Ruth, Maris, McGwire and Sosa: Baseball's Single Season Home Run Champions

Ruth, Maris, McGwire and Sosa: Baseball's Single Season Home Run Champions

by William F. McNeil
     
 

The magical 1998 baseball season made celebrities of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as they chased the legendary single season major league home run record. Fittingly, their success also refocused the spotlight on the men they were chasing (and eventually overtook): Yankee sluggers Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

This work reviews the life and careers of these four

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Overview

The magical 1998 baseball season made celebrities of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as they chased the legendary single season major league home run record. Fittingly, their success also refocused the spotlight on the men they were chasing (and eventually overtook): Yankee sluggers Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

This work reviews the life and careers of these four record-breaking longballers, with special emphasis placed on each of their record-breaking seasons. Appropriate mention is made of the record challengers such as Mantle and Foxx in order that the analyses may be seen in context. The four combatants are also studied side by side, comparing the various cultural and social conditions and changes in the game that may have affected each player's home run totals. Numerous unique and interesting facts and statistics are included: e.g., Ruth set the single-season home run record not once but four times and held the record longer than Maris did (despite the common misconception); Sosa held the record for 45 minutes after hitting number 66; Ruth outhomered every other team in 1927, but in 1998 Big Mac didn't come close to outslugging even one team.

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Editorial Reviews

The SABR Bulletin
the four combatants are studied side-by-side, comparing the various cultural and social conditions and changes in the game that may have affected each player's home run totals
Sports Collectors Digest
unique and interesting facts
USA Today Baseball Weekly
Big Mac and Sammy get the biographical treatment in context with fellow 60-HR Club members Roger Maris and the Bambino. Includes statistical studies and comparative essays from the eras of these fence-busting feats
Library Journal
The record-setting season of 1998 has already seen a number of appreciations, from Bernie Milasz's pictorial Celebrating 70 to Mike Lupica's Summer of '98. Now McNeil (The King of Swat) compares the 1998 heroics of Sosa and McGwire with Ruth's 60 and Maris's 61. Placing each record in historical context, he considers each slugger's background and personality, the era's pitching quality, the size and character of the ball parks, and the variables of day/night play. The extensive statistics and appealing sidelights add to McNeil's analysis. Sports students and their libraries especially will want this.--Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Medical Lib., Tucson, AZ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786407477
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Pages:
252

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