By Thom Henninger
Philadelphia lefty Jamie Moyer allowed his record-breaking 506th home run to Toronto’s Vernon Wells on Sunday, surpassing long-time Phillie and Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts. He tops a leader board loaded with Hall of Famers who had long, distinguished careers.
|Most HR Allowed, All-Time|
Moyer, who gave up the two-run homer and little else in an 11-2 win over the Blue Jays, should wear the record as a badge of honor. If it’s taken you nearly two decades to get near the all-time mark, you’ve obviously done some things right for a long time.
That’s certainly the case for the 47-year-old Moyer, who developed into a dependable big league starter in his 30s and will post double-digit wins for the 14th time in his last 15 seasons with his next victory. His “W” on Sunday was the 267th of his career.
There are 129 pitchers, including Moyer, who have worked 3,000 innings in major league history. It so happens that Moyer has allowed 1.14 home runs per nine innings, a higher rate than all of them but one, though that’s not something to quibble about. Pitching 3,000 innings in a major league uniform is a crowning achievement. Moyer has done just fine, going 267-201 over 24 seasons, regardless of the number of balls that have left the yard.
So, who has the highest homer rate among the 129 pitchers with 3,000 innings under their belts? That would be Tim Wakefield, who has floated knuckleballs to the plate for 18 big league seasons and has survived quite well building a career around one pitch. He’s given up 387 home runs, good for 15th place on the all-time leader board, though with a home-run rate of 1.15 per nine innings. The 43-year-old Wakefield is seven wins shy of 200.
Here are the members of the 3,000-inning club with the all-time highest homer rates:
|Most HR Allowed per 9 IP, All-Time||(min 3,000 IP)|