50 home run club

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A man wearing a red shirt and St. Louis Cardinals cap holds a baseball in each hand.
A man with a blue helmet and white baseball uniform with the number 21 on the back swings at a pitch.
Mark McGwire (left) and Sammy Sosa (right) are the only players to join the 50 home run club in four consecutive seasons.

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 50 home run club is the group of batters who have hit 50 or more home runs in a single season.[1][2][3] Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1920. By reaching the milestone, he also became the first player to hit 30 and then 40 home runs in a single-season, breaking his own record of 29 from the 1919 season.[4] Ruth subsequently became the first player to reach the 50 home run club on four occasions, repeating the achievement in 1921, 1927 and 1928.[5][6] He remained the only player to accomplish this until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa matched his feat in 1999 and 2001, respectively, thus becoming the only players to achieve four consecutive 50 home run seasons.[6] Barry Bonds hit the most home runs to join the club, collecting 73 in 2001.[6] The most recent player to reach the milestone is Chris Davis, achieving the feat during the 2013 season.[7]

In total, 27 players have reached the 50 home run club in MLB history[8] and nine have done so more than once.[6] Of these, fifteen were right-handed batters, eleven were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two of these players (including one active member of the 50 home run club)[9] have played for only one major league team. The New York Yankees are the only franchise to have four different players reach the milestone while on their roster: Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Alex Rodriguez. Ten players are also members of the 500 home run club[10] and one of them (Willie Mays) is also a member of the 3,000 hit club.[11] Ten players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 50 home run season.[12] Mantle is the only player to have earned the Major League Triple Crown alongside achieving 50 home runs, leading both leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI).[13][14][15] Mantle and Maris—collectively known as the M&M Boys—are the only teammates to reach the 50 home run club in the same season, hitting a combined 115 home runs in 1961 and breaking the single-season record for home runs by a pair of teammates.[16][17] Albert Belle is the only player to amass 50 or more doubles in addition to attaining 50 home runs.[18][19] Prince Fielder, at 23 years and 139 days, was the youngest player to reach the milestone while Bonds, at age 37, was the oldest.[20][21]

Due to the infrequent addition of members into the 50 home run club, Baseball Digest called it "a restrictive fraternity comprising slugging elite"[22] in 1954, when there were only six members. Of the seventeen members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, eight have been elected and three were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months,[23] disqualifying eight active players and two players who have been retired for less than five seasons. Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members;[24][25] fifteen different players joined the club in a total of 24 occasions from 1995 to 2010.[6] Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.[26][27][28][29]

Members[edit]

A man in full baseball attire wears a pinstriped jersey and a baseball cap. Looking to the left of the camera, he is holding a baseball bat upward.
Babe Ruth was the first member of the 50 home run club and joined it in four different seasons, a record he shares with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
A man is pictured from his belt up looking to the left of the camera. His button-down baseball jersey says "RED SOX" across it and he is wearing a baseball cap.
Jimmie Foxx achieved the 50 home run club and won the MVP Award in 1932 and 1938.
Two men in pinstripe baseball uniform with an interlocking "NY" partially showing at the bottom.
Mickey Mantle (right) earned the Triple Crown in addition to achieving the 50 home run club in 1956. Five years later, he and Roger Maris (left) became the only teammates to reach the 50 home run club in the same season.
Key
Year The year the player's 50 home run season occurred
Player (X) Name of the player and number of 50 home run seasons they had accomplished at that point
Team The player's team for his 50 home run season
HR Number of home runs in that season
Career HR The number of home runs the player hit in his MLB career
^ Denotes single-season home run record progression
dagger Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Player is active
Members of the 50 home run club
Year Player Team HR Career HR Ref
1920 Ruth, BabeBabe Ruthdagger New York Yankees 54^ 714 [5]
1921 Ruth, BabeBabe Ruthdagger (2) New York Yankees 59^ 714 [5]
1927 Ruth, BabeBabe Ruthdagger (3) New York Yankees 60^ 714 [5]
1928 Ruth, BabeBabe Ruthdagger (4) New York Yankees 54 714 [5]
1930 Wilson, HackHack Wilsondagger Chicago Cubs 56 244 [30]
1932 Foxx, JimmieJimmie Foxxdagger Philadelphia Athletics 58 534 [31]
1938 Foxx, JimmieJimmie Foxxdagger (2) Boston Red Sox 50 534 [31]
1938 Greenberg, HankHank Greenbergdagger Detroit Tigers 58 331 [32]
1947 Mize, JohnnyJohnny Mizedagger New York Giants 51 359 [33]
1947 Kiner, RalphRalph Kinerdagger Pittsburgh Pirates 51 369 [34]
1949 Kiner, RalphRalph Kinerdagger (2) Pittsburgh Pirates 54 369 [34]
1955 Mays, WillieWillie Maysdagger New York Giants 51 660 [35]
1956 Mantle, MickeyMickey Mantledagger New York Yankees 52 536 [36]
1961 Mantle, MickeyMickey Mantledagger (2) New York Yankees 54 536 [36]
1961 Maris, RogerRoger Maris New York Yankees 61^ 275 [37]
1965 Mays, WillieWillie Maysdagger (2) San Francisco Giants 52 660 [35]
1977 Foster, GeorgeGeorge Foster Cincinnati Reds 52 348 [38]
1990 Fielder, CecilCecil Fielder Detroit Tigers 51 319 [39]
1995 Belle, AlbertAlbert Belle Cleveland Indians 50 381 [40]
1996 Anderson, BradyBrady Anderson Baltimore Orioles 50 210 [41]
1996 McGwire, MarkMark McGwire Oakland Athletics 52 583 [42]
1997 Griffey, Jr., KenKen Griffey, Jr. Seattle Mariners 56 630 [43]
1997 McGwire, MarkMark McGwire (2) Oakland Athletics
St. Louis Cardinals
58 583 [42]
1998 Vaughn, GregGreg Vaughn San Diego Padres 50 355 [44]
1998 Griffey, Jr., KenKen Griffey, Jr. (2) Seattle Mariners 56 630 [43]
1998 Sosa, SammySammy Sosa Chicago Cubs 66 609 [45]
1998 McGwire, MarkMark McGwire (3) St. Louis Cardinals 70^ 583 [42]
1999 Sosa, SammySammy Sosa (2) Chicago Cubs 63 609 [45]
1999 McGwire, MarkMark McGwire (4) St. Louis Cardinals 65 583 [42]
2000 Sosa, SammySammy Sosa (3) Chicago Cubs 50 609 [45]
2001 Rodriguez, AlexAlex Rodriguezdouble-dagger Texas Rangers 52 654 [46]
2001 Gonzalez, LuisLuis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks 57 354 [47]
2001 Sosa, SammySammy Sosa (4) Chicago Cubs 64 609 [45]
2001 Bonds, BarryBarry Bonds San Francisco Giants 73^ 762 [48]
2002 Thome, JimJim Thome Cleveland Indians 52 612 [49]
2002 Rodriguez, AlexAlex Rodriguezdouble-dagger (2) Texas Rangers 57 654 [46]
2005 Jones, AndruwAndruw Jonesdouble-dagger Atlanta Braves 51 433 [50]
2006 Howard, RyanRyan Howarddouble-dagger Philadelphia Phillies 58 311 [9]
2006 Ortiz, DavidDavid Ortizdouble-dagger Boston Red Sox 54 450 [51]
2007 Rodriguez, AlexAlex Rodriguezdouble-dagger (3) New York Yankees 54 654 [46]
2007 Fielder, PrincePrince Fielderdouble-dagger Milwaukee Brewers 50 257 [52]
2010 Bautista, JoséJosé Bautistadouble-dagger Toronto Blue Jays 54 226 [53]
2013 Davis, ChrisChris Davisdouble-dagger Baltimore Orioles 53 130 [54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General

Specific

  1. ^ Johnston, Joey (July 1987). "Will 50-Homer Seasons Become Extinct in the Majors?". Baseball Digest (Evanston, IL, USA: Century Publishing) 46 (7): 60–61. ISSN 0005-609X. 
  2. ^ Smith, Claire (September 29, 1997). "On Baseball; Numbers Tell It All: 1997 Was Impressive". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2012. "Larry Walker...missed joining McGwire and Griffey in the 50 home run club (49)." 
  3. ^ Bastian, Jordan (September 19, 2010). "Bautista belts 49th as Jays edge Red Sox". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 4, 2012. "Bautista['s]...next blast will put him in the 50 home run club." 
  4. ^ "Progressive Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Babe Ruth Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (September 14, 2013). "Davis' 50th blast helps O's keep pace in Wild Card". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (September 14, 2013). "Chris Davis' 50th home run is a big one, helping Orioles to a 5-3 win over Blue Jays". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Ryan Howard Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Hits". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Most Valuable Player MVP Awards & Cy Young Awards Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mantle Eligible for 'Hall' Today". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. January 16, 1974. p. 24. Retrieved July 4, 2012. "Mantle took the triple crown in 1956 when he batted .353 with 52 home runs and 130 runs batted in." 
  14. ^ "Mickey Mantle Named Most Valuable Player". The Milwaukee Journal. November 15, 1956. p. 20. Retrieved July 4, 2012. "Mantle, who won the triple batting crown..., became the eighth man in history to win the batting, home run and runs batted in titles in one season. [He] led the league, both leagues in fact, with a .353 batting average, 52 homers and 130 runs batted in." 
  15. ^ "1956 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ Singer, Tom (August 24, 2011). "Plenty of duos have look of M&M Boys". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 27, 2012. "[T]heir combined total of 115 still stands as the benchmark for teammates." 
  17. ^ "A Short History of the Single-Season Home Run Record". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 4, 2012. "[Maris] and Mantle...broke the record for most single-season home runs by a pair of teammates." 
  18. ^ Carter, Bob (September 5, 2006). "Belle battled fans, teammates, self". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved July 5, 2012. "In 1995,...he became the first player to amass 50 doubles and 50 homers in the same year." 
  19. ^ "Belle is forgotten man". The Spokesman-Review. September 27, 1998. p. C5. Retrieved July 5, 2012. "[H]e became the first player to hit 50 homers and 50 doubles in 1995." 
  20. ^ "Prince hits 50, but it's 52 he wants to 'shut up' his dad". ESPN (ESPN Internet Ventures). September 26, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Baseball; Giants' Bonds Is Fastest to 50 Homers". The New York Times. August 12, 2001. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  22. ^ Leonard, George K. (October 1954). "37 Stars Hit 50 Homers in Year!". Baseball Digest (Evanston, IL, USA: Century Publishing) 13 (9): 43. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved July 11, 2012. "Not as exclusive as the "Four Homers in One Game Club" but, nevertheless, a restrictive sort of fraternity is that comprising batters who have blasted 50—or more—home runs in one season. This group of slugging elite..." 
  23. ^ "Rules for Election". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ Chass, Murray (September 30, 2001). "Baseball: Notebook; Measure of Inflation For Home Run Race". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012. "I think it takes some of the luster off the numbers that some of the best players established..." 
  25. ^ Schwarz, Alan (June 9, 2002). "Ideas & Trends; Scoring Hits, Runs and Asterisks". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012. "Where 50 home runs in a season once meant something (just 18 players did it before 1995), 16 have since..." 
  26. ^ Krawczynski, Jon (October 2, 2010). "Bautista's homer binge brings questions". USA Today. Retrieved July 15, 2012. "McGwire has admitted to using steroids during his career and Sosa and Bonds have been dogged by allegations." 
  27. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (December 13, 2007). "Mitchell Report proposes solutions". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  28. ^ Kepner, Tyler (February 9, 2009). "Rodriguez Admits to Use of Performance Enhancers". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  29. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (July 30, 2009). "Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on 2003 Doping List". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Hack Wilson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "Jimmie Foxx Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Hank Greenberg Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Johnny Mize Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Ralph Kiner Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "Mickey Mantle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Roger Maris Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  38. ^ "George Foster Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Cecil Fielder Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Albert Belle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Brady Anderson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  42. ^ a b c d "Mark McGwire Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  43. ^ a b "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Greg Vaughn Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b c d "Sammy Sosa Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  46. ^ a b c "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Luis Gonzalez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Jim Thome Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Andruw Jones Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  51. ^ "David Ortiz Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Prince Fielder Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Jose Bautista Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Chris Davis Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 14, 2013.