Last baseball season, Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton and New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge each hit 50 home runs … Stanton had 59; Judge had 52. (These two are now teammates with Stanton’s trade to the Yankees in the off-season.) It was the first time since the 2007 season that two players hit 50 in a season; that year Alex Rodriguez had 54 and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder had 50.
Stanton and Judge became the 44th and 45th players to hit 50 in a season. Of the 45 times it has happened in MLB history, there have been 29 different players who have reached the 50-HR milestone. Here are the nine players who have hit 50 or more home runs in multiple seasons:
4: Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa
3: Alex Rodriguez
2: Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ralph Kiner, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays.
Stanton and Judge will look to become only the sixth and seventh players to hit 50 HRs in consecutive seasons. The five players who have consecutive seasons with 50 homers: Rodriguez (2001 and 2002), Ruth (1920 and 1921, also 1927 and 1928), Griffey (1997 and 1998), McGwire (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999) and Sosa (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001).
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With 36 games left in the Orioles 2013 schedule, Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis looks like a shoo-in to hit 50 or more home runs this season. He would become the first Orioles player with 50-plus homers since Brady Anderson hit 50 in 1996.
There is an outside chance that Miguel Cabrera will reach the 50-HR mark. Cabrera has 40 round-trippers with 36 games left. If he could reach the 50-mark, he would become the first Tigers players to reach 50 home runs since Cecil Fielder hit 51 in 1990.
Looking at each of the current 30 MLB franchises, 11 of them have never had a player hit 50 or more HRs in a season. Here are those 11 teams; also listed is the player who holds the club record for home runs in a season.
Team (Franchise HR record)
Chicago White Sox (Albert Belle, 49 in 1998)
Colorado (Todd Helton, 49 in 2001; Larry Walker, 49 in 1997)
Houston (Jeff Bagwell, 47 in 2000)
Kansas City (Steve Balboni, 36 in 1985)
Los Angeles Angels (Troy Glaus, 47 in 2000)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Shawn Green, 49 in 2001)
Miami (Gary Sheffield, 42 in 1996)
Minnesota (Harmon Killebrew, 49 in 1969)
New York Mets (Carlos Beltran, 41 in 2006; Todd Hundley, 41 in 1996)
Tampa Bay (Carlos Pena, 46 in 2007)
Washington (Alfonso Soriano, 46 in 2006)
Of the remaining 19 teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had the longest wait for a 50-HR player. The Pirates last player to hit 50 or more homers in a season was in 1949 when Ralph Kiner slugged 54.
Here’s a look at the last time the other 19 teams had a player hit 50 or more HRs in a season.
Team (Player, HRs, season)
Pittsburgh (Ralph Kiner, 54 in 1949)
Cincinnati (George Foster, 52 in 1977)
Detroit (Cecil Fielder, 51 in 1990)
Baltimore (Brady Anderson, 50 in 1996)
Oakland (Mark McGwire, 52 in 1996)
Seattle (Ken Griffey, Jr., 56 in 1998)
San Diego (Greg Vaughn, 50 in 1998), 65 in 1999)
St. Louis (Mark McGwire
Arizona (Luis Gonzalez, 57 in 2001)
Chicago Cubs (Sammy Sosa, 64 in 2001)
San Francisco (Barry Bonds 73 in 2001)
Cleveland (Jim Thome, 52 in 2002)
Texas (Alex Rodriguez, 57 in 2002)
Atlanta (Andruw Jones, 51 in 2005)
Boston (David Ortiz, 54 in 2006)
Philadelphia (Ryan Howard, 58 in 2006)
New York Yankees (Alex Rodriguez, 54 in 2007)
Milwaukee (Prince Fielder, 50 in 2007)
Toronto (Jose Bautista, 54 in 2010)
Did you know? As you might expect, the Yankees have the most season with a player hitting 50 or more home runs with 8. The Cubs are next with five; the Giants have had four.
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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.