Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SLUGGING IN 3/4 TIME

FRANK AND BROOKS: NO RELATION.
MAN, BOOG LOOKS BIG HERE.
Baseball Digest in its May/June issue had a story about the best 3-4 hitting teammates in a season who weren't connected to PED use. Of course, it's hard to argue against No. 3 hitter Babe Ruth and clean-up man Lou Gehrig in 1927, when Ruth hit his legendary 60 home runs and Gehrig 47. Then add the duo's RBI, 158 for The Sultan of Swat, 149 for The Iron Horse. Combined that's 107 HRs and 307 RBI.

Those numbers, baseball fans, are science fiction. 

Many other 3-4 punches were listed, including:

'29 Cubs Rogers Hornsby (30/111), Hack Wilson (28/92) -- 58/203
'34 A's Bob Johnson (29/96), Jimmie Foxx (44/120) -- 73/216
'37 Yankees Joe DiMaggio (46/148), Gehrig (36/137) -- 82/285
'49 Red Sox Ted Williams (43/150), Vern Stephens (39/113) -- 82/263
'60 Braves Eddie Mathews (39/108), Hank Aaron (40/102) -- 79/210
'61 Yankees Roger Maris (57/119), Mickey Mantle (54/131) -- 111/250

Keep in mind some players were moved around in the lineup; the stats are exclusively from the 3 and 4 spots, minimum 400 at-bats.

Of course, I automatically thought, what about Frank Robinson and Boog Powell, the dynamic duo from my youth?

Interestingly, the list included the '66 combo of Frank and Brooks Robinson. Robby went 48/120 in his Triple Crown/MVP season and  Brooksie 21/89 for a combined 69/209. No mention of Frank-Boog, and I know they hit 3-4 a lot.

OK, time for a little of my own research. The best 3-4 season they had together was in '69.

Frank went 30/90 and Boog 37/120, when he won the AL MVP. Impressive, a combined 67 HRs, 210 RBI, but about equal to the Brooks-Frank pairing Baseball Digest listed.

Anyone out there want to take a swing at their favorite 3-4 hitting duo?


POWELL AND ROBBY WERE THE MUSCLE BEHIND THE BIRDS' HEART OF THE ORDER.

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