Swinging for the Fences: Why Do We Love Home Runs?

Ryan SmithCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2009

Hello, I am Schmitters and I am a home run addict.

I can't believe I finally admitted it, and I know I'm not alone. I'm sure almost every baseball fan loves home runs. But the question is...why?

What defines a baseball team is good pitching and pitching wins ballgames. Though I do love home runs, I have to say I love a good close game even more. Why? Because there's nothing I'd rather do than watch a pitching duel go all the way into the ninth inning.

So, if pitching defines a baseball team, then why do we love homers? Is it because of the excitement? The joy of knowing that you scored another run?

Some players have based their careers off home runs. Jim Thome, Mark McGwire, Adam Dunn, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Matt Stairs are a few of them. Stairs once said, "I'm not going to lie. I try to hit home runs, and that's it."

Of those players Thome, McGwire, Dunn, Bonds, and Ruth control the top five spots on the all-time list for at-bats per home run. McGwire hit a home run almost every 10 at-bats.

Out of those players, four have more than 500 home runs. Bonds and Ruth have well over 2000 hits while Thome has 2048 and McGwire only has 1626. You can obviously  call Mark McGwire a home run man for that reason alone (you also call him a cheater, but that is your own opinion).

Now, why do we love home runs? They are so appreciated that you can win the MVP Award because of home runs and RBI alone. Ryan Howard almost won it last year and he batted .251.

In my opinion, fans love the home run because of the excitement. Players undoubtedly love to hit home runs. If there is a way to bring dominant pitching back, I would love to hear it but for now, we are stuck in The Era of Home Runs.