With Barry Bonds about to pass Babe Ruth's career home run record,
home runs and records are getting a lot of talk. I'm a baseball
enthusiast and all the stats and records appeal to the math geek
in me. I recently heard an interesting tid bit that needs a little
exploring: Willie Mays missed almost two full years of baseball due
to military service.
Mays finished with 660 career home runs, which was 3rd all time
until Barry past him. Let's look at Mays home runs by years
early in his career, which is when he went into the military.
Willie Mays Home Runs
Averaging out HR per at-bat for Mays first few years
works out to be, Mays hit a home run each 15.2 at-bats.
Averaging out how many at-bats Mays had per year in full
years he played is 546 at-bats.
So in 1952 he missed out on 419 at-bats and in 1953
he missed out on all 546 at-bats. Using one home run every
15.2 at bats works out to be 27 more home runs in 1952 and
36 home runs in 1953 which is an additional 63 home runs.
Babe Ruth finished with 714 career home runs; if Mays didn't
serve in the military it is very likely he would of had 63 more
home runs, giving him a career total of 723 home runs.