Don’t let anyone tell you any different; the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Babe Herman was well aware of this. Although he was a top hitter during his playing days, New York scribes employed a massive amount of ink in creating in Herman a boob with more deficiencies than strengths. Because of the pen – which has destroyed more reputations than any sword – Herman is regarded as little more than a clown that happened to wonder into Ebbetts Field.
Floyd Caves “Babe” Herman made quite a splash at the Major League level. As a rookie in 1926, Babe hit .319 – leading all National League first basemen. Yes, the Babe began as a first baseman but is best remembered for his misadventures in right field. Much was written about Herman’s ability to judge flyballs. It was said that Babe would circle around an area on the field where he thought the ball might drop and blindly stick out his glove, hoping against hope, that some divine entity would deposit the pill in his awaiting mitt.
Poor fielder or not, Herman was a wizard with the lumber. Moved to right field in 1928, Babe hit .340 while leading his position peers with 91 RBI. He drove home 113 runs in 1929 while leading all right fielders with a blistering .381 batting average. It was a monster year for Floyd Caves, who posted a remarkable offensive line of 105 runs, 217 hits, 42 doubles, 113 RBI, .381 BA, .436 on-base % and a slugging average of .612. You may find this hard to believe, but Babe was even better the next year.
Herman was the runner-up in batting with a terrific .393 batting average. His magical 1930 season saw him post an amazing offensive line of 143 runs, 241 hits, 48 doubles, 35 homers, 130 RBI, .393 BA, .455 on-base % and a slugging average of .678. However, what plays against Herman is that these two years are considered the single greatest two years for offense in baseball history. With all those lofty numbers, none led the league.
Babe paced NL right fielders in the homeruns and RBI departments in 1931 and then led the league with 19 triples in 1932. After the 1929 and 1930 seasons, offense went down considerable across the league and Herman was no exception, however, Babe remained a productive bat on into the mid-1930s. He and Hall of Famer Joe Medwick were the only two National League outfielders that posted double digit totals in all the extra base hit departments: doubles, triples and homeruns during the 1933 season.
Babe hit .335 for the Reds in 1935 and then slugged .458 for them in 1936. he played briefly for the Tigers in 1937 before embarking on a rather lengthy minor league career. He played for the Pacific Coast League (which was practically a Major League back then) from 1939 to 1944, returning to the majors during the World War II era to play the 1945 season – his last as a professional – for his old Brooklyn Dodgers.
G 1,552/R 882/H 1,818/2B 399/3B 110/HR 181/RBI 997/BB 520/SO 553/SB 94/BA .324/SA .532