Originally Posted by Mr. Jinx
People also seem to forget that the overall level of hitting was worse back in the day too. Until the 90s, how many 2nd basemen and shortstops could take one out of the park at any time? While there were still prodigious sluggers, overall most teams had a host of all defense, no offense slap hitters up the middle.
Back in 1960 there were 2128 home runs hit
1970 - 3429 home runs
1980 - 3087
1990 - 3317
2000 - 5693
2010 - 4613
Pitchers today have to throw at maximum effort on every pitch as any batter can do real damage for a host of reasons. In the olden days pitchers could take multiple batters "off" and save up energy knowing that at worst they would give up a slap single.
1960 16 teams playing 154 games
1970 24 teams playing 162 games
1980 26 teams
1990 26 teams
2000 30 teams and height of the steroid era
2010 30 teams
Total games played in 2010 is almost double that of 1960. Yes HRs are up from 1960 levels but you'll get a better historical trend line here.