As Aaron Judge Chases Roger Maris, Jimmie Foxx Once Chased Babe Ruth

In 1932 Jimmie Foxx Was On Pace To Shatter Babe Ruth’s 60 Homer Record

Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

If Aaron Judge hits more than 61 home runes in 2022 many will view him as baseball’s legitimate all-time single season home run leader. Officially Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all shattered Maris’s record. But many observers suspect all three cheated by using performance enhancing drugs.

So as the baseball world watches Aaron Judge pursue Roger Maris’s still intact American League home run record of 61, (yes he still holds that record), it brings up comparisons of Jimmie Foxx’s chase of Babe Ruth.

In 1932 it seemed inevitable that Jimmie Foxx, the Philadelphia Athletics slugger would pass Babe Ruth’s 1927 single season home run record.

By July 26, in 98 games Foxx had already clubbed 40 home runs. He was on pace to hit 63 home runs.

He’s After Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record
Jimmie Foxx, mighty slugger and home run hitter of the Philadelphia Athletics who already has 40 home runs to his credit, has his eye on Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homers in a season. Foxx shows no signs of slowing up and baseball authorities concede him a good a chance of eclipsing the Babe’s record. Here he shows you the massive arms responsible in part for his tremendous slugging power. 7/26/1932 photo: Acme

The six foot 195 pound Foxx was nicknamed “The Beast.” As the press photo points out: check out Foxx’s arms and biceps. Foxx’s physique was achieved before modern work out techniques.

For the remainder of the 1932 season pitchers walked Foxx 46 times and he hit 18 more home runs for a total of 58.

Though Foxx would fall short of his home run pursuit he did win the American League MVP award.

Foxx’s extraordinary numbers: a league leading 151 runs, 58 home runs, 169 RBI’s, .749 slugging percentage and a 1.206 OPS. Foxx’s non-leading numbers: 213 hits, 33 doubles, 9 triples, a .364 batting average, 469 on base percentage, 116 walks, and only 96 strikeouts.

The Athletics finished in second place 13 games behind the Yankees.

Judge will probably break Maris’s record. But Jimmie Foxx’s experience should provide a cautionary tale: projections don’t always equal final numbers.

UPDATE 10/4/2022 – Well you probably know this already but Aaron Judge is now the regular single season A.L. home run leader. Including post-season play Babe Ruth and Roger Maris also hit 62 home runs in 1927 and 1961 respectively.

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