Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Red Sox 1-36: 26 is for…

26 HR by Mo Vaughn in 1994, to lead the team.

Of course, there’s a very good reason why that number seems really low to lead the team. It was really low.

Because it was 1994.

The Sox only played in 115 games that year due to the baseball strike that shortened the season. Project those 26 HR over 162 games, and you get a more reasonable 36. (What a nice number.)

While the number may look odd, the name next to it certainly wasn’t. Mo led the Sox in home runs six straight years. Best I can tell, that’s the most years in a row any Red Sox player has led the team in HR. Jimmie Foxx put together a five season run. I have to guess that the breaks in the streaks from Ted Williams were caused by military duties. So, Mo was clearly a singular dominating force of the Sox those years.

It’s also interesting that while Mo’s total was cut short by the strike, there are other team leaders whose numbers weren’t much better. In 1992, Tom Brunansky led the team with 15. That was the year before Vaughn started his string. Troy O’Leary led the 1999 team with 28. That team, you may recall, made it to the ALCS and had Nomar as a member. Kevin Youkilis led the 2009 team with only 29. But, Mo’s 26 is still the lowest to lead the team since then…until last year. Did you know Salty led the team last year with 25 home runs? Neither did I. (I’m not sure which is sadder…that Salty led in home runs, or that Adrian Gonzalez was the team leader in BA and RBI)

It looks like that while the total of 26 definitely shows the effects of the strike; it also apparently shows the effects of Mo Vaughn. He was able to do in a partial season what others couldn’t do in a full season. Not too shabby.

26 is for Mo’s team leading 26 HR in 1994

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