Who Was the HR King Before the Babe?

connor Kids of my era all grew up with the number 714 ingrained in us, it was written into our DNA. But I wonder if there’s anybody out there who would know without googling, what the Home Run Record was before Babe Ruth shattered it and who held that record. Yesterday’s White Sox tear-off calendar asks the question, “In 1921, Babe Ruth became the all-time career home run king. Whose record of 138 career home runs did he eclipse?”
A. Roger Connor

I had no idea, so I looked up Roger Connor, and this is what I found. The 6’3″ 220 pound Hall of Fame firstbaseman played from 1880-97, amassing 2,467 hits in 8,837 at bats, for a .317 lifetime batting average. He hit 441 doubles, 233 triples, & 138 home runs, swinging from the leftside.

Connor entered the National League in 1880 as a member of the Troy Trojans. He later played for the New York Gothams, and, due to his great stature, gave that team the enduring nickname “Giants”.

Roger is credited with being the first player to hit a grand slam in the major leagues and being the first to hit an over-the-wall home run at the Polo Grounds. His grand slam came with two outs and his team down three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Another notable fact from Connor’s career: in his first year in the Majors with the Troy Trojans, he teamed with future Hall-of-Famers Dan Brouthers, Buck Ewing, Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch, all of whom was just starting out their careers.

One Response to “Who Was the HR King Before the Babe?”

  1. Another bit of trivia… Roger Connor never really knew he was the HR king. It was figured out post-mortem.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment