Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday
Jim Thome became the eighth member of the majors’ 600-HR Club with a pair of homers tonight (August 15). He also becomes the first member of that club who won only one HR crown in his career. Thome led the National League in home runs when he hit 47 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003. That was the only year he won an HR crown in his career. All other members of the 600-HR Club led their league in HRs in two or more seasons.
In looking at the 25 members of the 500-HR Club, we discover that three players hit 500 or more home runs in their career yet never led the league in home runs. The three: Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas.
Here’s a look at the 25 members of the 500-HR Club and the number of times they led the league in home runs in a season in their career.
League HR crowns, Player (career HRs)
0: Rafael Palmeiro (569), Gary Sheffield (509), Frank Thomas (521)
1: Eddie Murray (504), Manny Ramirez (555), Frank Robinson (586), Jim Thome (600)
2: Ernie Banks (512), Barry Bonds (762), Eddie Mathews (512), Sammy Sosa (609)
3: Willie McCovey (521)
5: Alex Rodriquez (626)
6: Harmon Killebrew (573), Mel Ott (511)
8: Mike Schmidt (548), Babe Ruth (714)
(WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: Can you name the five members of the 500-HR club who hit all of their home runs with only one team? Answer below.)
Did you know? Hank Aaron wore uniform number 44 and hit 44 home runs in a season four times!
TRIVIA ANSWER: Mel Ott (NY Giants), Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs), Ted Williams (Boston), Mickey Mantle (NY Yankees) and Mike Schmidt (Philadelphia)
Did you know? Gary Sheffield hit 509 career HRs yet did not hit more than 130 for one team. He hit 129 for the LA Dodgers, most with one team in his career.
Did you know? Alex Rodriquez is the only player to hit 150 or more HRs for three different teams. Rodriquez hit 156 for Texas, 189 for Seattle and has hit 281 for the Yankees.
Rafael Palmeiro is one of only four major league players in history to have more than 500 career home runs and 3,000 career hits. But Palmeiro’s suspension after the 2005 season for steroid use has severely hampered his Hall of Fame quest. In fact, in his first year of eligibility last year he garnered only 11% of the vote.
But another disappointment in Palmeiro’s career is that he tops the list of players who played the most games in the majors, 2,831, without an appearance in the World Series. His 20-year MLB career began with the Cubs and included two stints each with Texas and Baltimore. He did, however, in three seasons play in the post season, but his teams never advanced to the Fall Classic.
Here’s a look at the ten players who played the most career games without a World Series appearance.
Player Most games played without World Series appearance
Rafael Palmeiro 2,831
Ken Griffey, Jr. 2,671
Andre Dawson 2,627
Ernie Banks 2,528
Julio Franco 2,527
Billy Williams 2, 488
Rod Carew 2,469
Luke Appling 2,422
Mickey Vernon 2,409
Buddy Bell 2,405
Note: Palmeiro, Griffey, Dawson, Franco, Williams and Carew all played in post-season games but their teams lost before the World Series. Banks leads the list of players who never played in a post-season game. Following Banks are Appling, Vernon, Bell and another Cub, Ron Santo (2,243).
Looking at active players, Bobby Abreu tops the list of active players with the most games played without a World Series appearance with 2,179. Adam Dunn tops the list of active players with the most games played who have never even played in a post season game with 1,514. (Through games of June 25)