Numbers on Steroids: Roger Maris

Monday, February 23, 2009

Numbers on Steroids is a look at baseball players during the 90s to see if anything screams out at you. This week it's throwing a curve ball and looking at All Time Great Yankees. Players that we know did not take steroids to see if this gives a defense to any of the players 'convicted' by Numbers on Steroids.

What better Yankee to breach first than Roger Maris, the man that had a 3 year peak and came out of nowhere to knock off Ruth's record.

Averages Say: What's with the Mountain Top?

At Bats Per Home Run Says: To infinity and beyond.

Explaining It In 90s Steroid Terms

If Roger Maris played in the 1990s people would be screaming from the mountain tops accusing him of cheating. The two years of 1960 and 1961 are light years ahead of his other numbers. During his peak in 1961 his slugging percentage was .620 and his At Bats per Home Run dipped below 10.

To throw more fire on the damnation, his final five years starting in 1964, when he was just 30, started a continual downward slope. If these numbers ever aligned with the 2004 start of drug testing he would have already have been convicted by the public of using. Just see Sammy Sosa.

The Verdict

I don't think designer steroids were all the rage in the 1960s, so Maris serves as a key example of a player who can have multiple years which are way out of whack from the norm. Granted many of his seasons post 1961 were plagued by injuries, but still his stats serve as a barometer that you can't fully convict someone just because of his numbers.

Perhaps He Would Have Taken Them If They Were Available in the 60s

Posted by Simon at 9:36 AM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


This is an ill-informed article. The statement that Maris might have taken steroids if they'd "been available" is absurd. Dr. Ron Zeigler was promoting steroids use by American Olympic athletes, particular weightlifters, in 1959.

An Op-Ed in the New York Times accuses Mickey Mantle of using steroids and amphetamines in 1961.

Roger Maris was plagued with hair loss towards the end of 1961. That was attributed to the stress of intense media pressure, but is also a known side effect of steroids use.

There is no "proof" that Maris used steroids, but there is considerable circumstantial evidence that it's possible.

Migratory Redbird

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