Cover image for The single-season home run kings : Ruth, Maris, McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds
The single-season home run kings : Ruth, Maris, McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds
McNeil, William.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 252 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: Ruth, Maris, McGwire and Sosa. c1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV868.4 .M38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



After Babe Ruth erased Buck Freeman's record in 1919, the new mark stood for 34 years before Maris bettered it, defying as he did an incredulous sporting public. And just as fans' anger grew old and Maris was grudgingly credited--or discredited--with an unrepeatable hot streak, along came Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, two goliaths who in 1998 and the years just after proved fans wrong again. But when in 2001, only three years after McGwire seemed to put the record beyond reach, Barry Bonds topped him by three. This time fans were staunch in their disbelief, and while many celebrated Bonds' achievement, others questioned its significance. This revised edition of Bill McNeil's Ruth, Maris, McGwire, and Sosa ("libraries especially will want this"-- Library Journal ) reviews the careers of each home run titan, with special attention to the record-breaking seasons. The cultural and social changes that may have affected both the players' season totals and fan reception are also considered.

Author Notes

William F. McNeil A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Part 1 The Text
1. The Evolution of the Home Runp. 3
2. Babe Ruth--The Early Yearsp. 10
3. Babe Ruth--A Hero Emergesp. 22
4. The 1930s, '40s, and '50s--An Historical Perspectivep. 38
5. Roger Maris--The Early Yearsp. 45
6. Roger Maris--Home Run Championp. 56
7. The 1960s to the 1990s--An Historical Perspectivep. 71
8. Sammy Sosa--The Early Yearsp. 76
9. Mark McGwire--The Early Yearsp. 90
10. The Great Home Run Race of 1998p. 105
11. The Home Run War Continuesp. 124
12. Barry Bonds--The Early Yearsp. 130
13. Barry Bonds--The Home Run Kingp. 161
14. The Champions--Side by Sidep. 189
Part 2 The Statistics
1. Playing Statisticsp. 207
2. Side by Side Comparisonsp. 210
3. Home Run Statisticsp. 212
4. Homer by Homer Comparisonsp. 215
5. Babe Ruth in 1927p. 217
6. Roger Maris in 1961p. 219
7. Mark McGwire in 1998p. 221
8. Sammy Sosa in 1998p. 223
9. Barry Bonds in 2001p. 225
10. Major League Park Field Dimensionsp. 227
11. Home Run Factorsp. 230
12. Top Home Run Seasons, per At-Batp. 234
13. Top Home Run Careers, per At-Batp. 235
Bibliographyp. 237
Indexp. 241