WASHINGTON — Boog Powell and Rocky Colavito, who both ranked among the dominant sluggers of their era, disagree over the reason for this season's increase in home runs.
Colavito, who hit 374 homers over a 14-year career that began in 1955, attributes the offense to a livelier ball. Powell, who hit 339 homers over a 17-year career from 1961-1977, sees a combination of factors.
"The answer may be the baseball," said Powell, one of 50 players taking part in an Old-Timers game at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. "But it could be a combination of bad pitching, stronger players from the weight training, lighter, more springy bats and the baseball."
Powell, now a Florida marina operator, agrees a change has taken place in the game.
"When I see little guys who have never hit more than 2-3 home runs a year hitting them out to the opposite field, I have to think there's something unusual happening or that something unusual has happened," Powell said.