As Baltimore Orioles 1B Chris Davis has run up 32 home runs before the All Star break, projections have him finishing right at 60 home runs, which would tie Babe Ruth’s total from his historic 1927 season. And of course one shy of Roger Maris “61 in ’61”, the first player to surpass Ruth. And according to Davis, this is the real record. On ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike show, Davis said he considers the 61 home runs by Maris the true single season record (via Baltimore Sports Report):
“I do and the reason being, he was the last guy to do it clean,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of things that have been said about the guys who have come after him and you know and have achieved the record, but I think as far as the fans are concerned they still view Maris as being the all-time home run record [holder] and I think you have to. There’s no doubt that Barry [Bonds] and Mark [McGwire] and any of those guys had ridiculous seasons and had some great years, but I think when you get to the root of the record I still think it’s Roger Maris’.”
Davis himself has been the target of performance enhancing drug accusations, mainly because he had a paltry 44 homers in his first 4 seasons, before 33 last year, and now 32 before the All Star break. Davis attributes his success to old fashioned hard work (from the same article):
“It’s an easy assumption seeing what’s gone on in the past and I understand that. There are time when it’s frustrating to me because you know all those people that are making the accusations aren’t there in the offseason, during the season, after games when you’re tired and you don’t want to work out and you have to get your work in.”
I’ll be the first to say that I don’t think he’ll get to 60 this year (50-55 more realistic), to keep up his current pace would be difficult. But someone out there might do it in the “testing era” and when that happens, this debate will be ignited once again.
– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)
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