50 home run club

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. In doing so, they became the only players to have achieved 50 home runs in four consecutive 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 Aaron Judge, achieving the feat for the second time during the 2022 season.

Mark McGwire (left) and Sammy Sosa (right) are the only players to have hit 50 home runs in four consecutive seasons.

In total, 30 players have reached the 50 home run club in MLB history and nine have done so more than once.[6] Of these, eighteen were right-handed batters, eleven were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Five of these players (including three active members of the 50 home run club)[7] have played for only one major league team. The New York Yankees are the only franchise to have five players reach the milestone while on their roster: Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Alex Rodriguez, and Aaron Judge. Ten players are also members of the 500 home run club[8] and two of them (Willie Mays and Rodriguez) are also members of the 3,000 hit club.[9] Ten players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 50 home run season.[10] 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).[11][12][13] 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.[14][15] Albert Belle is the only player to amass 50 or more doubles in addition to attaining 50 home runs.[16][17] Prince Fielder, at 23 years and 139 days, was the youngest player to reach the milestone while Bonds, at age 37, was the oldest.[18][19] Pete Alonso and Aaron Judge are the only players to hit 50 home runs in their rookie seasons.

Due to the infrequent addition of members into the 50 home run club, Baseball Digest called it "a restrictive fraternity comprising slugging elite"[20] 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,[21] disqualifying four active players and five 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;[22][23] fifteen players joined the club on a total of 24 occasions from 1995 to 2010.[6] Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.[24][25][26][27]

Members

Babe Ruth was the first member of the 50 home run club and joined it in four seasons, a record he shares with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
Jimmie Foxx achieved the 50 home run club and won the MVP Award in 1932 and 1938.
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 The number of home runs the player hit in his MLB career
^ Denotes single-season home run record progression
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Player is active
Members of the 50 home run club
Year Player Team HR Career Ref
 
1920 Babe Ruth New York Yankees54^714[5]
1921 Babe Ruth (2) New York Yankees59^714[5]
1927 Babe Ruth (3) New York Yankees60^714[5]
1928 Babe Ruth (4) New York Yankees54714[5]
1930 Hack Wilson Chicago Cubs56244[28]
1932 Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia Athletics58534[29]
1938 Jimmie Foxx (2) Boston Red Sox50534[29]
1938 Hank Greenberg Detroit Tigers58331[30]
1947 Johnny Mize New York Giants51359[31]
1947 Ralph Kiner Pittsburgh Pirates51369[32]
1949 Ralph Kiner (2) Pittsburgh Pirates54369[32]
1955 Willie Mays New York Giants51660[33]
1956 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees52536[34]
1961 Mickey Mantle (2) New York Yankees54536[34]
1961 Roger Maris New York Yankees61^275[35]
1965 Willie Mays (2) San Francisco Giants52660[33]
1977 George Foster Cincinnati Reds52348[36]
1990 Cecil Fielder Detroit Tigers51319[37]
1995 Albert Belle Cleveland Indians50381[38]
1996 Brady Anderson Baltimore Orioles50210[39]
1996 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics52583[40]
1997 Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners56630[41]
1997 Mark McGwire (2) Oakland Athletics
St. Louis Cardinals
58583[40]
1998 Greg Vaughn San Diego Padres50355[42]
1998 Ken Griffey Jr. (2) Seattle Mariners56630[41]
1998 Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs66609[43]
1998 Mark McGwire (3) St. Louis Cardinals70^583[40]
1999 Sammy Sosa (2) Chicago Cubs63609[43]
1999 Mark McGwire (4) St. Louis Cardinals65583[40]
2000 Sammy Sosa (3) Chicago Cubs50609[43]
2001 Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers52696[44]
2001 Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks57354[45]
2001 Sammy Sosa (4) Chicago Cubs64609[43]
2001 Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants73^762[46]
2002 Jim Thome Cleveland Indians52612[47]
2002 Alex Rodriguez (2) Texas Rangers57696[44]
2005 Andruw Jones Atlanta Braves51434[48]
2006 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies58382[7]
2006 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox54541[49]
2007 Alex Rodriguez (3) New York Yankees54696[44]
2007 Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers50319[50]
2010 José Bautista Toronto Blue Jays54344[51]
2013 Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles53295[52], [53]
2017 Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins59378[54]
2017 Aaron Judge New York Yankees52220[55]
2019 Pete Alonso New York Mets53146[56]
2022 Aaron Judge (2) New York Yankees62220[57]

See also

Notes

    References

    General

    • "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2012.

    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. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. 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. "Babe Ruth Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    6. "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
    7. "Ryan Howard Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    8. "Career Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
    9. "Career Leaders & Records for Hits". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
    10. "Most Valuable Player MVP Awards & Cy Young Awards Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
    11. "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.
    12. "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.
    13. "1956 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    14. 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.
    15. "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.
    16. Carter, Bob (September 5, 2006). "Belle battled fans, teammates, self". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2012. In 1995,...he became the first player to amass 50 doubles and 50 homers in the same year.
    17. "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.
    18. "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.
    19. "Baseball; Giants' Bonds Is Fastest to 50 Homers". The New York Times. August 12, 2001. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
    20. 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...
    21. "Rules for Election". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
    22. 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...
    23. 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...
    24. 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.
    25. Bloom, Barry M. (December 13, 2007). "Mitchell Report proposes solutions". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
    26. Kepner, Tyler (February 9, 2009). "Rodriguez Admits to Use of Performance Enhancers". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
    27. Schmidt, Michael S. (July 30, 2009). "Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on 2003 Doping List". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
    28. "Hack Wilson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    29. "Jimmie Foxx Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
    30. "Hank Greenberg Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    31. "Johnny Mize Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    32. "Ralph Kiner Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
    33. "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    34. "Mickey Mantle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    35. "Roger Maris Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    36. "George Foster Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    37. "Cecil Fielder Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    38. "Albert Belle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    39. "Brady Anderson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    40. "Mark McGwire Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
    41. "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    42. "Greg Vaughn Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    43. "Sammy Sosa Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    44. "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    45. "Luis Gonzalez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    46. "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    47. "Jim Thome Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    48. "Andruw Jones Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    49. "David Ortiz Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    50. "Prince Fielder Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    51. "Jose Bautista Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
    52. "Chris Davis Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
    53. "Orioles slugger Chris Davis suspended 25 games". apnews.com. Open. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
    54. "Giancarlo Stanton Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
    55. "Aaron Judge Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
    56. "Pete Alonso Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
    57. "Judge hits 58th AND 59th HRs, just two shy of Maris". MLB.com. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2022.

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