February 6, 2010

115-year-old Babe Ruth vs. Albert Pujols

Today is Babe Ruth’s 115th birthday. All hail:

  • The Sultan of Swat
  • The Wali of Wallop
  • The Rajah of Rap
  • The Caliph of Clout
  • The Wazir of Wham
  • The Colossus of Clout
  • Maharajah of Mash
  • The King of Clout
  • The Colossus of Crash
  • The King of Swing
  • The Terrible Titan
  • The Kid of Crash
  • The Jovial Giant
  • The Great Bambino 

Credit WikiAnswers for all the nicknames. I only knew the ones in bold.

Anyway, I’m a stats guy — not a sabermetrician — but enough to spend time compiling a lot of numbers. I thought it would be interesting to stack up Albert Pujols’s year-by-year stats to Ruth’s. There are only a handful of players who can hit for average and power. These two might just be the best ever at the rare combination.

I compared home runs, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage between Ruth and Pujols. I started the stats with Ruth in 1920 because it was his first year as a Yankee and a full-time position player.

I also decided to keep in 1925 for Ruth even though he missed significant time. I figured he already has the edge over Pujols anyway. As shown by the numbers, it still doesn’t put Pujols, who’s hardly missed any time, ahead of Ruth.

If you’re just interested in the totals, just from 1920-28 and 2001-09, here’s a quick data table:

Babe Ruth Stat Albert Pujols
421 HR 366
1181 RBI 1112
.356 BA .334
.494 OBP .427
.745 SLG .628

And here are the graphs… (click to enlarge)

Ruth Pujols HR

ruth pujols RBI

ruth pujols BA

ruth pujols obp

ruth pujols slg

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