Howard can only be compared to Schmidt

Posted: October 22, 2008

1986: Mike Schmidt led the National League in home runs (37) and RBIs (119) again, each for the last time. That was during the long-ball era.

He won the NL home-run title eight times (one of them shared) and the RBI crown four times, although he hit at least 40 homers three times, with a high of 48.

However, a more interesting Schmidt-Ryan Howard batting comparison (there is no glove comparison) would be from their early years. In Schmidt's first 2,115 at-bats, through 1976, he had 131 homers, 373 RBIs and 618 strikeouts. In Howard's first 2,071 at-bats, he has 177 homers, 499 RBIs and 692 strikeouts.

This is the highest praise you can offer Howard's hitting: A comparison to Schmidt is the only modern-day one to make.

2008: Howard led the NL in homers, RBIs and strikeouts.

Year       G       AB    R       H       2B    3B    HR    RBI    BB    SO    BA    OBP    SLG

Mike Schmidt

1974       162    568    108    160    28    7       36    116    106    138    .282     .395    .546

1975       158    562     93    140    34    3       38     95    101    180    .249     .367    .523

1976       160    584    112    153    31    4       38    107    100    149    .262     .376    .524

Ryan Howard

2006       159    581    104    182    25    1       58    149    108    181    .313     .425    .659

2007       144    529     94    142    26    0       47    136    107    199    .268     .392    .584

2008       162    610    105    153    26    4       48    146     81    199    .251     .339    .543

Remembering 1986

Average price of a gallon of gas: 84.3 cents.

Phillies' record: 86-75, second place.

Phillies' attendance: 1,933,335.

Phillies' first-round pick: Brad Brink.

Remember this? Halley's Comet returns. (Turns out it had stepped outside Uranus for a smoke.)


Peter Pascarelli was the Phillies beat writer for the Inquirer in 1986.

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