Johnny Mize – >50 home runs <50 strikeouts
I think we can all agree that Albert Pujols is the best combination of hitting for average and power in our generation. In 2006, he was one home run short of hitting as many home runs as he had strikeouts for the season. And this season he is closest again (in terms of players with 30 or more home runs) with 41 home runs and 73 strikeouts.
The obvious questions is are there any players that have finished with more home runs than strikeouts. The obvious answer is yes, plenty of times. Al Simmons, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Ott, and the list goes on and on. A better question is are there any players that have hit more than 50 home runs and struck out less than 50 times.
That list shrinks down to one, his name was Johhny Mize. Eclipsing the 40 home run palteau three times in his career he would hit 50 home runs while striking out only 42 times in 1947. The future Hall of Famer would have 138 runs batted in and 137 runs scored with a .302/.384/.614. So, while a handful can claim they have matched strikeouts to home runs for a season, only the great Johnny Mize can say he did it with 50 home runs.
This Day in Baseball
At the age of 20, Al Kaline becomes the youngest player to win a batting title. The Tigers’ outfielder finishes the season with .340 average.
At the alleged age of 60, Satchel Paige becomes the oldest player ever to appear in a major league game. Pitching for the Kansas City A’s, he blanks the Red Sox for three innings striking out one and giving up just one hit to Carl Yastrzemski.
At age 34, Willie Mays becomes the oldest player to slug 50 home runs in a seasons. Giant center fielder was also the youngest to accomplish the feat hitting 51 homers in 1955.
NBC’s hit TV show “ER” airs live and includes the Cubs telecast in the background of various scenes to authenticate its claim of not being pre-recorded. The medical drama cuts to the game just as Brad Ausmus hits a three-run homer much to the delight of the Astros’ catcher who is taping his favorite program to watch later, not knowing he would be part of the cast.
Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his league-leading 56th homer of the season and 350th of his career becoming the youngest player ever to reach the milestone.