More home runs were hit in June than any other month in baseball history

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Major League Baseball set a record for the most home runs hit in a month in May when 1,135 homers were hit. That record lasted one whole month. Seven more — 1,142 homers — were hit in the month of June.

This continues the pattern which began about three years ago when the home run rate in Major League Baseball skyrocketed.  Indeed, five of the top six home run months in all of baseball history have been in the last three years. After this past month and last month comes August 2017 (1,119), June 2017 (1,101), May 2000 (1,069) and May 2017 (1,060).

So far this year a total of 3,421 home runs have been hit in 1,255 games, for an average of 2.73 per game. That’s up 19% from the 2.28 average through June last year, when 2,822 home runs were hit in 1,236 games. Batters are on pace to hit 6,624 home runs in 2019. The all-time record was set in 2017 with 6,105. Last year 5,585 homers were hit.

As we’ve been saying for a couple of years now, it’s quite clear that the cause of all of this is a juiced baseball. There have been multiple studies to that effect. Most recently Dr. Meredith Wills published a study in The Athletic finding that the composition and design of baseballs has changed, with lower seams, thicker laces, smoother leather covers, a rounder, more symmetrical ball and a more centered core, or pill. All of this has led to reduced drag and longer flight distances for each strike of the bat. It should be noted that these changes are over and above the changes seen in the baseball beginning in late 2015, which itself led to a home run spike.

So here we are. We are already on pace to shatter existing home run records just as the season’s hottest weather is about to set in and just as pitchers are going to start becoming fatigued and more and more minor leaguers are called up to take up innings.

Enjoy your souvenirs, folks.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.