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Most Home Runs First 162 Career Games

Posted by Raphy on December 13, 2009

Here's a quick list in which the leader is no surprise, but many of the runner-ups are.

Since 1954, 20 players have hit 35 or more home runs in their first 162 career games. (You can find them by using "Player Batting" Game Finder,  selecting "Find Players with Most Matching Games in Multiple Years",  setting the criteria at HR>=1 and limiting to player's first 162 games. Complete the search and sort by HR.) Here are the leaders.

14 Responses to “Most Home Runs First 162 Career Games”

  1. ImAShark3 Says:

    That Mark Mic was quite a homerun machine back in the day.

  2. DavidRF Says:

    Some guys making the list pre-1954 are Wally Berger at 38 (1930-31) and Chuck Klein at 44 (1928-29). Hal Trosky just misses with 34. Berger still shares the NL rookie record with Robinson. Retrosheet sheet has all those dailies available already.

    Retrosheet doesn't have the late 30s and 40s yet though. Ted Williams had 31 his rookie year in 149 games. Its possible he makes the list but 1940 was not a big HR year for him. Dimaggio had 29 his rookie season in just 138 games and he hit a ton of HR (46) his second year so its possible he hit 6+ his first month. Can't be sure without the dailies and those aren't ready from retrosheet yet.

    Rudy York, though. He makes the list for sure. He hit 35 HR in his first 107 games and hit quite a few the following year (33). It'd be fun to look at the dailies for the 1938 Tigers to see how many he hits in his first 55 games. Its possible, though just using math to interpolate his season he "only" makes it into the top 5 or so.

    I'm probably missing a few others. Hard to be sure without a search engine.

  3. gerry Says:

    I missed the emergence of Jay Bruce. His similarity list is headed by Barry Bonds. I'll believe it when I see it.

    The 1938 Tigers played their 55th game on 18 June. York hit his 16th HR of the season on 16 June, so he had at least 51 in his first 162 games. He hit another on the 19th.

    The 1937 Yankees played their 24th game on 21 May. DiMaggio got off to a slow start that year and had only 2 HR by that date. He got his 6th on the 5th of June. He played 151 games that year (out of 154), so it looks like he doesn't make the list.

    All this data is here at bbref. Just look at the HR Log on each player page, and the Schedule link on each team page.

  4. DavidRF Says:

    Ah.. the HR logs. Thanks!

    Sounds like York tied Big Mac for sure and if he had any days off that spring he beats him.

  5. Raphy Says:

    OK Gerry - I'll play.
    Chuck Klein had 11 HR in 64 games in 1928. He had another 33 in the Phillies first 108 games in 1929. The 108 games ends in the middle of a HR slump for Klein, so even if he missed a few games he is still at 44 in 162 games.

  6. ImAShark3 Says:

    York could have missed some games though, and therefore could have connected for some after the Tigers first 55 games and have the most ahead of Mark Mic.

  7. ImAShark3 Says:

    And actually Rudy York didn't play 107 games in 1937, he played in 104 in 1937 and 3 in 1934.

  8. Interesting Factoid Says:

    [...] Longoria hit more home runs in the 1st 162 games of his career than Albert Pujols hit in the first 162 games of his career – 38 to 37.  The only [...]

  9. ImAShark3 Says:

    Please make more sense when leaving comments, Interesting Factoid.

  10. rico petrocelli Says:

    Nice to see Tony on that list. There are two TC's,I mean the original.

    Chris Duncan is there...the Kevin Maas of the Oughts?

    Wht did the Sox dump him after getting him for Smoltz? How bad was he since his first 162? Anyone know?

  11. gerry Says:

    The Wikipedia article on Ryan Braun says, "Home Run Pace. On June 3, Braun became the second-fastest major league player to reach 50 career home runs. He did so in 171 career games (the only player to reach that plateau sooner was Mark McGwire). On July 8, Braun hit his 56th home run in his 200th game, the third-highest total ever in a major leaguer's initial 200 games, behind McGwire (59) and Rudy York (59)."

    The bit about only McGwire beating him to 50 is surely wrong, if what we've found about York is right.

  12. DavidRF Says:

    Raphy: #5
    Boxes for the 1929 NL are on retrosheet. Klein's 98th game that year was August 2nd. His 44th career HR was on July 31st.

    The HRLog/TeamSchedule guessing game is for non-retrosheet seasons. (pre-1920/34-51 NL/37-51 AL)

  13. DavidRF Says:

    Gerry #11
    Wikipedia cites a Rocky Mountain News article from shortly after the game:

    That article cites the Elias Sports Bureau. Looks like Elias missed this one. I suppose its Wikipedia and we can fix it ourselves.

    Threads similar to this one keep popping up. Ryan Howard's 200th HR this summer brought it up. There's so many different ways to track the pace. Age, PA, AB, G. It would make a great enhancement to the HR log to add columns those four (where known) or perhaps adding a PI tool for searching the HR logs. So you could sort all the 200th homers by various factors.

  14. Recent Pinstripe Power Debuts Says:

    [...] 1954, 37 players have hit 9 or more home runs in their first 162 games as a Yankee. (H/T to Raphy for the fun idea to look at a list like this one.) Check out the names on this list. Ah, good [...]