50 Home Runs in a Season

From BR Bullpen

The feat of hitting 50 home runs in a major league season has been accomplished 43 times by 27 different players. Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have accomplished the feat the most times (4). Sosa and McGwire accomplished their four seasons consecutively.

Players[edit]

BondsBarry96.jpg
Player Year Homers
Barry Bonds 2001 73
Mark McGwire 1998 70
Sammy Sosa 1998 66
Mark McGwire 1999 65
Sammy Sosa 2001 64
Sammy Sosa 1999 63
Roger Maris 1961 61
Babe Ruth 1927 60
Babe Ruth 1921 59
Mark McGwire 1997 58
Ryan Howard 2006 58
Hank Greenberg 1938 58
Jimmie Foxx 1932 58
Alex Rodriguez 2002 57
Luis Gonzalez 2001 57
Hack Wilson 1930 56
Ken Griffey Jr. 1997 56
Ken Griffey Jr. 1998 56
Mickey Mantle 1961 54
Ralph Kiner 1949 54
Alex Rodriguez 2007 54
Babe Ruth 1920 54
Babe Ruth 1928 54
Jose Bautista 2010 54
David Ortiz 2006 54
Chris Davis 2013 53
Mark McGwire 1996 52
Willie Mays 1965 52
Mickey Mantle 1956 52
Alex Rodriguez 2001 52
Jim Thome 2002 52
George Foster 1977 52
Ralph Kiner 1947 51
Willie Mays 1955 51
Johnny Mize 1947 51
Andruw Jones 2005 51
Cecil Fielder 1990 51
Sammy Sosa 2000 50
Greg Vaughn 1998 50
Albert Belle 1995 50
Brady Anderson 1996 50
Jimmie Foxx 1938 50
Prince Fielder 2007 50

Just Missed the Cut[edit]

Harmon Killebrew

Throughout MLB history, there have been 19 seasons where a player fell just one short of 50 home runs - the 49 home run club.

Player Year Homers
Babe Ruth 1930 49
Lou Gehrig 1934 49
Lou Gehrig 1936 49
Ted Kluszewski 1954 49
Willie Mays 1962 49
Harmon Killebrew 1964 49
Frank Robinson 1966 49
Harmon Killebrew 1969 49
Mark McGwire 1987 49
Andre Dawson 1987 49
Ken Griffey Jr. 1996 49
Larry Walker 1997 49
Albert Belle 1998 49
Barry Bonds 2000 49
Todd Helton 2001 49
Jim Thome 2001 49
Shawn Green 2001 49
Sammy Sosa 2002 49
Albert Pujols 2006 49

60 Home Runs in a Season[edit]

Roger Maris

When Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in 1927, it was thought of as a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment and it almost was. It took 34 years for anyone to match, let alone surpass Babe Ruth as the home run king. In 1961, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees had a legendary battle to uncrown the Babe as home run champ. They combined to hit 115 home runs; the most of any teammates in major league history. Roger Maris ended up setting a new record with 61 home runs that season.

It would be another 37 years before anyone would approach 60 home runs again. In 1998, there was another great home run race. This time around, it was between Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs. They both surpassed Roger Maris's home run record and the race came down to the final week-end of the season. McGwire reigned as home run king by hitting 70 home runs that season, Sosa finished the year with 66 homers. Many believe that the excitement surrounding the home run race in 1998 was what saved baseball from lack of interest after the 1994 strike. In 1999, McGwire and Sosa once again reached the 60 home run mark but neither reached their totals from the previous year.

Contrary to conventional wisdom at the time, 70 did not last very long as the home run record. In 2001, Barry Bonds set a new home run record with 73 homers. There was much less fanfare over the home run chase than there was in previous years. Sosa hit 64 home runs that year, he is the only player to hit 60 home runs three times in his career. Many baseball fans and journalists have questioned the validity of the home run records post-1998 due to all three players being involved in the PEDs scandal of the 1990s.