 Harry Heilmann 1930 CIN 72.05 364 424 60 19 26 7.37
21 Frank Howard 1962 LAN 80.87 390 390 0 31 38 7.33
22 Irv Noren 1950 WS1 65.9 448 469 21 14 21 7.24
23 Willie Stargell 1969 PIT 80.56 407 407 0 29 36 7
24 Leon Wagner 1963 LAA 79.1 484 484 0 26 33 6.87
25 Rich Aurilia 2001 SFN 84.34 559 559 0 37 44 6.87
26 Donn Clendenon 1966 PIT 80.57 421 433 12 28 35 6.75
27 Dickie Thon 1983 HOU 74.81 557 557 0 20 27 6.73
28 Nate Colbert 1970 SDN 84.97 426 426 0 38 45 6.72
29 Bobby Higginson 2000 DET 81.79 503 503 0 30 37 6.68
30 Jimmy Bloodworth 1940 WS1 62.26 186 407 221 11 18 6.67
31 Tommy Davis 1962 LAN 80.35 611 611 0 27 34 6.6
32 Roy Sievers 1954 WS1 78.46 450 450 0 24 31 6.59
33 Albert Pujols 2009 SLN 87.71 512 512 0 47 54 6.59
34 Hank Aaron 1957 ML1 87.2 560 560 0 44 50 6.46
35 Ernie Lombardi 1932 CIN 63.02 347 394 47 11 17 6.45
36 Jeff Bagwell 1999 HOU 86.76 442 442 0 42 48 6.41
37 Willie Stargell 1970 PIT 83.03 361 361 0 31 37 6.34
38 Bob Robertson 1970 PIT 81.13 300 300 0 27 33 6.28
39 Buster Posey 2012 SFN 79.47 443 443 0 24 30 6.2
40 Pat Seerey 1946 CLE 80.95 248 309 61 26 32 6.12
41 John Mayberry 1972 KCA 80.37 433 433 0 25 31 6.1
42 Glenn Davis 1987 HOU 81.61 499 499 0 27 33 6.09
43 Stan Spence 1946 WS1 72.47 382 555 173 16 22 6.08
44 Dean Palmer 2000 DET 82.74 388 388 0 29 35 6.05
45 John Mayberry 1975 KCA 85.15 487 487 0 34 40 5.93
46 Giancarlo Stanton 2013 MIA 80.3 286 286 0 24 30 5.89
47 Jim Bottomley 1933 CIN 68.9 532 532 0 13 19 5.87
48 David Ortiz 2006 BOS 90.22 446 446 0 54 60 5.85
49 Pedro Alvarez 2013 PIT 86.1 376 376 0 36 42 5.81
50 Gorman Thomas 1982 ML4 87.16 435 435 0 39 45 5.75
51 Steve Balboni 1986 KCA 83.46 372 372 0 29 35 5.75
52 Steve Balboni 1985 KCA 86.28 439 439 0 36 42 5.72
53 Stan Musial 1949 SLN 86.33 469 574 105 36 42 5.7
54 Tommie Agee 1966 CHA 79.43 511 511 0 22 28 5.7
55 Frank E. Thomas 1995 CHA 87.54 431 431 0 40 46 5.7
56 Frank J. Thomas 1957 PIT 80.29 508 545 37 23 29 5.65
57 Danny Tartabull 1991 KCA 84.59 368 368 0 31 37 5.65
58 Wally Berger 1934 BSN 85.78 363 551 188 34 40 5.64
59 Nick Cullop 1931 CIN 58.71 231 251 20 8 14 5.63
60 Rusty Staub 1965 HOU 71.32 359 359 0 14 20 5.63
61 Jim Wynn 1968 HOU 82.28 379 420 41 26 32 5.6
62 Dave Winfield 1979 SDN 85.88 528 528 0 34 40 5.59
63 Mickey Mantle 1959 NYA 84.77 418 418 0 31 37 5.57
64 Mickey Vernon 1954 WS1 78.27 548 546 -2 20 26 5.55
65 Giancarlo Stanton 2012 MIA 86.95 307 307 0 37 43 5.55
66 Pablo Sandoval 2011 SFN 80.62 371 371 0 23 29 5.53
67 Frank J. Thomas 1954 PIT 80.66 393 518 125 23 29 5.52
68 Gee Walker 1940 WS1 70.34 228 537 309 13 18 5.48
69 Lee Thomas 1962 LAA 82.65 501 517 16 26 31 5.46
70 Harmon Killebrew 1970 MIN 88.27 451 451 0 41 46 5.45
71 Johnny Rizzo 1938 PIT 80.89 308 497 189 23 28 5.43
72 Hal Trosky 1940 CLE 82.16 476 480 4 25 30 5.43
73 Eddie Mathews 1955 ML1 88.35 379 408 29 41 46 5.41
74 Willie Mays 1960 SFN 84.42 534 534 0 29 34 5.35
75 Glenn Davis 1988 HOU 84.95 493 493 0 30 35 5.32
76 Willie Davis 1962 LAN 79.88 546 546 0 21 26 5.29
77 Max West 1939 BSN 78.33 253 402 149 19 24 5.26
78 Del Ennis 1948 PHI 85.07 421 534 113 30 35 5.26
79 Del Crandall 1954 ML1 80.04 388 415 27 21 26 5.24
80 Vladimir Guerrero 1998 MON 87.89 533 533 0 38 43 5.23
81 Jose Canseco 1994 TEX 85.6 317 317 0 31 36 5.22
82 Danny Tartabull 1988 KCA 83.3 394 394 0 26 31 5.21
83 Chase Headley 2012 SDN 85.61 452 452 0 31 36 5.21
84 Hank Greenberg 1934 DET 83.35 281 509 228 26 31 5.2
85 Willie Stargell 1965 PIT 83.89 387 409 22 27 32 5.19
86 Earl Torgeson 1950 BSN 81.64 446 515 69 23 28 5.17
87 Clyde Vollmer 1949 WS1 73.05 355 382 27 14 19 5.16
88 Bob Johnson 1942 PHA 71.72 245 490 245 13 18 5.13
89 Jimmie Foxx 1936 BOS 88.96 390 468 78 41 46 5.09
90 Chick Hafey 1934 CIN 77.98 478 478 0 18 23 5.08
91 Ernie Banks 1955 CHN 89.72 462 527 65 44 49 5.04
92 Jim Fregosi 1964 LAA 78.17 428 428 0 18 23 5.03
93 Larry Parrish 1983 TEX 83.79 473 473 0 26 31 5.03
94 Mike Piazza 1996 LAN 87.75 456 456 0 36 41 5.02

Bursting the Bubble

With the exception of the 1923 season, the home run factor at Shibe Park in Philadelphia surpassed the century mark in every year from 1913 through 1936. Jimmie Foxx walloped 58 four-baggers in 1932, easily outdistancing Babe Ruth to top the home run leader boards. Adjusting for the “Shibe Park” effect, the gap withers to a lone dinger, with Foxx prevailing 41 to 40. Excluding the pre-1930 data, Foxx loses 43 circuit clouts off his career statistics. Al “Bucketfoot” Simmons endures a comparable reduction in his estimated 1932 taters, dipping from 35 to 24.

Mel Ott played his home games in the Polo Grounds for the duration of his 22-year career. The park dimensions exceedingly favored left-handed pull hitters with the right-field foul pole a mere 257 feet from home plate (Seamheads Ballpark Database indicates a value fluctuating between 257 and 259 feet). “Master Melvin’s” career totals validate this extreme scenario as he belted 323 round-trippers at home while managing “only” 188 on the road. Taking the warping effect of the Polo Grounds short fences into account, Ott makes 9 appearances in the first 16 slots below. Each entry carves 10 to 14 wallops out of his cumulative statistics, leaving him with a revised count of 350. Our Retrosheet Event data goes back to 1930, so we have not adjusted Ott’s season totals from 1926-29. Still, the -172 adjustment is nearly three times greater than the second-highest negative difference on our list (Johnny Mize at -58). Acquired by the Giants in December 1941, Mize topped the leader boards twice in long balls and ribbies during his five year stint in New York. “The Big Cat” missed three seasons in the prime of his career (1943-45) due to military service. The Polo Grounds’ park factor amends Mize’s career HR numbers by 37 while Sportsman’s Park (St. Louis) aided his four-base hit totals to a lesser degree.

“The Launching Pad” was an appropriate moniker for Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, given the fact that the park’s HR factor eclipsed the 100 mark in 28 of its 31 seasons (including 23 consecutive years from 1966-1988). The chief beneficiaries of the big-fly friendly park were Hank Aaron, Jeff Burroughs, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Horner and Dale Murphy. “Hammerin’ Hank” received a 47-homer boost based on the adjustments for his time in Atlanta. This is balanced somewhat by the conditions at Milwaukee County Stadium, where Aaron spent the majority of his career. Aaron’s revised career statistics receive a correction of -34 round-trippers, from 755 to 721. Bob Horner and Dale Murphy played almost their entire careers enjoying Atlanta’s homer-hospitality. Murphy (-47) drops from 398 to 351 while Horner (-40) dips to 178 total taters. Burroughs’ 1977 campaign takes a substantial hit, decreasing the right fielders’ wallops from 41 to 27.

The Phillies played their home games in the Huntingdon Street Grounds, later known as the National League Park and the Baker Bowl from 1895 to 1938. Left-handed batsmen salivated at the diminutive dimensions in right and right-center field. The distance to the right field corner was a mere 272 feet (increased to 280 feet in 1925). The 40’ right field wall was extended in 1930 to 55’ yet the park’s home run factor exceeded 100 in every season from 1910 until the Phillies abandoned it in favor of Shibe Park in the middle of the 1938 season. Taking aim from the left side, Dolph Camilli, Don Hurst and Chuck Klein’s seasonal home run statistics benefitted considerably. Klein’s career numbers decline by 38 round-trippers after adjusting for the Baker Bowl advantage.

Denver’s rarefied air has been the focal point of the “park factors” discussion ever since Colorado was awarded an expansion team. Dante Bichette, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton and Larry Walker all benefitted from the Coors Field effect, where the home run factor has yet to fall below the 100 mark since the stadium opened in 1995. The use of a humidor to store baseballs prior to game-time, implemented during the 2002 season, correlates with a reduction in the home run park factor during subsequent seasons. Helton’s modified career HR totals decline by 47 and Walker’s round-trippers decrease by 43. Bichette (-37) and Castilla (-39) sustain similar consequences.

Greatest Negative Single-Season HRdiff (1930-2015)

Rank Player Year Team MeanHRPF BIP ActualBIP BIPdiff HR adjHR HRdiff
1 Jimmie Foxx 1932 PHA 140.57 479 489 10 58 41 -16.74
2 Mel Ott 1944 NY1 224.19 346 354 8 26 12 -14.4
3 Jeff Burroughs 1977 ATL 153.87 459 459 0 41 27 -14.35
4 Mel Ott 1937 NY1 184.26 380 480 100 31 17 -14.18
5 Hank Greenberg 1946 DET 147.19 324 436 112 44 30 -14.11
6 Mel Ott 1942 NY1 180.47 224 491 267 30 17 -13.38
7 Mel Ott 1939 NY1 196.43 254 357 103 27 14 -13.25
8 Mel Ott 1938 NY1 155.97 319 482 163 36 23 -12.92
9 Chuck Klein 1932 PHI 147.91 475 601 126 38 26 -12.31
10 Mel Ott 1936 NY1 158.11 296 503 207 33 21 -12.13
11 Dante Bichette 1995 COL 142.73 490 490 0 40 28 -11.98
12 Johnny Mize 1942 NY1 181.71 232 503 271 26 14 -11.69
13 Mel Ott 1931 NY1 164.79 407 454 47 29 18 -11.4
14 Ted Kluszewski 1954 CIN 129.58 544 543 -1 49 38 -11.18
15 Mel Ott 1935 NY1 155.61 448 540 92 31 20 -11.08
16 Mel Ott 1935 NY1 155.61 448 540 92 31 20 -11.08
17 Dale Murphy 1982 ATL 144.34 468 468 0 36 25 -11.06
18 Willie Mays 1954 NY1 136.71 496 515 19 41 30 -11.01
19 Andres Galarraga 1996 COL 129.14 477 477 0 47 36 -10.6
20 Al Simmons 1932 PHA 143.29 582 594 12 35 24 -10.57
21 Dolph Camilli 1936 PHI 160.16 289 448 159 28 17 -10.52
22 Jimmie Foxx 1933 PHA 127.99 475 480 5 48 38 -10.5
23 Ryan Braun 2012 MIL 133.68 475 475 0 41 31 -10.33
24 Rick Monday 1976 CHN 147.46 414 414 0 32 22 -10.3
25 Bob Horner 1982 ATL 146.85 427 427 0 32 22 -10.21
26 Larry Walker 1995 COL 139.41 427 427 0 36 26 -10.18
27 Larry Walker 1999 COL 137.73 392 392 0 37 27 -10.14
28 Mel Ott 1932 NY1 136.29 414 530 116 38 28 -10.12
29 Chuck Klein 1933 PHI 151.8 461 574 113 28 18 -9.55
30 Vinny Castilla 1995 COL 142.32 450 450 0 32 22 -9.52
31 Bob Cerv 1958 KC1 133.35 422 435 13 38 28 -9.5
32 Todd Helton 2000 COL 128.6 529 529 0 42 33 -9.34
33 Todd Helton 1999 COL 135.82 505 505 0 35 26 -9.23
34 Dante Bichette 1999 COL 137.02 519 519 0 34 25 -9.19
35 Vinny Castilla 1996 COL 129.1 545 545 0 40 31 -9.02
36 Ellis Burks 1996 COL 129.04 504 504 0 40 31 -9
37 Ted Williams 1951 BOS 142.79 486 486 0 30 21 -8.99
38 Bob Horner 1978 ATL 163.01 291 291 0 23 14 -8.89
39 Charlie Keller 1943 NYA 140.08 275 454 179 31 22 -8.87
40 Frank J. Thomas 1962 NYN 135.31 482 482 0 34 25 -8.87
41 Leon Wagner 1961 LAA 146.19 395 395 0 28 19 -8.85
42 Billy Williams 1970 CHN 126.53 575 575 0 42 33 -8.81
43 Graig Nettles 1970 CLE 150.66 472 472 0 26 17 -8.74
44 Johnny Mize 1947 NY1 120.64 497 544 47 51 42 -8.73
45 Andres Galarraga 1995 COL 139.21 413 413 0 31 22 -8.73
46 Harmon Killebrew 1966 MIN 128.64 474 474 0 39 30 -8.68
47 Jose Bautista 2010 TOR 118.82 457 457 0 54 45 -8.55
48 Jeff Burroughs 1978 ATL 158.7 402 402 0 23 14 -8.51
49 Willie Mays 1956 NY1 130.92 464 516 52 36 27 -8.5
50 Nick Etten 1945 NYA 188.34 447 546 99 18 10 -8.44
51 Mel Ott 1941 NY1 144.8 215 463 248 27 19 -8.35
52 Babe Young 1941 NY1 149.64 262 539 277 25 17 -8.29
53 Vinny Castilla 1999 COL 133.13 545 545 0 33 25 -8.21
54 Vada Pinson 1970 CLE 151.31 511 511 0 24 16 -8.14
55 Hank Aaron 1971 ATL 120.76 434 442 8 47 39 -8.08
56 Alex Rodriguez 2002 TEX 116.44 506 506 0 57 49 -8.05
57 Mel Ott 1933 NY1 153.4 424 536 112 23 15 -8.01
58 Hank Aaron 1970 ATL 126.66 459 459 0 38 30 -8
59 Roy Foster 1970 CLE 153.23 404 404 0 23 15 -7.99
60 Jay Bruce 2012 CIN 130.73 412 412 0 34 26 -7.99
61 Hank Aaron 1966 ATL 121.9 489 515 26 44 36 -7.9
62 Dale Murphy 1978 ATL 152 393 393 0 23 15 -7.87
63 Corey Hart 2012 MIL 135.06 416 416 0 30 22 -7.79
64 Hank Leiber 1935 NY1 154.69 477 593 116 22 14 -7.78
65 Hank Leiber 1935 NY1 154.69 477 593 116 22 14 -7.78
66 Ryan Howard 2007 PHI 119.74 337 337 0 47 39 -7.75
67 Mel Ott 1940 NY1 168.56 232 491 259 19 11 -7.73
68 Ron Cey 1984 CHN 144.05 405 405 0 25 17 -7.65
69 Phil Weintraub 1944 NY1 241.69 286 305 19 13 5 -7.62
70 Duke Sims 1970 CLE 149.46 287 287 0 23 15 -7.61
71 Chuck Klein 1936 PHI 161.01 288 452 164 20 12 -7.58
72 Bill Terry 1932 NY1 136.7 485 621 136 28 20 -7.52
73 Earl Averill 1961 LAA 155.43 259 258 -1 21 14 -7.49
74 Don Hurst 1932 PHI 145.18 452 566 114 24 17 -7.47
75 Mel Ott 1943 NY1 170.62 145 336 191 18 11 -7.45
76 Carl Yastrzemski 1967 BOS 120.34 516 516 0 44 37 -7.44
77 Paul Konerko 2010 CHA 123.55 444 444 0 39 32 -7.43
78 Leon Durham 1984 CHN 147.6 392 392 0 23 16 -7.42
79 Harry Danning 1939 NY1 186.07 301 484 183 16 9 -7.4
80 Chuck Workman 1945 BSN 141.75 333 465 132 25 18 -7.36
81 Fred McGriff 1992 SDN 126.6 427 427 0 35 28 -7.35
82 Rocky Colavito 1964 KC1 127.32 537 537 0 34 27 -7.3
83 Al Simmons 1930 PHA 125.35 525 537 12 36 29 -7.28
84 Bobby Thomson 1952 NY1 143.56 489 536 47 24 17 -7.28
85 Ernie Banks 1968 CHN 129.21 496 496 0 32 25 -7.23
86 Vern Stephens 1943 SLA 148.61 106 444 338 22 15 -7.2
87 Gary Sheffield 1992 SDN 127.74 524 524 0 33 26 -7.17
88 Orlando Cepeda 1970 ATL 126.57 496 496 0 34 27 -7.14
89 Bobby Thomson 1951 NY1 128.64 447 468 21 32 25 -7.12
90 Tommy Holmes 1945 BSN 134.03 428 630 202 28 21 -7.11
91 Todd Helton 2001 COL 116.89 489 489 0 49 42 -7.08
92 Ryne Sandberg 1985 CHN 137.29 518 518 0 26 19 -7.06
93 Dante Bichette 1996 COL 129.46 538 538 0 31 24 -7.05
94 Babe Herman 1930 BRO 125.16 548 573 25 35 28 -7.04

Revised Long Ball Leaders (Career HR Since 1930)

In case you’re wondering why Babe Ruth and other live-ball era sluggers are omitted from the following lists… The majority of Ruth’s home runs were belted prior to 1930, which is the starting point for this assessment.

Jose Cruz Sr. and the Astrodome’s influence on his offensive statistics are discussed at length in the Houston Astros chapter in “The Bill James Baseball Abstract” (1985, 154-155).  Originally known as Harris County Domed Stadium and dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” the park’s home run factor reached 100 only once in its 35-year existence (1994). Cruz reaps the benefit of an additional 34 jacks based on a neutral environment, bringing his career totals to 199 four-base hits. Cruz’s teammates Cesar Cedeno and Glenn Davis pad their stat lines by 24 long balls apiece.

Busch Stadium III opened in 2006. Registering a park HR factor below 100 in every season through the 2015 campaign, the stadium consistently suppresses the productivity of the Redbirds’ sluggers. Albert Pujols receives an adjustment of +22 home runs during his last six years in St. Louis. Giancarlo Stanton’s tater tally improves by 23 after correcting for the “Marlins Park” factor.

The majority of Mickey Mantle’s career coincides with a downturn in the Yankee Stadium HR park factor (below 100 from 1955-1967). Therefore “The Mick” wallops 22 bonus blasts, lifting his career tally to 558. Possibly due to the alteration of wind patterns and other by-products of multiple renovations in recent years, Fenway Park has routinely stifled the long ball over the past quarter-century. David Ortiz’ career-high 54 jacks in 2006 increases to 60 while his career output improves by 22. Mike Piazza logged sixteen seasons in “pitcher’s parks”, increasing his yield to 449 four-baggers.

Wrigley Field has augmented its sluggers in the long ball department particularly since 1954, with only 11 sub-100 HRPF seasons in that timeframe. Accounting for the “Friendly Confines”, Billy L. Williams (-56) bears the largest downturn. Along with Ryne Sandberg (-35), teammates Ron Santo (-43) and Ernie Banks (-37) join “Sweet Swingin’ Billy from Whistler” on the list, with “Mr. Cub” dropping out of the 500-HR club.

U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox since 1991, boasts a 100+ HR park factor in every season since 2000. This coincides nicely with the alteration of the distances to the outfield fences with the exception of center field prior to the start of the 2001 campaign. Paul Konerko sustains a 50 home run drop after rejecting the “South Side” sugarcoating.

Willie Mays incurs a Polo Grounds penalty of -37 and a -47 decrease overall, revising his stat line from 660 career four-base hits to 613. Deduct 35 from the summary figures for the “Flying Scot”, Bobby Thomson, during his nine seasons with the Giants.

Brooklyn ownership tweaked the fence distances in 1947, turning Ebbets Field into a homer haven through the final eleven seasons at the Dodgers’ home park. Two sluggers who took advantage of the shorter porches were Duke Snider (-47) and Gil Hodges (-41). The favorable hitting environment extended to the Los Angeles Coliseum (following the Dodgers move) and later to the Polo Grounds (as members of the Mets) for both batsmen.

Spanning the 45 years from Ted Williams debut through Carl Yastrzemski’s retirement, the Fenway Park home run factor dipped below 100 only 8 times. Adjusting for the advantage, the career long ball statistics for “Teddy Ballgame” and “Yaz” plummet by 44 and 36, respectively. Excepting 1984 and 1986, Tiger Stadium posted a home run park factor of 100 or better in every season from 1936 through 1999. Detroit batsmen aided by the propitious setting include Norm Cash (-42), Willie Horton (-42) and Al Kaline (-46).

Greatest Positive and Negative HRdiff (Career)

George Brett 49 Mel Ott -161
Willie Stargell 46 Johnny Mize -58
Jim Wynn 41 Billy Williams -56
Barry Bonds 40 Paul Konerko -50
Roberto Clemente 38 Willie Mays -47
Mickey Vernon 36 Todd Helton -47
Jose Cruz Sr. 34 Duke Snider -47
Albert Pujols 34 Dale Murphy -47
Eddie Mathews 34 Al Kaline -46
Joe Adcock 33 Ted Williams -44
Amos Otis 25 Larry Walker -43
Glenn Davis 24 Ron Santo -43
Cesar Cedeno 24 Jimmie Foxx -43
Frank White 24 Willie Horton -42
Dave Winfield 24 Norm Cash -42
Giancarlo Stanton 23 Gil Hodges -41
Bill Mazeroski 23 Bob Horner -40
Vince DiMaggio 23 Vinny Castilla -39
John Mayberry 22 Chuck Klein -38
Mickey Mantle 22 Alex Rodriguez -38
Hal McRae 22 Dante Bichette -37
Buddy Lewis 22 Ernie Banks -37
David Ortiz 22 Carl Yastrzemski -36
Mike Piazza 22 Adam Dunn -35
Ted Simmons 22 Ryne Sandberg -35
Bob Elliott 21 Bobby Thomson -35
Eddie Yost 20

Adjusted Career Home Run Totals (1930-2015)

Rank Player BIP HR ActualBIP BIPdiff adjHR HRdiff
1 Barry Bonds 8403 762 8403 0 802 39.69
2 Hank Aaron 10840 755 11123 283 721 -33.64
3 Alex Rodriguez 8245 687 8245 0 649 -38.08
4 Willie Mays 9280 660 9459 179 613 -47.38
5 Ken Griffey 8132 630 8132 0 603 -26.80
6 Jim Thome 5949 612 5949 0 596 -15.76
7 Albert Pujols 7661 560 7661 0 594 33.61
8 Mark McGwire 4672 583 4672 0 588 5.45
9 Sammy Sosa 6602 609 6602 0 584 -25.48
10 Frank Robinson 8593 586 8593 0 571 -14.91
11 Manny Ramirez 6523 555 6523 0 569 13.62
12 Reggie Jackson 7349 563 7348 -1 561 -1.55
13 Mickey Mantle 6387 536 6453 66 558 22.34
14 Harmon Killebrew 6520 573 6525 5 552 -21.15
15 Eddie Mathews 6901 512 7144 243 546 33.55
16 Rafael Palmeiro 9258 569 9258 0 544 -25.12
17 David Ortiz 6526 503 6526 0 525 22.01
18 Willie Stargell 5991 475 6075 84 521 45.80
19 Mike Schmidt 6593 548 6593 0 519 -28.55
20 Willie McCovey 6722 521 6722 0 516 -5.09
21 Frank Thomas 6923 521 6923 0 512 -9.17
22 Gary Sheffield 8166 509 8166 0 500 -9.30
23 Eddie Murray 9950 504 9950 0 499 -4.76
24 Dave Winfield 9430 465 9431 1 489 23.67
25 Stan Musial 8800 474 10318 1518 488 14.19
26 Jose Canseco 5197 462 5197 0 480 18.35
27 Ted Williams 5828 521 7022 1194 477 -44.48
28 Ernie Banks 8040 512 8326 286 475 -36.73
29 Carlos Delgado 5631 473 5631 0 474 1.25
30 Chipper Jones 7675 468 7675 0 471 2.67
31 Fred McGriff 6948 493 6948 0 469 -24.12
32 Jeff Bagwell 6344 449 6344 0 459 10.06
33 Vladimir Guerrero 7234 449 7234 0 451 2.08
34 Mike Piazza 5843 427 5843 0 449 21.75
35 Jimmie Foxx 4682 485 5906 1224 442 -42.68
36 Jason Giambi 5790 440 5790 0 436 -4.29
37 Andre Dawson 8560 438 8560 0 434 -4.46
38 Andruw Jones 5928 434 5928 0 432 -2.47
39 Juan Gonzalez 5363 434 5363 0 431 -3.26
40 Dave Kingman 4952 442 4952 0 428 -14.50
41 Adam Dunn 4546 462 4546 0 427 -35.46
42 Cal Ripken 10383 431 10383 0 417 -13.67
43 Carl Yastrzemski 10711 452 10713 2 416 -35.83
44 Miguel Cabrera 5933 408 5933 0 414 6.38
45 Adrian Beltre 8294 413 8294 0 407 -5.67
46 Alfonso Soriano 6010 412 6010 0 399 -12.75
47 Darrell Evans 7665 414 7687 22 398 -15.97
48 Frank Howard 5078 382 5078 0 397 15.31
49 Albert Belle 4974 381 4974 0 396 14.57
50 Carlos Beltran 7275 392 7275 0 392 -0.15
51 Paul Konerko 7089 439 7089 0 389 -49.74
52 Joe Carter 7150 396 7150 0 389 -6.76
53 Harold Baines 8575 384 8575 0 389 4.83
54 Jim Edmonds 5204 393 5204 0 387 -5.92
55 Jeff Kent 7089 377 7089 0 384 6.88
56 Andres Galarraga 6152 399 6152 0 382 -16.75
57 Johnny Bench 6479 389 6481 2 382 -7.42
58 Matt Williams 5708 378 5708 0 376 -1.72
59 Dwight Evans 7428 385 7428 0 373 -11.95
60 Tony Perez 8022 379 8026 4 372 -7.44
61 Billy Williams 8371 426 8385 14 370 -56.12
62 Joe Adcock 5495 336 5634 139 369 32.77
63 Torii Hunter 7193 353 7193 0 369 15.56
64 Carlton Fisk 7475 376 7475 0 367 -8.56
65 George Brett 9587 317 9587 0 366 49.21
66 Graig Nettles 7879 390 7879 0 365 -25.09
67 Orlando Cepeda 6837 379 6836 -1 364 -14.63
68 Mark Teixeira 5275 394 5275 0 364 -29.97
69 Jim Rice 6901 382 6901 0 363 -18.51
70 Aramis Ramirez 6988 386 6988 0 363 -22.97
71 Gary Gaetti 7485 360 7485 0 362 2.47
72 Greg Vaughn 4655 355 4655 0 362 6.72
73 Lee May 6105 354 6113 8 361 6.99
74 Yogi Berra 7009 358 7194 185 360 1.88
75 Duke Snider 6009 407 6008 -1 360 -47.33
76 Dick Allen 4848 351 4848 0 353 2.31
77 Al Kaline 9245 399 9245 0 353 -45.86
78 Dale Murphy 6278 398 6278 0 351 -46.64
79 Jack Clark 5497 340 5498 1 351 10.86
80 Rocky Colavito 5688 374 5699 11 350 -23.87
81 Lance Berkman 5246 366 5246 0 349 -16.85
82 Don Baylor 7262 338 7260 -2 348 10.20
83 Luis Gonzalez 8047 354 8047 0 346 -7.78
84 Ralph Kiner 3796 369 4472 676 346 -23.18
85 Boog Powell 5554 339 5554 0 343 3.73
86 Joe DiMaggio 6025 361 6466 441 340 -20.74
87 Larry Walker 5748 383 5748 0 340 -43.16
88 Tino Martinez 6136 339 6136 0 337 -1.91
89 Darryl Strawberry 4120 335 4120 0 337 1.95
90 Norm Cash 5686 377 5686 0 335 -41.53
91 Chili Davis 7089 350 7089 0 335 -15.30
92 Mo Vaughn 4148 328 4148 0 333 5.37
93 George Foster 5674 348 5675 1 333 -14.70
94 Ryan Howard 3699 357 3699 0 332 -24.60
95 Gary Carter 7106 324 7106 0 332 8.28
96 Jim Wynn 5278 291 5332 54 332 40.74
97 Carlos Lee 7100 358 7100 0 331 -26.84
98 Ellis Burks 5983 352 5983 0 331 -21.03
99 Gil Hodges 5992 370 5999 7 329 -40.73
100 Derrek Lee 5397 331 5397 0 329 -1.84
101 Roy Sievers 5262 318 5537 275 329 10.79
102 Dave Parker 7908 339 7908 0 328 -10.79
103 Shawn Green 5823 328 5823 0 327 -1.00
104 Moises Alou 6234 332 6234 0 326 -5.79
105 Lou Gehrig 3955 347 4842 887 325 -22.28
106 Todd Helton 6883 369 6883 0 322 -47.34
107 Scott Rolen 6082 316 6082 0 321 5.08
108 Bobby Bonds 5366 332 5366 0 321 -11.09
109 Jeromy Burnitz 4386 315 4386 0 319 4.13
110 Ron Gant 5107 321 5107 0 318 -3.04
111 Troy Glaus 4078 320 4078 0 313 -6.95
112 Ivan Rodriguez 8225 311 8225 0 312 0.57
113 Reggie Sanders 4684 305 4684 0 307 2.07
114 Edgar Martinez 6098 309 6098 0 306 -2.94
115 Del Ennis 6052 288 6593 541 304 16.46
116 Raul Ibanez 6162 305 6162 0 304 -0.55
117 Ruben Sierra 6926 306 6926 0 303 -3.39
118 Frank Thomas 5024 286 5487 463 302 16.43
119 Steve Finley 8264 304 8264 0 302 -1.91
120 Robin Ventura 5994 294 5994 0 302 7.98
121 Miguel Tejada 7449 307 7449 0 302 -5.47
122 Jay Buhner 3673 310 3673 0 301 -8.72
123 Jermaine Dye 5246 325 5246 0 301 -23.72
124 Adrian Gonzalez 5029 290 5029 0 301 11.17
125 Johnny Mize 4276 359 5939 1663 301 -57.88
126 Prince Fielder 4459 311 4459 0 301 -10.31
127 Richie Sexson 3651 306 3651 0 301 -5.35
128 Reggie Smith 6097 314 6097 0 300 -13.75
129 Cecil Fielder 3887 319 3887 0 300 -18.84
130 Rickey Henderson 9364 297 9364 0 300 3.03
131 Hank Greenberg 2591 331 4384 1793 300 -31.00
132 Ron Santo 6894 342 6907 13 299 -42.91
133 Lance Parrish 5621 324 5621 0 299 -25.32
134 Brian Giles 5766 287 5766 0 297 10.41
135 Carlos Pena 3423 286 3423 0 295 9.38
136 Craig Biggio 9305 291 9305 0 295 4.33
137 Eric Karros 5350 284 5350 0 295 10.67
138 Hank Sauer 3698 288 4105 407 293 5.03
139 David Justice 4681 305 4681 0 293 -11.99
140 Garret Anderson 7516 287 7516 0 291 4.22
141 Bobby Bonilla 6111 287 6111 0 290 2.94
142 Rusty Staub 8943 292 9007 64 290 -2.26
143 Kent Hrbek 5475 293 5475 0 290 -3.36
144 Mike Cameron 5029 278 5029 0 290 11.56
145 Mel Ott 5435 450 7534 2099 289 -160.76
146 Ron Cey 6035 316 6035 0 289 -26.95
147 Greg Luzinski 5090 307 5090 0 289 -18.34
148 Joe Morgan 8378 268 8409 31 287 18.68
149 Tim Salmon 4642 299 4642 0 286 -12.82
150 Ryan Klesko 4593 278 4593 0 286 7.89
151 Bobby Abreu 6732 288 6732 0 286 -2.29
152 Will Clark 6097 284 6097 0 283 -0.67
153 Willie Horton 6059 325 6061 2 283 -41.85
154 Pat Burrell 3993 292 3993 0 283 -9.28
155 Magglio Ordonez 6194 294 6194 0 282 -12.39
156 Vinny Castilla 5832 320 5832 0 281 -38.61
157 Bernie Williams 6733 287 6733 0 281 -5.89
158 Danny Tartabull 3695 262 3695 0 279 17.40
159 Fred Lynn 5920 306 5920 0 279 -26.86
160 Roger Maris 4408 275 4423 15 279 3.90
161 Roberto Clemente 7973 240 8326 353 278 38.45
162 Matt Holliday 5082 275 5082 0 278 2.83
163 Bob Johnson 4646 288 6097 1451 278 -10.37
164 John Mayberry 4695 255 4700 5 277 22.46
165 Brooks Robinson 9874 268 9879 5 277 9.42
166 Raul Mondesi 4723 271 4723 0 277 6.01
167 Dean Palmer 3625 275 3625 0 275 0.41
168 Matt Stairs 4127 265 4127 0 274 9.11
169 Tom Brunansky 5182 271 5182 0 274 2.72
170 Gorman Thomas 3432 268 3432 0 273 4.73
171 Ted Simmons 8097 248 8097 0 270 21.67
172 Tim Wallach 6875 260 6875 0 269 8.76
173 Jose Bautista 3775 286 3775 0 267 -18.64
174 Adam LaRoche 4249 255 4249 0 266 11.10
175 Larry Parrish 5520 256 5520 0 266 10.08
176 Ken Boyer 6469 282 6518 49 266 -16.43
177 Paul O’Neill 6249 281 6249 0 265 -16.17
178 George Hendrick 6223 267 6223 0 265 -2.21
179 Eric Davis 3976 282 3976 0 264 -18.13
180 Brian Downing 6855 275 6856 1 264 -11.37
181 Eric Chavez 4494 260 4494 0 262 1.93
182 Robin Yount 9885 251 9885 0 261 10.20
183 Javy Lopez 4401 260 4401 0 261 0.69
184 Jorge Posada 4687 275 4687 0 260 -14.81
185 George Scott 6099 271 6099 0 258 -13.14
186 Todd Zeile 6383 253 6383 0 257 4.28
187 Tony Armas 4026 251 4026 0 257 5.98
188 Bret Boone 5516 252 5516 0 257 4.68
189 Wally Berger 3377 242 4496 1119 256 14.13
190 George Bell 5435 265 5435 0 256 -9.01
191 Vernon Wells 5753 270 5753 0 256 -14.23
192 Steve Garvey 7955 272 7955 0 256 -16.49
193 Ted Kluszewski 5591 279 5590 -1 253 -25.90
194 John Olerud 6684 255 6684 0 253 -2.03
195 Rudy York 2592 277 5049 2457 251 -25.69
196 Justin Morneau 4632 241 4632 0 251 10.19
197 Bobby Murcer 5989 252 5988 -1 251 -0.96

The 1970 Indians clouted 133 dingers at Cleveland (aka Municipal) Stadium while connecting only 50 times on the road. In the midst of a 29-year trend with an above-average HR park factor (except for three seasons), several Tribe batsmen established career-bests in round-trippers including Ray Fosse (18), Roy Foster (23), Eddie Leon (10), Vada Pinson (24), Duke Sims (23) and Ted Uhlaender (11). Coors Field occupies 3 of the top 10 slots for most favorable home run environments in the last 85 seasons. Larry Walker (-10), Todd Helton (-9), Dante Bichette (-9) and Vinny Castilla (-8) slugged an estimated 36 additional long balls in 1999.

The Angels played their home games in cozy Wrigley Field (Los Angeles) during their inaugural campaign (1961). The expansion franchise belted 122 blasts at home compared to 67 on the road. Earl Averill Jr. (-7), Steve Bilko (-6), Ken Hunt (-7), Ted “Big Klu” Kluszewski (-6), Lee Thomas (-7) and Leon “Daddy Wags” Wagner (-8) reflect their seasonal averages after correcting for the diminutive dimensions. The above-mentioned Polo Grounds appears ten times in the top 25 seasons among stadiums with extremely favorable home run factors. Miller Park’s HRPF spiked in 2012, contributing to bloated power numbers from Ryan J. Braun (-10), Corey Hart (-8), Aramis Ramirez (-7) and Rickie Weeks (-5).

Greatest Negative Difference for Home Ballpark, Single-Season 

Team_Year HRPF BIP HR actualBIP BIPdiff Mean_HRPF adjHR HRdiff_total
CLE_1970 706080 4675 183 4675 0 151 121 -62
COL_1999 669507 4954 223 4954 0 135 165 -59
COL_1995 585318 4164 200 4164 0 141 142 -58
LAA_1961 645235 4471 189 4473 2 144 131 -57
PHA_1932 702177 4908 172 5000 92 143 120 -52
NY1_1939 552056 2929 116 4736 1807 188 62 -52
MIL_2012 593203 4428 202 4428 0 134 151 -51
NY1_1944 946884 4532 93 4939 407 209 45 -50
NY1_1937 712692 3909 111 4927 1018 182 61 -50
COL_1996 594730 4615 221 4615 0 129 171 -50
NY1_1942 401072 2200 108 4757 2557 182 59 -49
NY1_1954 622180 4627 186 4820 193 134 138 -48
ATL_1977 710749 4775 139 4775 0 149 93 -46
NY1_1952 612241 4235 151 4645 410 145 104 -46
ATL_1982 683788 4777 146 4777 0 143 102 -45
NY1_1938 483395 3085 125 4814 1729 157 80 -45
ATL_1978 713110 4615 123 4615 0 155 80 -44
NYA_1945 733329 3858 93 4705 847 190 49 -44
NY1_1935 664708 4260 123 5260 1000 156 79 -44
CHN_1985 657204 4660 150 4660 0 141 106 -43
CHN_1984 665769 4580 136 4580 0 145 94 -43
NY1_1951 587780 4519 179 4818 299 130 138 -41
NY1_1931 753527 4458 101 5036 578 169 60 -41
TOR_2010 518154 4381 257 4381 0 118 217 -40
PHI_1936 530313 3270 103 4980 1710 162 64 -40

San Francisco’s AT&T Park anchors two of the top three slots on the single-season list for HRdiff. Adjusting for a neutral home ballpark, Barry Bonds increases his output in 2001-02 by 20 round-trippers. Jeff Kent (+11) and Rich Aurilia (+10) receive significant bumps as well. Detroit moved into Comerica Park to commence the 2000 campaign. The pitcher-friendly field was not well-received by the Tigers’ batsmen. Ultimately upper management opted to shrink the distance to left-center field power alley following the 2002 season. Revised statistics for the inaugural season in their new digs grant Bobby Higginson an additional seven dingers, upping his total to 37. Third-sacker Dean Palmer jumps to 35 jacks (+6) and Juan “Igor” Gonzalez vaults to 27 (+5).

Dodger Stadium opened in 1962 with two tenants (the Dodgers and the Angels). Known as a pitchers’ park during its first decade in use, each franchise felt the effects of transferring from extreme “homer-friendly” fields in the previous campaign. Frank Howard and Tommy H. Davis add 7 circuit clouts apiece after factoring in the Dodger Stadium “deflation” while ’62 Dodgers teammates Willie Davis (+5) and Ron Fairly (+4) enjoy a comparable advantage. Known as “Chavez Ravine” for the Angels’ home games, the stadium stifled Halos hitmen for three seasons until Anaheim Stadium opened in ’65. Leon “Daddy Wags” Wagner bolsters his already-impressive output by 15 jacks (1962-63). Jim Fregosi and Lee Thomas pad their career tallies by 8 quadruples.

Greatest Positive Difference for Home Ballpark, Single-Season 

Team_Year HRPF BIP HR actualBIP BIPdiff Mean_HRPF adjHR Hrdiff
SFN_2001 396212 4643 235 4643 0 85 275 40
PIT_1966 369443 4616 158 4778 162 80 197 39
SFN_2002 385504 4656 198 4656 0 83 239 39
DET_2000 389187 4753 177 4753 0 82 216 39
MLN_1954 352825 4455 139 4796 341 79 176 36
LAN_1962 386340 4872 140 4872 0 79 177 36
HOU_1965 348708 4697 97 4697 0 74 131 35
WS1_1949 315350 4463 81 4803 340 71 115 34
HOU_1983 354699 4768 97 4768 0 74 130 33
PIT_1958 361072 4541 134 4602 61 80 169 33
WS1_1950 324140 4555 76 4720 165 71 107 32
CIN_1930 279607 4007 74 4930 923 70 106 32
MLN_1953 345527 4144 156 4791 647 83 187 32
BSN_1950 345772 4203 148 4820 617 82 180 32
HOU_1967 341486 4598 93 4680 82 74 125 32
SDN_1970 377665 4442 172 4442 0 85 202 31
WS1_1955 335704 4574 80 4608 34 73 109 30
SEA_2012 359257 4302 149 4302 0 84 178 30
SFN_2015 371447 4488 136 4488 0 83 164 29
LAA_1963 360034 4720 95 4720 0 76 125 29
BOS_1935 521962 6192 138 9900 3708 84 164 29

The toughest place to hit a home run since 1930 was Redland Field in Cincinnati (early 1930’s), followed closely by Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. (1930-1955).

Reds HR 1930 1931 1932 1933 Total Mean
Home 20 6 11 5 42 10.5
Away 54 15 36 29 134 33.5

 

Senators HR 1930-1955 Mean
Home 380 14.6
Away 1043 40.1

Lowest HR Park Factors, Single-Season by Team 

Team_Year HRPF BIP HR actualBIP BIPdiff adjHR Hrdiff Mean_HRPF
CIN_1931 276505 4459 21 4973 514 13.22 33.87 62.01
CIN_1932 286177 4539 47 5107 568 26.96 74.55 63.05
WS1_1940 144158 2159 52 4910 2751 27.34 77.88 66.77
CIN_1930 279607 4007 74 4930 923 32.04 106.05 69.78
CIN_1933 345511 4917 34 4917 0 14.06 48.39 70.27
WS1_1949 315350 4463 81 4803 340 33.68 114.64 70.66
WS1_1945 351820 4951 27 4952 1 10.21 38.00 71.06
WS1_1950 324140 4555 76 4720 165 32.31 106.80 71.16
KC1_1966 316808 4445 70 4444 -1 28.26 98.21 71.27
WS1_1946 239459 3359 60 4785 1426 23.77 84.16 71.29
WS1_1952 345067 4800 50 4831 31 19.87 69.55 71.89
CHN_1942 139322 1929 75 4823 2894 28.77 103.84 72.22
PHA_1942 185783 2534 33 4870 2336 12.27 45.01 73.32
WS1_1955 335704 4574 80 4608 34 30.22 109.00 73.39
HOU_1971 332142 4498 71 4706 208 24.46 96.15 73.84
WS1_1947 296639 4008 42 4649 641 13.59 56.75 74.01
HOU_1984 359218 4853 79 4853 0 28.16 106.73 74.02
WS1_1953 342547 4627 69 4627 0 23.90 93.20 74.03
WS1_1948 318305 4294 31 4625 331 10.95 41.82 74.13
HOU_1965 348708 4697 97 4697 0 34.75 130.66 74.24
HOU_1967 341486 4598 93 4680 82 31.70 125.22 74.27
HOU_1983 354699 4768 97 4768 0 33.02 130.39 74.39
KC1_1967 330545 4425 69 4425 0 23.77 92.37 74.70
WS1_1942 116002 1552 40 4809 3257 14.58 53.52 74.74
BSN_1939 235707 3143 56 4908 1765 16.98 74.67 74.99
WS1_1939 169599 2255 44 5004 2749 17.64 58.50 75.21
CIN_1937 355636 4716 73 4716 0 21.01 96.80 75.41
CIN_1935 364440 4830 73 4829 -1 23.41 96.75 75.45

Hands down, the Polo Grounds V (1911-1963) offered the path of least resistance in terms of launching long balls. Three different organizations called it home: the Giants from 1911-1957, the Yankees from 1913-1922 and the Mets in 1962-63. In every season the HR park factor exceeded 100.   

Highest HR Park Factors, Single-Season by Team 

Team_Year HRPF BIP HR actualBIP BIPdiff adjHR Hrdiff Mean_HRPF
NY1_1944 946884 4532 93 4939 407 -50.05 44.51 208.93
NYA_1945 733329 3858 93 4705 847 -44.36 48.93 190.08
NY1_1939 552056 2929 116 4736 1807 -51.52 61.55 188.48
NY1_1937 712692 3909 111 4927 1018 -49.86 60.88 182.32
NY1_1942 401072 2200 108 4757 2557 -48.97 59.24 182.31
NY1_1931 753527 4458 101 5036 578 -40.71 59.75 169.03
NY1_1940 387138 2315 91 4926 2611 -36.41 54.42 167.23
PHI_1936 530313 3270 103 4980 1710 -39.83 63.51 162.18
NY1_1936 491010 3086 97 5117 2031 -34.61 60.96 159.11
BOS_1943 283346 1787 57 4914 3127 -20.67 35.95 158.56
NY1_1938 483395 3085 125 4814 1729 -44.51 79.77 156.69
NY1_1935 664708 4260 123 5260 1000 -44.12 78.83 156.03
NY1_1933 627673 4036 82 5068 1032 -30.32 52.73 155.52
ATL_1978 713110 4615 123 4615 0 -44.36 79.60 154.52
NY1_1943 331536 2177 81 4924 2747 -29.66 53.19 152.29
PHI_1933 594593 3913 60 4907 994 -19.67 39.49 151.95
CLE_1970 706080 4675 183 4675 0 -62.07 121.17 151.03
ATL_1977 710749 4775 139 4775 0 -46.25 93.38 148.85
CHN_1976 712959 4801 105 4801 0 -34.46 70.71 148.50
SLA_1943 147898 1001 78 4625 3624 -26.02 52.79 147.75
PHI_1932 592639 4030 122 5088 1058 -39.34 82.96 147.06
NY1_1941 335432 2289 95 4969 2680 -29.99 64.83 146.54
DET_1946 527105 3597 108 4793 1196 -34.69 73.70 146.54
CHN_1984 665769 4580 136 4580 0 -42.65 93.56 145.36
NY1_1952 612241 4235 151 4645 410 -45.68 104.45 144.57
LAA_1961 645235 4471 189 4473 2 -57.47 130.96 144.32
ATL_1982 683788 4777 146 4777 0 -45.16 102.00 143.14
PHA_1932 702177 4908 172 5000 92 -51.63 120.22 143.07
SEA_1980 701467 4912 104 4912 0 -31.48 72.83 142.81
LAN_1960 645167 4542 126 4542 0 -38.21 88.70 142.04
CHN_1985 657204 4660 150 4660 0 -42.99 106.36 141.03
CLE_1972 641841 4561 91 4561 0 -26.45 64.67 140.72
COL_1995 585318 4164 200 4164 0 -58.15 142.28 140.57

Further Reading

Jim Albert and Max Marchi’s work on “Calculating Park Factors” was absolutely essential to my research for this article. The R code and associated explanation for their method is describing in Section 11.7 of “Analyzing Baseball Data with R”.

Hirsch, Dan. Park Neutralized Stats. July 14, 2016.

James, Bill. The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1983. Pgs. 11-12, “New Business – 2) Ballpark Influences”

References and Resources

Albert, Jim and Max Marchi. Analyzing Baseball Data with R. Boca Raton, FL.: CRC Press, 2014. Print.

Baseball-Reference

James, Bill. The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1983. New York, NY.: Ballantine Books, 1983. Print.

James, Bill. The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1985. New York, NY.: Ballantine Books, 1985. Print.

Retrosheet Event Files

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.

SABR Baseball Biography Project

Seamheads MLB Ballparks Database

About the Author

I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family.

My book “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of “Hardball Retrospective” are accessible here.

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Park-Neutral Home Runs”
  1. Cliff Blau says:

    Your methodology may be appropriate for more-or-less symmetrical ballparks, but to suggest that Joe DiMaggio would have hit fewer homers if he’d played in a HR-neutral home park doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Another thing: you show Hank Greenberg (for example) with an adjusted career total of 300 home runs. That means that he would have had 174 home runs at his HR-neutral home park, and 126 on the road. Seems a bit imbalanced.

  2. Derek Bain says:

    Cliff, I am in agreement with your first statement. I utilized the home run park factor method outlined in “Analyzing Baseball Data with R” (Chapter 11.7). Section 11.7.3 states three assumptions for the proposed approach included in the text. Specific to your comment about Joe DiMaggio, the authors advise “another assumption … is that a single park factor is appropriate for all players, without considering how ballparks might affect some categories of players differently. Asymmetric outfield configurations, in fact, cause playing fields to have unequal effects on right-handed and left-handed players. For example, the Green Monster in Boston, being situated in left field, comes into play more frequently when right-handed batters are at the plate; and the recent new version of the Yankee Stadium has seen left-handed batters take advantage of the short distance of the right field fence.”

    As such, DiMaggio’s totals are unfairly adjusted because Yankee Stadium HRPF eclipsed the 100 mark in every season during his career with the exception of his rookie year (1936) and 1950.

    I’m not sure I follow the logic on the Hank Greenberg comment. His actual home/away home run totals are 205 (home) and 126 (away). Reducing his career (home) HR totals by 31 yields a revised sum of 174 (home) vs 126 (away), which is a better balance than his actual numbers.

  3. Cliff Blau says:

    On Greenberg, I mean that it seems odd to say he would have hit 174 homers at home in HR-neutral parks, and 126 homers on the road in HR-neutral parks. His (and anyone else’s) home and road totals should be similar after adjusting for the HR propensity of the parks.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!