More Home Runs Than Strikeouts

As I was browsing the new leaderboards, I noticed that Albert Pujols has the 10th fewest strikeouts among qualified players with only 43. That’s pretty damn impressive for a guy who’s hit 45 home runs this season. Actually, it’s a little more than impressive as there’s only been six other players who have more home runs than strikeouts and have hit over 40 home runs.

Name            Season       HR       SO
---------------------------------------------
Mel Ott           1929       42       38
Lou Gehrig        1934       49       31
Lou Gehrig        1936       49       46
Joe DiMaggio      1937       46       37
Johnny Mize       1947       51       42
Johnny Mize       1948       40       37
Ted Kluszewski    1953       40       34
Ted Kluszewski    1954       49       35
Ted Kluszewski    1955       47       40
*Barry Bonds      2004       45       41

* - denotes MVP Season

Only Barry Bonds has accomplished the 40-plus home run season with fewer strikeouts since 1955 and he’s the only one to win an MVP award in the same season. Hitting 30 home runs with fewer strikeouts has been slightly more rewarding in the MVP department and is still a very exclusive club.

Name            Season       HR       SO
---------------------------------------------
Ken Williams      1922       39       31
Lefty O'Doul      1929       32       19
Al Simmons        1930       36       34
Joe DiMaggio      1938       32       31
*Joe DiMaggio     1939       30       20
Joe DiMaggio      1940       31       30
Ted Williams      1941       37       27
*Joe DiMaggio     1941       30       13
Willard Marshal   1947       36       30
*Stan Musial      1948       39       34
Joe DiMaggio      1948       39       30
Andy Pafko        1950       36       32
Yogi Berra        1952       30       24
Yogi Berra        1956       30       29
Ted Kluszewski    1956       35       31

* - denotes MVP Season

Is there a point to this? Not really, but it’s fun trivia and maybe fodder for your MVP discussions.

And speaking of the MVP, a few days ago (September 9th), Ryan Howard briefly overtook Pujols for the major league lead in WPA. Before that, Pujols led the majors in WPA since April 16th (145 days). Last night’s 2-run walk-off double put Pujols back on top by a margin of 0.73 wins.




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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.


16 Responses to “More Home Runs Than Strikeouts”

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  1. sd2528 says:

    Joe D for his career hit 361 HR and SO 369 times.

    Taking out his last season he hit 349 HR and SO 333 times. Sick.

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  2. chase says:

    you are the best people to get stats from

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  3. tom says:

    do you know where i can get pitcher pick-off statistics online ?

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  4. Jane says:

    I searched and searched and YOU had it. The best ratio of homeruns to strikeouts. I’m a Cardinals fan and of course an Albert Pujols fan. I thought I had heard the announcer (during one of our games) say that there is a record for 50 HR vs 50 Strike Outs and I don’t remember Barry Bonds name mentioned. It was a record that had not been broken in 30-40 years. Can you add anything to this?

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  5. Johnny Mize is the only player to my knowledge that has ever hit 50 home runs and struck out less. That was way back in 1947. If Pujols can somehow manage another 4 home runs with only 4 or fewer strikeouts in the next week or so, he’ll join the club. At this late in the season, I think he’ll fall just shy of 50, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possiblity.

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  6. Buddy Munson says:

    The thing that sticks out to me is that all of these hitters who did this were from the 20’s through the 50’s except for a possibly juiced Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols now. During these decades, the starting pitching staffs were made up of 3 or 4 starters with some relievers. I would have to assume that the starters in that era, didn’t throw 100% on every pitch like they do now since they had to tow the line every 3rd or 4th day and it was understood unless they got totally rocked, they would be finishing the game. Do you think that is why that almost all players who hit for a high average now like Ichiro, Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew, etc.. don’t hit many home runs and the hitters who hit tons of home runs also strike out a ton? Just wanted your opinion on this. Thanks!

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  7. Jim McLennan says:

    Just a note to the above questioner, who was looking for pickoff statistics – I came across this page while I was looking for the same thing! The following link has them under the ‘Special Pitching’ section for each league:

    http://stats.globesports.com/mlb/index.asp

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  8. andyf says:

    Y Berra 1950
    28/12

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  9. caitlyn says:

    where can i find info on more career home runs than strikeouts?

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    • Kincaid says:

      With what minimum requirements? No one has done it with any significant length of career (at least not in the years where complete strikeout data is compiled).

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  10. Joe R says:

    Yogi Berra had more HR than SO, in total, 5 times in his career.
    The original “Moneyball” man, showing why looking like you’re good at baseball =/= being good at baseball, and vice versa.

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  11. John says:

    While he hit fewer home runs and thus didn’t make these lists, in 1980 George Brett, with only 24 HRs manged to strike out only 22 times.

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  12. Tim S. says:

    An update…

    Baseball Digest 2006.
    Players with a minimum of 20 or more HRs in a season, and fewer Strikeouts than HRs.

    Players with more HR than strikeouts, seasons: minimum 20 home runs
    Baseball Digest, August, 2006

    Players With More HR Than Strikeouts, Season

    Minimum 20 home runs

    AMERICAN LEAGUE

    Year Player, Team HR SO

    1922 Ken Williams, Browns 39 31
    1925 Ken Williams, Browns 25 14
    1930 Al Simmons, As 36 34
    1932 Mickey Cochrane, A’s 23 22
    1934 Lou Gehrig, Yankees 49 31
    1936 Lou Gehrig, Yankees 49 46
    1936 Bill Dickey, Yankees 22 16
    1937 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 46 37
    1937 Bill Dickey, Yankees 29 22
    1938 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 32 21
    1938 Bill Dickey, Yankees 27 22
    1939 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 30 20
    1940 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 31 30
    1941 Ted Williams, Red Sox 37 27
    1941 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 30 13
    1946 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 25 24
    1948 Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 39 30
    1950 Yogi Berra, Yankees 28 12
    1950 Ted Williams, Red Sox 28 21
    1950 Johnny Mize, Yankees 25 24
    1951 Yogi Berra, Yankees 27 20
    1952 Yogi Berra, Yankees 30 24
    1955 Ted Williams, Red Sox 28 24
    1955 Yogi Berra, Yankees 27 20
    1956 Yogi Berra, Yankees 30 29
    1980 George Brett, Royals 24 22

    NATIONAL LEAGUE

    Year Player, Team HR so

    1925 Irish Meusel, Giants 21 19
    1929 Mel Ott, Giants 42 38
    1929 Lefty O’Doul, Phillies 32 19
    1930 Lefty O’Doul, Phillies 22 21
    1932 Bill Terry, Giants 28 23
    1932 Lefty O’Doul, Dodgers 21 20
    1939 Ernie Lombardi, Reds 20 19
    1944 Frank McCormick, Reds 20 17
    1945 Tommy Holmes, Braves 28 9
    1947 Johnny Mize, Giants 51 42
    1947 Willard Marshall, Giants 36 30
    1948 Johnny Mize, Giants 40 37
    1948 Stan Musial, Cardinals 39 34
    1950 Andy Pafko, Cubs 36 32
    1953 Ted Kluszewski, Reds 40 34
    1954 Ted Kluszewski, Reds 49 35
    1955 Ted Kluszewski, Reds 47 40
    1956 Ted Kluszewski, Reds 35 31
    2004 Barry Bonds, Giants 45 41

    COPYRIGHT 2006 Century Publishing Co.
    COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

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  13. R Norman says:

    Tommy Holmes 28 & 9 in 1945, that is freakish! That’s over a 3:1 ratio.

    I’ve always wondered if this list existed. Thanks for sharing!

    Now I’d like to know who had more home runs than strikeouts in a season no matter how many HR’s were hit.

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  14. glen says:

    Ted Kluszewski … 4 yrs in a row. no one else. too bad it was his only 4 healthy seasons. way underrated.

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