Great Home Runs of the 20th Century

Rich Westcott
Book Cover

HC: $41.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-858-9
Publication: Feb 01

232 pages
6 x 9
37 halftones

Veteran sportswriter champions 30 of the most memorable homers—from Babe Ruth to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa


The home run is the single most dramatic moment in baseball. Often it has been the exclamation point that appears at the end of a game, a season, a playoff, or a World Series. For fans, certain images—such as that of Carlton Fisk urging his shot fair over Green Monster or of Kirk Gibson limping around the bases—are engraved in memory.

From Babe Ruth to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the author tells of the stories, complete with box scores and photographs, of what he has selected as the thirty most memorable home runs. Many of the stories include comments from the author’s interviews with home run hitters. Other sections cover sixty additional noteworthy home runs, All Star Game home runs, and milestones such as total home run production and grand slams.

In Rich Westcott’s journey through baseball history, fans will encounter the most famous moments and longest blast, as well as fascinating sidelights like these about balls that didn’t travel as far.

•Who won a home run title without hitting a single ball out of the park?*

•Who hit the first inside-the-park home run in a World Series game?**

•Who hit the shortest home run , one that failed to reach the pitcher’s mound?***

* Ty Cobb won the title in 1909 with nine inside-the-park home runs.
** Casey Stengel for the New York Giants in 1923.
*** Andy Oyler of the Minnesota Millers scored on a two-foot drive into a mud puddle in front of home plate during a game in 1900. ( Baseball historians disagree on the truth of this account.)


"This book is a home run on its own and I'm proud to be part of it."
Mr. October, Reggie Jackson

"Great Home Runs of the 20th Century is an exciting book. It's well worth reading. You really learn a lot about some of the top moments in baseball history. I think it's a great book."
Tom Lasorda, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Hall of Fame member, and skipper of the 2000 U.S. Olympic gold medal baseball team

"With Great Home Runs of the 20th Century , Rich Westcott has written a reference book with insight and flair. He goes yard with Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Whitey Kurowski and Rick Dempsey, filling in the blanks with special touches that make their homers such an integral part of the game's history. It's an enjoyable and informative read."
Jerry Crasnick, Bloomberg News and Baseball America

"A must for any baseball library."
Jerome Holtzman, Official baseball historian for Major League Baseball and former Chicago Tribune columnist

"Rich Westcott has hit a more run himself with Great Home Runs of the 20th Century . This is the first definitive reference book of all the great home runs in baseball history, and, as such, a 'must' for any student of the game. Ever since Babe Ruth led us out of the 'dead ball; era, home runs have reigned supreme in baseball and Westcott has performed a service to fans by documenting the most important ones."
Bill Madden, New York Daily News

Table of Contents

Introduction Frank Baker: The Home Run Achieves New Status October 16, 1911 Babe Ruth: A Record That Stands the Test of Time September 30, 1927 Babe Ruth: Did He Really Call the Shot? October 1, 1932 Mel Ott: Extra-Inning Blast Wins Series October 7, 1933 Gabby Hartnett: The Homer in the Gloamin' September 28, 1938 Whitey Kurowski: The End of a Remarkable Season October 5, 1942 Hank Greenberg: A Triumphant Return from the War September 30, 1945 Dick Sisler: Bats Phillies to First Flag in 35 Years October 1, 1950 Bobby Thomson: The Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff October 3, 1951 Mickey Mantle: First of the Tape-Measure Homers April 17, 1953 Dusty Rhodes: Vaunted Indians Staff Goes Down September 29, 1954 Ted Williams: Bowing Out in Grand Style September 28, 1960 Bill Mazeroski: Biggest Blast in World Series History October 13, 1960 Roger Maris: A Special Record Is Broken October 1, 1961 Hank Aaron: Baseball Gets a New Home Run Ring April 8, 1974 Frank Robinson: First Black Manager Has Smashing Debut April 8, 1975 Carlton Fisk: Wave Goodbye to That One October 21, 1975 Mike Schmidt: Leading a Remarkable Comeback April 18, 1976 Chris Chambliss: The Yankees Win the LCS October 14, 1976 Reggie Jackson: Mr. October Goes to Work October 18, 1977 Willie Stargell: Pops Wins One for “The Family” October 17, 1979 George Brett: Kansas City Finally Wins a Pennant October 10, 1980 Jack Clark: A New Hero Joins Cardinals Legends October 16, 1985 Kirk Gibson: Hobbled Hitter Leads Dodgers to Victory October 15, 1988 Rick Dempsey: Marathon Ends in 22nd Inning August 23, 1989 Joe Carter: Clutch Clout Gives Blue Jays the Series October 23, 1993 Cal Ripken: Homer Accompanies Record-Setting Streak September 6, 1995 Mark McGwire: An Incredible 70-Home Run Season September 27, 1998 Fernando Tatis: Two Grand Slams in the Same Inning April 23, 1999 Sammy Sosa: First Player to Reach 60 Home Runs Twice September 18, 1999 Top 10 Homers in the All-Star Game Other Noteworthy Home Runs All-Time Home Run Leaders Sources Photograph Credits

About the Author(s)

Rich Westcott has been a writer and editor for almost 40 years. He is the author of 10 other books, including The New Phillies Encyclopedia (with Frank Bilovsky), Phillies '93: An Incredible Season, and Philadelphia's Old Ballparks, all published by Temple University Press. He is the founder of Phillies Report, the nation's oldest continuous, baseball team newspaper. Currently, Westcott teaches sportswriting at LaSalle University and is an official scorer at Phillies games.