Home Runs Were Up Slightly in ’98
NEW YORK (AP) _ Despite the record-topping performances of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, home runs were up only slightly this year.
There were 5,064 home runs in 2,430 major league games this season, an average of 2.08. Even though it was an expansion year, home runs were up only 1.5 percent from the average of 2.05 homers per game in 1997.
Baseball’s record average of 2.19 was set in 1996, when 4,962 homers were hit.
The NL batting average dropped one point this year to .262 and the AL remained at .271. The NL ERA rose to 4.23 from 4.20 and the AL ERA rose from 4.56 to 4.65.
Attendance averaged 29,376, a 3.8 percent rise from last year’s average of 28,228 and 16.3 percent above the 1995 average of 25,260. Still, attendance was 7 percent below the prestrike average of 31,612 in 1994.