Sunday April 02, 2017
The 500 Homerun Club by Decade
Foxx, second from left, was only the second man to join the 500-HR Club
It was a relatively sunny day today in Seattle, so I went for a bikeride this morning out to Seward Park, came back, ate lunch, and watched the last four innings of the first baseball game of the 2017 season, in which the Tampa Bay Rays beats the New York Yankees 7-3.
Meaning, as I write this, the Yankees are in last place in all of Major League Baseball.
So last week I posted about the 3,000 hit club by decade. Today, on the ride, I thought about the 500 homerun club by decade. I remember that when Killbrew did it he was the 10th man to ever do it, and he was more or less on the heels of Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle. So it must not have been that common back then.
It wasn't. Here you go.
- 1920s (1): Babe Ruth, August 11, 1929
- 1930s (0)
- 1940s (2): Jimmie Foxx, Sept. 24, 1940; Mel Ott, August 1, 1945
- 1950s (0)
- 1960s (5): Ted Williams, June 17, 1960; Willie Mays, Sept. 13, 1965; Mickey Mantle, May 14, 1967; Eddie Matthews, July 14, 1967; Hank Aaron, July 14, 1968 (How about that! Aaron and Matthews, former teammates, reached the mark exactly one year from each other.)
- 1970s (4): Ernie Banks, May 12, 1970; Harmon Killebrew, August 10, 1971; Frank Robinson, September 13, 1971; Willie McCovey, June 30, 1978
- 1980s (2): Reggie Jackson, Sept. 17, 1984; Mike Schmidt, April 18, 1987
- 1990s (2): Eddie Murray, Sept. 6, 1996; Mark McGwire, August 5, 1999
- 2000s (9): Barry Bonds, April 17, 2001; Sammy Sosa, April 4, 2003; Rafael Palmeiro, May 11, 2003; Ken Griffey Jr., June 20, 2004; Frank Thomas, June 28, 2007; Alex Rodriguez, August 4, 2007; Jim Thome, Sept. 16, 2007; Manny Ramirez, May 31, 2008; Gary Sheffield, April 17, 2009
- 2010s (2): Albert Pujols, April 22, 2014; David Ortiz, Sept. 12, 2015
A total of 27. We'll have one or two more this decade (Miggy, Beltre).
How about that six-year period between Sept. 13, 1965 and Sept. 13, 1971, when seven guys joined, after only four the previous entire history of baseball? That's partly Branch Rickey's legacy.
And how about all those roided guys doing it in the 2000s? That's partly Bud Selig's legacy.