The Mockingbird

1987 – The first eyebrow is raised…

with 7 comments

The following is a graph of home runs per year in the majors since 1978, adjusted for expansion, omitting years ’81 and ’94 (lockouts).

The casual baseball fan could probably tell you that the suspected “steroid” era in baseball began soon after the 1994 player lockout, in which players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, and Sammy Sosa put on Home Run clinics. This conspiracy theory can partially explain the rise in home runs over the period:

(click for a larger view)
Baseball Home Run Graph

But what happened in 1987?

The statistics used to populate the graph were culled from


Written by hroman

April 29, 2007 at 4:56 am

Posted in Seriousness

Tagged with

7 Responses

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  1. So many posts – lost forever. Lets see how long it takes my one from yesterday morning to show up!


    April 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm

  2. It’s gone….didn’t even give me a chance to reject it.


    May 1, 2007 at 2:49 am

  3. The more I stare at the numbers and conspiracy theories, the more I believe it had to do with the equipment.


    May 1, 2007 at 1:29 pm

  4. Crap, and I a wealth of stats to prove the damn thing – there were so many 30 hr seasons in 1987 from guys you’d least expect it. Hell, even Juan Samuel did it. I bet the damn post shows up in a couple weeks.

    And it was also the era of the real 40-40 man, Eric Davis.

    As for McGuire – as a 23 yr old “non-juiced” rookie he hit 49. Playing devil’s advocate – I think that alone puts many of his other accomplishments in a different light.

    Hey – we need a “Translation Time” – there’s been a ton of great quotes since Chacin’s injury.

    Poor Towers, (on McGowan’s premotion) “I’m not into the back-and-forth thing. I’m embracing the relievers role.”


    May 1, 2007 at 2:36 pm

  5. Dang, I lost a really good article on 1987 that mostly blamed the new strike zone. But I would think that would affect average in the same way as power. I know they did extensive tests on the baseballs and there’s no difference. Here’s a pretty good rundown on the various theories, even if it is by some student.

    My favorite is still that it’s all Bratt’s Bat, though…


    May 2, 2007 at 6:10 am

  6. Huh- good ol’ James. Always interesting:


    May 2, 2007 at 6:19 am

  7. Two words: Rabbit ball.

    A. Nonny.mous

    June 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm

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