On this date 90 years ago Cardinals second baseman Rogers Hornsby broke the National league's single season home run record with his 28th clout of the year.
The blast came against Philadelphia's Jimmy Ring who would four years later be traded along with Frank Frisch from the Giants to the Cardinals in exchange for Hornsby.
The mark of 27 had stood since 1884 when third baseman Ned Williamson of the Chicago White Stockings took advantage of a short right field fence at Lake Front Park -- only 195 feet away. A total of 25 of Williamson's round trippers in 1884 came over that short fence. NL leaders ordered the White Stockings to eliminate the easy homers by calling balls hit into the right field porch to be called ground rule doubles. So in 1885, Williamson led the league with 49 doubles.
Hornsby wasn't done -- by a long shot -- when he reached 28. He blasted 42 over the boards before the 1922 season was over. And he didn't let the power surge hurt his batting average. He doubled his homer total from 1921 and raised his average four points to a then career best .401.
Although the Rajah would never crack 40 homers again -- narrowly missing with 39 in 1925 with 39 -- his best season for average was yet to come. Hornsby would set the major league standard for batting average with a .424 mark in 1924.
The single season NL record was broken only eight years after Hornsby set it. Hack Wilson set an NL Mark that would stand until 1998 with 56 blasts in 1930. Mark McGwire reclaimed the record for St. Louis with 70 homers. But that standard only stood for a couple of years before Barry Bonds broke it.
Hornsby's homer record hasn't completely been eclipsed, however. He still holds a piece of the mark for the most round trippers by a second baseman with all 42 of his longballs hit in 1922 while he was playing that position. Atlanta's Davey Johnson tied the mark in 1973.