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Total Home Runs in Major League Baseball since 1990

Now that we have several years of statistical data since the MLB Steroid Scandal, we wanted to see the overall trend of total home runs. It's true that non-juiced athletes are still getting bigger, faster, stronger, but we're down 500-1,000 HRs from the peak.

There are a couple components that go into hitting home runs:

  • Skill
  • Strategy
  • Strength

In a research paper from the University of Illinois, using analysis from physicist Roger Tobin, author Alan Nathan wrote:

Suppose a pitched ball crosses the plate at 85 mph, a reasonable value for a good fastball given that the ball loses about 10% of its speed between pitcher and batter. Suppose also that the pre-steroid batter swings the bat at 70 mph at the sweet spot location. Then assuming a perfect head-on collision, the resulting batted ball will exit the bat at about 100 mph...the steroid batter swings the bat 3.8% faster, or 72.7 mph. Then the batted ball speed will increase to about 103 mph.

He goes on to conclude that a 10% increase in muscle mass can result in a 3% increase in batted ball speed.

Taking a look at the chart below, it's far from scientific, but we'll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions on the total home runs during the 'steroid era' of 1995-2003.  On the flip side, pitchers were known to take steriods, so theoretically their pitching should have been even better.

Here are the home run totals in grid format:

Can you really blame the players though? We all want to be the home run ball...


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