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Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Ten Flukiest Home Run Seasons... 

...as determined by Fluke Factor (FF). FF is defined as the player's career high home run total divided by his second highest home run total. For example, Edgar Martinez's career high is 37 home runs, posted in 2000 (by a RIGHTY at SAFECO!). His second highest total is 29 (in both 1995 and 1998), giving Edgar a FF of 37/29 = 1.28. The top 10 all time (among players with career highs of at least 30 home runs):

#10: Luis Gonzalez

As I'm sure you remember, everything went right for Luis Gonzalez in 2001. 57 home runs. 1.117 OPS. And lest we all forget, his floater in game seven of the 2001 World Series was more than Derek Jeter and his 3.81 Range Factor could handle, giving Gonzo's D-Backs the crown.

If Gonzo ever hits as many as 32 home runs in a season (which I suspect he'll do soon), he'll be off this list. However, his numbers have earned him the Ten Spot:
Career high: 57 HR. 2nd best: 31 HR. FF: 1.84

#9 (tie): Fernando Tatis and Phil Plantier

Fernando Tatis will have a permanent place in the record books with his historic two-grand-slam inning on April 23, 1999. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I thought he was going to be great. If he stays healthy for a whole season, Tatis might hit the 19 home runs he'd need to be off the list.

Phil Plantier is a player I couldn't stand from day one. It's that uppercut swing of his that got to me. I guess it's no surprise that I also can't stand Adam Kennedy. On an unrelated note, a buddy of mine once claimed to have slept with Plantier's girlfriend at the time. The claim, of course, remains unsubstantiated.
Both players: Career high: 34 HR. Second best: 18 HR. FF: 1.89

#7: Bob Cerv

I had never heard of Bob Cerv until tonight. Here's what I could find out briefly (courtesy of Google and the King County Library System.

Cerv hit 38 home runs for the 1958 Kansas City Athletics. He was an All-Star and finished fourth in the AL MVP voting (and played with his broken jaw wired shut for a month). His biggest claim to fame, though, was the job his work as a technical advisor on the film "61*" about the 1961 home run race. Also, in the wacky records division, he, with teammate Elston Howard, on July 23, 1955 became the first duo to hit back-to-back, pinch-hit home runs.
Career high: 38 HR. 2nd best: 20 HR. FF: 1.90

#6: George Crowe

George Crowe is a somewhat dubious selection to this list. A former Negro Leaguer (and NBL basketball player), Crowe did not make his "Major League" debut until the age of 31, in 1952. He was an All-Star first baseman for the 1958 Reds, then he was traded to the Cardinals, where he sat behind Stan Musial. Unfortunately, outside circumstances cost Crowe a chance to put together a good career. When given the opportunity, though, Crowe excelled.
Career high: 31 HR. Second best: 15 HR. FF: 2.07

There's the first half. Check again tomorrow for Nos. 1-5. Hint: the inspiration for this list (it begins with a "B" and ends with a "rady Anderson" will take his place among the "immortals" soon.

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