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