Can Chris Davis Reach 62?
Chris Davis’ nickname is “Crush,” for a reason. Davis crushed 37 baseballs in the first half of the Major League Baseball Season, and with 66 games remaining, he only needs 25 home runs to pass Roger Maris’ home record of 61 home runs set in 1961. In fact, he is on pace to do so.
To note, Maris’ record was broken by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, and Barry Bonds in 2001. McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds’ record-breaking seasons are now tainted by the use of performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, their records stand, but many question the integrity of them, and some people are measuring Davis’ home run chase by Maris’ record.
Meanwhile, Davis is on pace to break Maris’ record, which is very much achievable. To see if the Baltimore Orioles slugger can break Maris’ record, let’s compare Davis’ numbers from the first half to the pace McGwire, and Sosa set in 1998, and Bonds in 2001 when the three of them broke Maris’ record.
- After April: McGwire had 11 home runs, and Sosa had 6. Bonds had 11. Davis had 9.
- May: McGwire had 27, and Sosa had 13. Davis had 19. Bonds had 28. Davis had 19.
- June 30: McGwire had 37, Sosa had 33. (Sosa hit 20 home runs in June). Bonds had 39. Davis had 31.
- All-Star break: McGwire had 37, and Sosa had 33. Bonds had 39. Davis has 37.
- July: McGwire had 45, and Sosa had 42. Bonds had 45.
- August: McGwire and Sosa were tied at 55. Bonds had 57.
Both McGwire and Sosa had 62 home runs with two weeks in the season to play, and were tied on September 25 with 65 home runs.
McGwire began September with four home runs, leading Sosa, 59-56. He had 60 home runs by Labor Day, tied Maris’ record on September 7, and broke the record on September 8 against Sosa’s Cubs. Then, McGwire went six consecutive days without a home run. McGwire ended 1998 with 70 home runs, which he hit on September 27.
Sosa tied Maris’ record on September 13, and broke Maris’ record the same day. Sosa would hit his 66th home run on September 25.
For Bonds in 2001, he tied Maris on September 9, and broke the record the same day against the Colorado Rockies and the same pitcher, Scott Elarton. Bonds ended 2001 with 73 home runs, which he hit on October 7.
As you can see, Davis is on the same pace as McGwire, two home runs behind Bonds, and is ahead of Sosa by four home runs. If Davis were to keep on his same pace, much like McGwire, or Bonds, he may be able to break the record at or around Labor Day with almost three weeks in the regular season, as September 29 is the last day of MLB games. A chance that he may be able to pass 73 home runs, set by Bonds in 2001.
No matter what the “true” home run record is, Davis has something special he can do this summer, and baseball fans should appreciate that he can make history.