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2005-11-16 21:43
by Mike Carminati

The Orioles made it official: Both of their 500-home-run players, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, will be gone in 2006. Not that it comes as anything near a surprise. I saw Palmeiro on the street corner the other day holding a sign that read, "Will pinch-hit for food". Poor guy. The hardest blow—excuse the pun—was that Viagra pulled out and he no longer gets those comp'ed freebie prescriptions. How deflating!

So ends the first and only occurrence of 500-homer teammates in baseball history. The O's go from career home run leaders with 588 (Sosa) and 569 (Palmeiro) dingers to Javy Lopez with a measly 252. Sosa and Plameiro are second and third among active players in taters. That is, if they are still active (and I won't even mention Vaigra this time).

That's a 336-homer shortfall for the Baltimore team home run leader. That made me wonder what the largest drop in team home run leader. Eh, it's the offseason—what ya gonna do?

Here are the greatest one-year declines in team home run leader:

TeamYrLdrHR LdrPrev LdrPrev HRDiff
Atlanta Braves1975Davey Johnson124Hank Aaron733609
Boston Bees1936Wally Berger194Babe Ruth714520
New York Mets1974Rusty Staub178Willie Mays660482
Milwaukee Brewers1977Jimmy Wynn291Hank Aaron755464
California Angels1975Tommy Harper145Frank Robinson574429
Cleveland Indians1977Rico Carty161Frank Robinson586425
Chicago Cubs1943Bill Nicholson106Jimmie Foxx527421
Kansas City Royals1976Tommy Davis153Harmon Killebrew573420
Philadelphia Phillies1946Vince DiMaggio125Jimmie Foxx534409
Houston Astros1968Jimmy Wynn112Eddie Mathews509397
Chicago Cubs1945Bill Nicholson152Jimmie Foxx527375
New York Yankees1969Joe Pepitone166Mickey Mantle536370
Los Angeles Dodgers1973Willie Davis154Frank Robinson522368
Texas Rangers2004Brian Jordan178Rafael Palmeiro528350
Minnesota Twins1975Tony Oliva219Harmon Killebrew559340
New York Yankees1935Lou Gehrig378Babe Ruth708330
New York Yankees1940Bill Dickey187Lou Gehrig493306
St. Louis Cardinals2002Tino Martinez284Mark McGwire583299
San Diego Padres1977Dave Kingman176Willie McCovey465289
San Francisco Giants1981Joe Morgan232Willie McCovey521289

By the way, the Oriole home run leader before Rafael Palmeiro hit town was Tony Batista with 182. That was the seventh largest increase in homers by a given team's leader. Here are the largest:

TeamYrLdrHR LdrPrev LdrPrev HRIncrease
Boston Braves1935Babe Ruth714Wally Berger135579
Milwaukee Brewers1975Hank Aaron745Deron Johnson226519
New York Mets1972Willie Mays654Donn Clendenon155499
Cleveland Indians1974Frank Robinson574Leo Cardenas117457
Chicago Cubs1942Jimmie Foxx527Hank Leiber97430
Chicago Cubs1944Jimmie Foxx527Bill Nicholson106421
Baltimore Orioles2004Rafael Palmeiro551Tony Batista182369
Tampa Bay Devil Rays2004Fred McGriff493Al Martin132361
Houston Astros1967Eddie Mathews509Jim Gentile179330
Florida Marlins1995Andre Dawson436Benito Santiago109327
San Francisco Giants1977Willie McCovey493Bobby Murcer174319
California Angels1973Frank Robinson552Vada Pinson238314
Los Angeles Dodgers1972Frank Robinson522Dick Allen234288
San Diego Padres1974Willie McCovey435Nate Colbert149286
Los Angeles Dodgers1968Rocky Colavito374Johnny Roseboro92282
Kansas City Royals2004Juan Gonzalez434Rondell White156278
Philadelphia Athletics1944Al Simmons307Bobby Estalella29278
California Angels1982Reggie Jackson464Don Baylor189275
Pittsburgh Pirates1947Hank Greenberg331Elbie Fletcher67264
Kansas City Royals1974Orlando Cepeda379Rick Reichardt116263

And in one last attempt to beat this dead horse, the orchid for most homers by two teammates must be wrested from the Sosa and Palmeiro and be awarded to….guess who?

Well, it's kind of unfair. It's basically Barry Bonds' teammate du jour. Actually, three of the top four slots fall to Barry and some other dude (* indicates a potential free agent):

Player1HRPlayer2HRTeamTot HR
Barry Bonds708Moises Alou297SF1005
Barry Bonds708Marquis Grissom 227SF935
Barry Bonds708J.T. Snow*189SF897
Gary Sheffield449Alex Rodriguez429NYY878
2005-11-17 17:25:26
1.   das411
Mike, could you run the numbers real quick on the most career HRs by a pair of teammates, all-time? I would imagine Aaron + Matthews is still #1, but Bonds has had a couple of teammates who might bring him close. Perhaps Bonds + Galarraga or Bonds + Matt Williams? And where would the Oriole duo fit in there?
2005-11-17 20:37:16
2.   Mike Carminati
Follow the link in the post.
2005-11-17 23:52:31
3.   das411
...this is why I hide in all of the white noise over at Dodger Thoughts.

Thanks though! Are the Eagles going to be "forced, forced!" to play TO on Sunday?

2005-11-18 06:16:42
4.   Mike Carminati
I guess Jon and I will take that as a compliment.

TO will not play again for this Eagles regime. What good is there having a scapegoat if he comes back to help the team?

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