Home run

In baseball, a home run (abbreviated HR) is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles (or making contact with either foul pole) without first touching the ground or running to home plate and scoring a point,[1] resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field.

When a home run is scored, the batter is also credited with a hit and a run scored, and an RBI for each runner that scores, including himself. Likewise, the pitcher is recorded as having given up a hit, and a run for each runner that scores including the batter.

Home runs are among the most popular aspects of baseball and, as a result, prolific home run hitters are usually the most popular among fans and consequently the highest paid by teams—hence the old saying, "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, and singles hitters drive Fords (coined, circa 1948, by veteran pitcher Fritz Ostermueller, by way of mentoring his young teammate, Ralph Kiner).[2][3][4]

20060825 Barry Bonds follow through
Barry Bonds holds the all-time home run record in Major League Baseball
WBC2006 Sadaharu Oh
Sadaharu Oh, pictured here in 2006, holds the officially verified all-time world home run record in professional baseball.
Agee Home Run Spot
New York Met player Tommie Agee hit a home run as far as up in section 48 at the former Shea Stadium on April 10, 1969.

Types of home runs

Out of the park

Mets Foul Pole
If a batted ball hits the foul pole (yellow pole on the right), the ball is fair and a home run is awarded to the batter

In modern times a home run is most often scored when the ball is hit over the outfield wall between the foul poles (in fair territory) before it touches the ground (in flight), and without being caught or deflected back onto the field by a fielder. A batted ball is also a home run if it touches either foul pole or its attached screen before touching the ground, as the foul poles are by definition in fair territory. Additionally, many major-league ballparks have ground rules stating that a batted ball in flight that strikes a specified location or fixed object is a home run; this usually applies to objects that are beyond the outfield wall but are located such that it may be difficult for an umpire to judge.

In professional baseball, a batted ball that goes over the outfield wall after touching the ground (i.e. a ball that bounces over the outfield wall) becomes an automatic double. This is colloquially referred to as a "ground rule double" because the rule is not strictly written into the rules of baseball, but is rather a rule of the field (or "grounds") being used.

A fielder is allowed to reach over the wall to attempt to catch the ball as long as his feet are on or over the field during the attempt, and if the fielder successfully catches the ball while it is in flight the batter is out, even if the ball had already passed the vertical plane of the wall. However, since the fielder is not part of the field, a ball that bounces off a fielder (including his glove) and over the wall without touching the ground is still a home run. A fielder may not deliberately throw his glove, cap, or any other equipment or apparel to stop or deflect a fair ball, and an umpire may award a home run to the batter if a fielder does so on a ball that, in the umpire's judgment, would have otherwise been a home run (this is rare in modern professional baseball).[5]

A home run accomplished in any of the above manners is an automatic home run. The ball is dead, even if it rebounds back onto the field (e.g., from striking a foul pole), and the batter and any preceding runners cannot be put out at any time while running the bases. However, if one or more runners fail to touch a base or one runner passes another before reaching home plate, that runner or runners can be called out on appeal, though in the case of not touching a base a runner can go back and touch it if doing so won't cause them to be passed by another preceding runner and they have not yet touched the next base (or home plate in the case of missing third base). This stipulation is in Approved Ruling (2) of Rule 7.10(b).[5]

Inside-the-park home run

An inside-the-park home run occurs when a batter hits the ball into play and is able to circle the bases before the fielders can put him out. Unlike with an outside-the-park home run, the batter-runner and all preceding runners are liable to be put out by the defensive team at any time while running the bases. This can only happen if the ball does not leave the ballfield.

In the early days of baseball, outfields were relatively much more spacious, reducing the likelihood of an over-the-fence home run, while increasing the likelihood of an inside-the-park home run, as a ball getting past an outfielder had more distance that it could roll before a fielder could track it down.

Modern outfields are much less spacious and more uniformly designed than in the game's early days, therefore inside-the-park home runs are now a rarity. They usually occur when a fast runner hits the ball deep into the outfield and the ball bounces in an unexpected direction away from the nearest outfielder (e.g., off a divot in the grass or off the outfield wall), or an outfielder misjudges the flight of the ball in a way that he cannot quickly recover from the mistake (e.g., by diving and missing). The speed of the runner is crucial as even triples are relatively rare in most modern ballparks.

If any defensive play on an inside-the-park home run is labeled an error by the official scorer, a home run is not scored; instead, it is scored as a single, double, or triple, and the batter-runner and any applicable preceding runners are said to have taken all additional bases on error. All runs scored on such a play, however, still count.

An example of an unexpected bounce occurred during the 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park in San Francisco on July 10, 2007. Ichiro Suzuki of the American League team hit a fly ball that caromed off the right-center field wall in the opposite direction from where National League right fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. was expecting it to go. By the time the ball was relayed, Ichiro had already crossed the plate standing up. This was the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history, and led to Suzuki being named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Number of runs batted in

Home runs are often characterized by the number of runners on base at the time. A home run hit with the bases empty is seldom called a "one-run homer", but rather a solo home run, solo homer, or "solo shot". With one runner on base, two runs are scored (the baserunner and the batter) and thus the home run is often called a two-run homer or two-run shot. Similarly, a home runs with two runners on base is a three-run homer or three-run shot.

The term "four-run homer" is seldom used; instead, it is nearly always called a "grand slam". Hitting a grand slam is the best possible result for the batter's turn at bat and the worst possible result for the pitcher and his team.

Grand slam

A grand slam occurs when the bases are "loaded" (that is, there are base runners standing at first, second, and third base) and the batter hits a home run. According to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term originated in the card game of contract bridge. An inside-the-park grand slam is a grand slam that is also an inside-the-park home run, a home run without the ball leaving the field, and it is very rare, due to the relative rarity of loading the bases along with the significant rarity (nowadays) of inside-the-park home runs.

On July 25, 1956, Roberto Clemente became the only MLB player to have ever scored a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam in a 9–8 Pittsburgh Pirates win over the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field.

On April 23, 1999, Fernando Tatís made history by hitting two grand slams in one inning, both against Chan Ho Park of the Los Angeles Dodgers. With this feat, Tatís also set a Major League record with 8 RBI in one inning.

On July 29, 2003 against the Texas Rangers, Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox became the only player in major league history to hit two grand slams in one game from opposite sides of the plate. In fact, he hit three home runs in that game, and his two grand slams were in consecutive at-bats.

On August 25, 2011 the New York Yankees became the first team to hit three grand slams in one game vs the Oakland A's. The Yankees eventually went on to win the game 22–9, after trailing 7–1.

Specific situation home runs

These types of home runs are characterized by the specific game situation in which they occur, and can theoretically occur on either an outside-the-park or inside-the-park home run.

Walk-off home run

A walk-off home run is a home run hit by the home team in the bottom of the ninth inning, any extra inning, or other scheduled final inning, which gives the home team the lead and thereby ends the game. The term is attributed to Hall of Fame relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley,[6] so named because after the run is scored, the losing team has to "walk off" the field.

Two World Series have ended via the "walk-off" home run. The first was the 1960 World Series when Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a 9th inning solo home run in the 7th game of the series off New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry to give the Pirates the World Championship. The second time was the 1993 World Series when Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays hit a 9th inning 3-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams in Game 6 of the series, to help the Toronto Blue Jays capture their second World Series Championship in a row.

Such a home run can also be called a "sudden death" or "sudden victory" home run. That usage has lessened as "walk-off home run" has gained favor. Along with Mazeroski's 1960 shot, the most famous walk-off or sudden-death homer would probably be the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" hit by Bobby Thomson to win the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants, along with many other game-ending home runs that famously ended some of the most important and suspenseful baseball games.

A walk-off home run over the fence is an exception to baseball's one-run rule. Normally if the home team is tied or behind in the ninth or extra innings the game ends as soon as the home team scores enough runs to achieve a lead. If the home team has two outs in the inning, and the game is tied, the game will officially end either the moment the batter successfully reaches 1st base or the moment the runner touches home plate—whichever happens last. However, this is superseded by the "ground rule", which provides automatic doubles (when a ball-in-play hits the ground first then leaves the playing field) and home runs (when a ball-in-play leaves the playing field without ever touching the ground). In the latter case, all base runners including the batter are allowed to cross the plate.

Leadoff home run

A leadoff home run is a home run hit by the first batter of a team, the leadoff hitter of the first inning of the game. In MLB, Rickey Henderson holds the career record with 81 lead-off home runs.[7] [8] Craig Biggio holds the National League career record with 53, third overall to Henderson, and Soriano with 54.[9] As of 2018, Ian Kinsler held the career record among active players, with 48 leadoff home runs, which also ranked him fourth all-time.[10][11]

In 1996, Brady Anderson set a Major League record by hitting a lead-off home run in four consecutive games.

Back-to-back

When two consecutive batters each hit a home run, this is described as back-to-back home runs. It is still considered back-to-back even if both batters hit their home runs off different pitchers. A third batter hitting a home run is commonly referred to as back-to-back-to-back.

Four home runs in a row by consecutive batters has only occurred eight times in the history of Major League Baseball. Following convention, this is called back-to-back-to-back-to-back. The most recent occurrence was on July 27, 2017, when the Washington Nationals hit four in a row against the Milwaukee Brewers in Nationals Park as Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman homered off pitcher Michael Blazek.[12] Blazek became the fourth pitcher to surrender back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs, following Paul Foytack on July 31, 1963, Chase Wright on April 22, 2007, and Dave Bush.

On August 14, 2008, the Chicago White Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 9-2. In this game, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramírez, and Juan Uribe hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in that order. Thome, Konerko, and Ramirez blasted their homers off of Joel Peralta, while Uribe did it off of Rob Tejeda. The next batter, veteran backstop Toby Hall, tried aimlessly to hit the ball as far as possible, but his effort resulted in a strike out.

On April 22, 2007 the Boston Red Sox were trailing the New York Yankees 3–0 when Manny Ramirez, J. D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to put them up 4–3. They eventually went on to win the game 7–6 after a three-run home run by Mike Lowell in the bottom of the 7th inning. On September 18, 2006 trailing 9–5 to the San Diego Padres in the 9th inning, Jeff Kent, J. D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs to tie the game. After giving up a run in the top of the 10th, the Dodgers won the game in the bottom of the 10th, on a walk-off two run home run by Nomar Garciaparra. J. D. Drew has been part of two different sets of back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs. In both occurrences, his homer was the second of the four.

On September 30, 1997, in the sixth inning of Game One of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, Tim Raines, Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Yankees. Raines' home run tied the game. New York went on to win 8–6. This was the first occurrence of three home runs in a row ever in postseason play. The Boston Red Sox repeated the feat in Game Four of the 2007 American League Championship Series, also against the Indians. The Indians returned the favor in Game One of the 2016 American League Division Series.

Twice in MLB history have two brothers hit back-to-back home runs. On April 23, 2013, brothers Melvin Upton, Jr. (formerly B.J. Upton) and Justin Upton hit back-to-back home runs.[13] The first time was on September 15, 1938, when Lloyd Waner and Paul Waner performed the feat.[14]

Simple back-to-back home runs are a relatively frequent occurrence. If a pitcher gives up a homer, he might have his concentration broken and might alter his normal approach in an attempt to "make up for it" by striking out the next batter with some fastballs. Sometimes the next batter will be expecting that and will capitalize on it. A notable back-to-back home run of that type in World Series play involved "Babe Ruth's called shot" in 1932, which was accompanied by various Ruthian theatrics, yet the pitcher, Charlie Root, was allowed to stay in the game. He delivered just one more pitch, which Lou Gehrig drilled out of the park for a back-to-back shot, after which Root was removed from the game.

In Game 3 of the 1976 NLCS, George Foster and Johnny Bench hit back-to-back homers in the last of the ninth off Ron Reed to tie the game. The Series-winning run was scored later in the inning.

Another notable pair of back-to-back home runs occurred on September 14, 1990, when Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey, Jr. hit back-to-back home runs, off Kirk McCaskill, the only father-and-son duo to do so in Major League history.

On May 2, 2002, Bret Boone and Mike Cameron of the Seattle Mariners hit back-to-back home runs off of starter Jon Rauch in the first inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox. The Mariners batted around in the inning, and Boone and Cameron came up to bat against reliever Jim Parque with two outs, again hitting back-to-back home runs and becoming the only pair of teammates to hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same inning.[15]

On June 19, 2012, José Bautista and Colby Rasmus hit back-to-back home runs and back-to-back-to-back home runs with Edwin Encarnación for a lead change in each instance.

On July 23, 2017 Whit Merrifield, Jorge Bonifacio, and Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals hit back to back to back home runs in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox. The Royals went on to win the game 5-4.

On June 20, 2018 George Springer, Alex Bregman, and José Altuve of the Houston Astros hit back to back to back home runs in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros went on to win the game 5-1.

On April 3, 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals began the game against the Milwaukee Brewers with back-to-back homers from Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham. Then in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and the Cardinals leading 4-3, Christian Yelich homered to tie the game; and Ryan Braun hit the next pitch for a walk-off homer. This is the only major league game to begin and end with back-to-back homers.

Consecutive home runs by one batter

The record for consecutive home runs by a batter under any circumstances is four. Of the sixteen players (through 2012) who have hit four in one game, six have hit them consecutively. Twenty-eight other batters have hit four consecutive across two games.

Bases on balls do not count as at-bats, and Ted Williams holds the record for consecutive home runs across the most games, four in four games played, during September 17–22, 1957, for the Red Sox.[16] Williams hit a pinch-hit homer on the 17th; walked as a pinch-hitter on the 18th; there was no game on the 19th; hit another pinch-homer on the 20th; homered and then was lifted for a pinch-runner after at least one walk, on the 21st; and homered after at least one walk on the 22nd. All in all, he had four walks interspersed among his four homers.

In World Series play, Reggie Jackson hit a record three in one Series game, the final game (Game 6) in 1977. But those three were a part of a much more impressive feat. He walked on four pitches in the second inning of game 6. Then he hit his three home runs on the first pitch of his next three at bats, off of three different pitchers (4th inning- Hooten, 5th inning- Sosa, 8th inning- Hough). He had also hit one in his last at bat of the previous game, giving him four home runs on four consecutive swings. (His home run in game 5 was also hit on the first pitch, although this did not add to any significant streak.) The four in a row set the record for consecutive homers across two Series games.

In Game 3 of the World Series in 2011, Albert Pujols hit three home runs to tie the record with Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson. The St. Louis Cardinals went on to win the World Series in Game 7 at Busch Stadium. In Game 1 of the World Series in 2012, Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants hit three home runs on his first three at-bats of the Series, also tying the record with Pujols, Jackson, and Ruth.

Nomar Garciaparra holds the record for consecutive home runs in the shortest time in terms of innings: three homers in two innings, on July 23, 2002, for the Boston Red Sox.

Home run cycle

An offshoot of hitting for the cycle, a "home run cycle" is where a player hits a solo, 2-run, 3-run, and grand slam all in one game. This is an extremely rare feat, as it requires the batter to not only hit four home runs in a game (which itself has only occurred 18 times in the Major Leagues[17]), but also to hit those home runs with the specific number of runners already on base. Although it is a rare accomplishment, it is largely dependent on circumstances outside the player's control, such as his preceding teammates' ability to get on base, as well as the order in which he comes to bat in any particular inning.

Another variant of the home run cycle would be the "natural home run cycle", which would require a batter to hit a solo, 2-run, 3-run, and grand slam in that order.

Though multiple home run cycles have been recorded in collegiate baseball,[18][19] the only home run cycle in a professional baseball game belongs to Tyrone Horne, playing for the minor league, Double-A Arkansas Travelers in a game against the San Antonio Missions on July 27, 1998.[20]

A major league player has come close to hitting for the home run cycle several times. Recent examples include:

MLB HR and SB rates
Graph depicting the yearly number of home runs (blue line), and stolen bases (pink line) per MLB game from 1900-2008.

History

In the early days of the game, when the ball was less lively and the ballparks generally had very large outfields, most home runs were of the inside-the-park variety. The first home run ever hit in the National League was by Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings (now known as the Chicago Cubs), in 1876. The home "run" was literally descriptive. Home runs over the fence were rare, and only in ballparks where a fence was fairly close. Hitters were discouraged from trying to hit home runs, with the conventional wisdom being that if they tried to do so they would simply fly out. This was a serious concern in the 19th century, because in baseball's early days a ball caught after one bounce was still an out. The emphasis was on place-hitting and what is now called "manufacturing runs" or "small ball".

The home run's place in baseball changed dramatically when the live-ball era began after World War I. First, the materials and manufacturing processes improved significantly, making the now-mass-produced, cork-centered ball somewhat more lively. Batters such as Babe Ruth and Rogers Hornsby took full advantage of rules changes that were instituted during the 1920s, particularly prohibition of the spitball, and the requirement that balls be replaced when worn or dirty. These changes resulted in the baseball being easier to see and hit, and easier to hit out of the park. Meanwhile, as the game's popularity boomed, more outfield seating was built, shrinking the size of the outfield and increasing the chances of a long fly ball resulting in a home run. The teams with the sluggers, typified by the New York Yankees, became the championship teams, and other teams had to change their focus from the "inside game" to the "power game" in order to keep up.

Before 1931, a ball that bounced over an outfield fence during a major league game was considered a home run. The rule was changed to require the ball to clear the fence on the fly, and balls that reached the seats on a bounce became ground rule doubles in most parks. A carryover of the old rule is that if a player deflects a ball over the outfield fence without it touching the ground, it is a home run.

Polo Grounds 1917
The Polo Grounds left field foul line with guide rope, as seen from upper deck, 1917

Also, until approximately that time, the ball had to not only go over the fence in fair territory, but to land in the bleachers in fair territory or to still be visibly fair when disappearing behind a wall. The rule stipulated "fair when last seen" by the umpires. Photos from that era in ballparks, such as the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium, show ropes strung from the foul poles to the back of the bleachers, or a second "foul pole" at the back of the bleachers, in a straight line with the foul line, as a visual aid for the umpire. Ballparks still use a visual aid much like the ropes; a net or screen attached to the foul poles on the fair side has replaced ropes. As with American football, where a touchdown once required a literal "touch down" of the ball in the end zone but now only requires the "breaking of the [vertical] plane" of the goal line, in baseball the ball need only "break the plane" of the fence in fair territory (unless the ball is caught by a player who is in play, in which case the batter is called out).

Babe Ruth's 60th home run in 1927 was somewhat controversial, because it landed barely in fair territory in the stands down the right field line. Ruth lost a number of home runs in his career due to the when-last-seen rule. Bill Jenkinson, in The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, estimates that Ruth lost at least 50 and as many as 78 in his career due to this rule.

Further, the rules once stipulated that an over-the-fence home run in a sudden-victory situation would only count for as many bases as was necessary to "force" the winning run home. For example, if a team trailed by two runs with the bases loaded, and the batter hit a fair ball over the fence, it only counted as a triple, because the runner immediately ahead of him had technically already scored the game-winning run. That rule was changed in the 1920s as home runs became increasingly frequent and popular. Babe Ruth's career total of 714 would have been one higher had that rule not been in effect in the early part of his career.

Records

Major League Baseball keeps running totals of all-time home runs by team, including teams no longer active (prior to 1900) as well as by individual players. Gary Sheffield hit the 250,000th home run in MLB history with a grand slam on September 8, 2008.[34] Sheffield had hit MLB's 249,999th home run against Gio González in his previous at-bat.

The all-time, verified professional baseball record for career home runs for one player, excluding the U.S. Negro Leagues during the era of segregation, is held by Sadaharu Oh. Oh spent his entire career playing for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, later managing the Giants, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and the 2006 World Baseball Classic Japanese team. Oh holds the all-time home run world record, having hit 868 home runs in his career.

In Major League Baseball, the career record is 762, held by Barry Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's record on August 7, 2007, when he hit his 756th home run at AT&T Park off pitcher Mike Bacsik.[35] Only eight other major league players have hit as many as 600: Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714),[35] Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660),[35] Albert Pujols (633),[35] Ken Griffey, Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609); Pujols holds the record for active MLB players.

The single season record is 73, set by Barry Bonds in 2001.[35] Other notable single season records were achieved by Babe Ruth who hit 60 in 1927, Roger Maris, with 61 home runs in 1961, and Mark McGwire, who hit 70 in 1998.[35]

Negro League slugger Josh Gibson's Baseball Hall of Fame plaque says he hit "almost 800" home runs in his career. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Gibson's lifetime home run total at 800. Ken Burns' award-winning series, Baseball, states that his actual total may have been as high as 950. Gibson's true total is not known, in part due to inconsistent record keeping in the Negro Leagues. The 1993 edition of the MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia attempted to compile a set of Negro League records, and subsequent work has expanded on that effort. Those records demonstrate that Gibson and Ruth were of comparable power. The 1993 book had Gibson hitting 146 home runs in the 501 "official" Negro League games they were able to account for in his 17-year career, about 1 homer every 3.4 games. Babe Ruth, in 22 seasons (several of them in the dead-ball era), hit 714 in 2503 games, or 1 homer every 3.5 games. The large gap in the numbers for Gibson reflect the fact that Negro League clubs played relatively far fewer league games and many more "barnstorming" or exhibition games during the course of a season, than did the major league clubs of that era.

Other legendary home run hitters include Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle (who on September 10, 1960, mythically hit "the longest home run ever" at an estimated distance of 643 feet (196 m), although this was measured after the ball stopped rolling[36]), Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Ernie Banks, Mike Schmidt, Dave Kingman, Sammy Sosa[35] (who hit 60 or more home runs in a season 3 times), Ken Griffey, Jr. and Eddie Mathews. In 1987, Joey Meyer of the Denver Zephyrs hit the longest verifiable home run in professional baseball history.[37][38] The home run was measured at a distance of 582 feet (177 m) and was hit inside Denver's Mile High Stadium.[37][38] Major League Baseball's longest verifiable home run distance is about 575 feet (175 m), by Babe Ruth, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field and before the double-deck), which landed nearly across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.

The location of where Hank Aaron's record 755th home run landed has been monumented in Milwaukee.[39] The spot sits outside Miller Park, where the Milwaukee Brewers currently play. Similarly, the point where Aaron's 715th homer landed, upon breaking Ruth's career record in 1974, is marked in the Turner Field parking lot. A red-painted seat in Fenway Park marks the landing place of the 502-ft home run Ted Williams hit in 1946, the longest measured homer in Fenway's history; a red stadium seat mounted on the wall of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, marks the landing spot of Harmon Killebrew's record 520-foot shot in old Metropolitan Stadium.

Instant replay

Replays "to get the call right" have been used extremely sporadically in the past, but the use of instant replay to determine "boundary calls"—home runs and foul balls—was not officially allowed until 2008.

In a game on May 31, 1999, involving the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins, a hit by Cliff Floyd of the Marlins was initially ruled a double, then a home run, then was changed back to a double when umpire Frank Pulli decided to review video of the play. The Marlins protested that video replay was not allowed, but while the National League office agreed that replay was not to be used in future games, it declined the protest on the grounds it was a judgment call, and the play stood.[40][41]

In November 2007, the general managers of Major League Baseball voted in favor of implementing instant replay reviews on boundary home run calls.[42] The proposal limited the use of instant replay to determining whether a boundary/home run call is:

  • A fair (home run) or foul ball
  • A live ball (ball hit fence and rebounded onto the field), ground rule double (ball hit fence before leaving the field), or home run (ball hit some object beyond the fence while in flight)
  • Spectator interference or home run (spectator touched ball after it broke the plane of the fence).

On August 28, 2008, instant replay review became available in MLB for reviewing calls in accordance with the above proposal. It was first utilized on September 3, 2008 in a game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.[43] Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees hit what appeared to be a home run, but the ball hit a catwalk behind the foul pole. It was at first called a home run, until Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon argued the call, and the umpires decided to review the play. After 2 minutes and 15 seconds, the umpires came back and ruled it a home run.

About two weeks later, on September 19, also at Tropicana Field, a boundary call was overturned for the first time. In this case, Carlos Peña of the Rays was given a ground rule double in a game against the Minnesota Twins after an umpire believed a fan reached into the field of play to catch a fly ball in right field. The umpires reviewed the play, determined the fan did not reach over the fence, and reversed the call, awarding Peña a home run.

Aside from the two aforementioned reviews at Tampa Bay, replay was used four more times in the 2008 MLB regular season: twice at Houston, once at Seattle, and once at San Francisco. The San Francisco incident is perhaps the most unusual. Bengie Molina, the Giants' catcher, hit what was first called a single. Molina then was replaced in the game by Emmanuel Burriss, a pinch-runner, before the umpires re-evaluated the call and ruled it a home run. In this instance though, Molina was not allowed to return to the game to complete the run, as he had already been replaced. Molina was credited with the home run, and two RBIs, but not for the run scored which went to Burriss instead.

On October 31, 2009, in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the World Series, Alex Rodriguez hit a long fly ball that appeared to hit a camera protruding over the wall and into the field of play in deep left field. The ball ricocheted off the camera and re-entered the field, initially ruled a double. However, after the umpires consulted with each other after watching the instant replay, the hit was ruled a home run, marking the first time an instant replay home run was hit in a playoff game.[44]

See also

Career achievements

References

  1. ^ Keating, Peter (October 2006). "Home Run History". American Heritage. 57 (5). Archived from the original on March 3, 2007. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  2. ^ Johnson, Vince. "Once Over Lightly". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 7, 1949. Retrieved December 2, 2018. "Once, while Kiner was trying futilely to place his hits, old Fritz Ostermueller came through with a sage observation. 'Ralph,' he said, 'the right-hand batters who hit to right field are driving Fords. The right-hand batters who hit over the fence in left are driving Cadillacs.' Kiner, by the way, is driving a Cadillac."
  3. ^ Kiner, Ralph; Peary, Danny. "BackTalk; The View From Kiner's Korner". The New York Times. April 4, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2018. "Another quote that has been attributed to me is, 'Home-run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive Fords.' That was actually first said by my Pirates teammate, pitcher Fritz Ostermueller."
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  34. ^ "Sheffield hits MLB's 250,000th HR as Tigers beat A's". USA Today. September 9, 2008.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g Although Major League Baseball recognizes these records as official, some baseball historians decline to accept records accumulated by players like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and others with the alleged assistance of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs
  36. ^ "Longest Home Run Ever Hit by Baseball Almanac". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
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  44. ^ DiComo, Anthony (November 1, 2009). "A-Rod awarded homer on replay, First postseason use of review gives Yank two-run shot". MLB.com. Retrieved May 22, 2011.

External links

1998 Major League Baseball home run record chase

The 1998 Major League Baseball home run chase in Major League Baseball was the race between first baseman Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and right fielder Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs that resulted in both players breaking Roger Maris's long-standing and highly coveted record of 61 home runs. McGwire broke Maris's record on September 8 against the Cubs and finished with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.

Several players had come close to breaking Maris's record in the years before 1998. Before the 1994 season was cut short by a labor dispute, Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants and Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners were both on a pace which threatened Maris's record: they hit 43 and 40 home runs respectively in a season which was shortened by approximately 50 of the scheduled 162 games.

In 1995, Albert Belle became the first player since Cecil Fielder in 1990 to hit 50 home runs in a season. Belle was only the 4th player in the previous three decades to reach the 50 home run- milestone (George Foster hit 52 in 1977, following Willie Mays in 1965).

In 1996, Brady Anderson of the Baltimore Orioles hit 50 home runs, twice the number he hit during any other season. Of more note was Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics, who first drew attention by hitting a league-leading 52 home runs that season while only playing in 130 games. The 1997 home run chase featured McGwire against Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners. It was during that season that full-fledged interest over the record kicked in as both players were on record pace well into the summer. McGwire finished with 58 home runs following his mid-season trade to the St. Louis Cardinals, besting Griffey's total of 56.

500 home run club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 500 home run club is a group of batters who have hit 500 or more regular-season home runs in their careers. On August 11, 1929, Babe Ruth became the first member of the club. Ruth ended his career with 714 home runs, a record which stood from 1935 until Hank Aaron surpassed it in 1974. Aaron's ultimate career total, 755, remained the record until Barry Bonds set the current mark of 762 during the 2007 season. Twenty-seven players are members of the 500 home run club. Ted Williams (.344) holds the highest batting average among the club members while Harmon Killebrew (.256) holds the lowest.

Of these 27 players, 14 were right-handed batters, 11 were left-handed, and 2 were switch hitters. The San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox are the only franchises to see four players reach the milestone while on their roster: for the Giants, Mel Ott while the team was in New York, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and most recently Bonds, and, for the Red Sox, Jimmie Foxx, Williams, and more recently Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Six 500 home run club members—Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez—are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Gary Sheffield's 500th home run was his first career home run with the New York Mets, the first time that a player's 500th home run was also his first with his franchise. Rodriguez, at 32 years and 8 days, was the youngest player to reach the milestone while Williams, at 41 years and 291 days, was the oldest. The most recent player to reach 500 home runs is Ortiz, who hit his 500th home run on September 12, 2015. As of the end of the 2018 season, Albert Pujols is the only active member of the 500 home run club.Membership in the 500 home run club is sometimes described as a guarantee of eventual entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although some believe the milestone has become less meaningful in recent years. Five eligible club members—Bonds, Mark McGwire, Palmeiro, Sheffield and Sammy Sosa—have not been elected to the Hall. Bonds and Sosa made their first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013; Bonds received only 36.2% and Sosa 12.5% of the total votes, with 75% required for induction. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or be deceased for at least six months. Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members; 10 players joined the club from 1999 to 2009. Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs. Some believe that by not electing McGwire to the Hall the voters were establishing a "referendum" on how they would treat players from the "Steroid Era". On January 8, 2014, Palmeiro became the first member of the 500 Home Run Club to be removed from the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. As the BBWAA announced the selections for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2014, Palmeiro appeared on just 4.4% of the ballots. Players must be named on at least of 5.0% of ballots to remain on future ballots.

Aaron Judge

Aaron James Judge (born April 26, 1992) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). Judge was unanimously selected as the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 2017 and finished second, behind José Altuve, for AL Most Valuable Player.Judge, who played college baseball at California State University, Fresno, was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. After making his major league baseball debut in 2016 and hitting a home run in his first career at bat, Judge went on to have a record-breaking rookie season in 2017. He was named an All-Star and won the Home Run Derby, becoming the first rookie to do so. Judge ended the season with 52 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire's MLB rookie record of 49 and the Yankees' full-season rookie record of 29 (previously held by Joe DiMaggio). He won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Month Awards for April, May, June and September, as well as the AL's Player of the Month Award for June and September.

Judge stands 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) tall and weighs 282 pounds (128 kg), which makes him one of the biggest players in the major leagues.

Albert Pujols

José Alberto Pujols Alcántara (born January 16, 1980) is a Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played 11 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he was a three-time National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) (2005, 2008, 2009) and nine-time All-Star (2001, 2003–2010). He made his 10th All-Star appearance with the Angels in 2015. A right-handed batter and thrower, Pujols stands 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighs 235 pounds (107 kg).

Pujols was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States in 1996. After one season of college baseball, he was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft. As a rookie for the Cardinals in 2001, he was unanimously voted the NL Rookie of the Year. Pujols played for the Cardinals, contributing to two World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. After the 2011 season, Pujols became a free agent and signed a 10-year contract with the Angels.

Pujols was at the height of his career a highly regarded hitter who showed a "combination of contact hitting ability, patience and raw power." He is a six-time Silver Slugger who has twice led the NL in home runs, and he has also led the NL once each in batting average, doubles and RBI. He is significantly above-average in career regular season batting average (.302), walk rate (10.9 percent) and Isolated Power (.252). He holds the MLB all-time record for most times grounded into a double play (376). With 14 seasons of 100 or more RBI produced, he is tied with Alex Rodriguez for the most in MLB history. Pujols got his 3,000th career hit in 2018, becoming the 32nd player in MLB history to do so. Pujols also became the fourth member of the 3,000-hit club to also hit 600 home runs, joining Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Alex Rodriguez in this exclusive club. He is a strong future candidate for the Hall of Fame.

Alex Rodriguez

Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975), nicknamed "A-Rod", is an American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. Rodriguez began his professional career as one of the sport's most highly touted prospects and is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Rodriguez amassed a .295 batting average, over 600 home runs (696), over 2,000 runs batted in (RBI), over 2,000 runs scored, over 3,000 hits, and over 300 stolen bases, the only player in MLB history to achieve all of those feats. He is a 14-time All-Star and won three American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten Silver Slugger Awards, and two Gold Glove Awards. Rodríguez is the career record holder for grand slams with 25. He signed two of the most lucrative sports contracts in history, but his career was highly controversial. He incurred criticism from the media for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.The Mariners selected Rodriguez first overall in the 1993 MLB draft, and he debuted in the major leagues the following year at the age of 18. In 1996, he became the Mariners' starting shortstop, won the major league batting championship, and finished second in voting for the AL MVP Award. His combination of power, speed, and defense made him a cornerstone of the franchise, but he left the team via free agency after the 2000 season to join the Rangers. The 10-year, $252 million contract he signed was the richest in baseball history. He played at a high level in his three years with Texas, highlighted by his first AL MVP Award win in 2003, but the team failed to make the playoffs during his tenure. Prior to the 2004 season, Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees, for whom he converted to a third baseman, because Derek Jeter was already the Yankees' full-time shortstop. During Rodriguez's career with the Yankees, he was named AL MVP in 2005 and 2007. After opting out of his contract following the 2007 season, Rodriguez signed a new 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees, extending his record for the sport's most lucrative contract. He became the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs, reaching the milestone in 2007. He was part of the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship over the Philadelphia Phillies, which was the first year of the new Yankee Stadium and Rodriguez's only world title. Toward the end of his career, Rodriguez was hampered by hip and knee injuries, which caused him to become exclusively a designated hitter. He played his final game in professional baseball on August 12, 2016.

During a 2007 interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes, Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs. In February 2009, Rodriguez admitted to using steroids, saying he used them from 2001 to 2003 when playing for Rangers due to "an enormous amount of pressure" to perform. While recovering from a hip injury in 2013, Rodriguez made headlines by feuding with team management over his rehabilitation and for having allegedly obtained performance-enhancing drugs as part of the Biogenesis baseball scandal. In August 2013, MLB suspended him for 211 games for his involvement in the scandal, but he was allowed to play while appealing the punishment. Had the original suspension been upheld, it would have been the longest non-lifetime suspension in Major League Baseball history. After an arbitration hearing, the suspension was reduced to 162 games, which kept him off the field for the entire 2014 season.After retiring as a player, Rodriguez became a media personality, serving as a broadcaster for Fox Sports 1, a cast member of Shark Tank and a member of the ABC News network. In January 2018, ESPN announced that Rodriguez would be joining the broadcast team of Sunday Night Baseball In January 2017, CNBC announced Rodriguez would be the host of the show Back In The Game, where he would help former athletes make a comeback in their personal lives; the first episode debuted on the network in March 2018.

Babe Ruth

George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948) was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (RBIs) (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.690), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the latter still stands as of 2019. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.

At age 7, Ruth was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory where he learned life lessons and baseball skills from Brother Matthias Boutlier of the Xaverian Brothers, the school's disciplinarian and a capable baseball player. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles but was soon sold to the Red Sox. By 1916, he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era. Although Ruth twice won 23 games in a season as a pitcher and was a member of three World Series championship teams with the Red Sox, he wanted to play every day and was allowed to convert to an outfielder. With regular playing time, he broke the MLB single-season home run record in 1919.

After that season, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees amid controversy. The trade fueled Boston's subsequent 86 year championship drought and popularized the "Curse of the Bambino" superstition. In his 15 years with the Yankees, Ruth helped the team win seven American League (AL) pennants and four World Series championships. His big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only drew fans to the ballpark and boosted the sport's popularity but also helped usher in baseball's live-ball era, which evolved from a low-scoring game of strategy to a sport where the home run was a major factor. As part of the Yankees' vaunted "Murderers' Row" lineup of 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, which extended his MLB single-season record by a single home run. Ruth's last season with the Yankees was 1934; he retired from the game the following year, after a short stint with the Boston Braves. During his career, Ruth led the AL in home runs during a season 12 times.

Ruth's legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger-than-life figure during the Roaring Twenties. During his career, he was the target of intense press and public attention for his baseball exploits and off-field penchants for drinking and womanizing. His often reckless lifestyle was tempered by his willingness to do good by visiting children at hospitals and orphanages. After his retirement as a player, he was denied the opportunity to manage a major league club, most likely due to poor behavior during parts of his playing career. In his final years, Ruth made many public appearances, especially in support of American efforts in World War II. In 1946, he became ill with esophageal cancer and died from it two years later. Ruth remains a part of American culture and in 2018, President Donald Trump posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Barry Bonds

Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is an American former professional baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He received seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, 12 Silver Slugger awards, and 14 All-Star selections. He is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time.Bonds was regarded as an exceptional hitter: he led MLB in on-base plus slugging six times, and placed within the top five hitters in 12 of his 17 qualifying seasons. He holds many MLB hitting records, including most career home runs (762), most home runs in a single season (73, set in 2001) and most career walks.Bonds was also known as a talented all-around baseball player. He won eight Gold Glove awards for his defensive play in the outfield. He stole 514 bases with his baserunning speed, becoming the first and only MLB player to date with at least 500 home runs and 500 stolen bases (no other player has even 400 of each). He is ranked second in career Wins Above Replacement among all major league position players by both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com, behind only Babe Ruth.However, Bonds led a controversial career, notably as a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2007, he was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to the grand jury during the federal government's investigation of BALCO. The perjury charges against Bonds were dropped and an initial obstruction of justice conviction was overturned in 2015.Bonds became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013; he has not been elected, with his highest share of the vote coming in 2019, his seventh of ten years of eligibility, when he received 59.1%.

Bryce Harper

Bryce Aron Max Harper (born October 16, 1992) is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the Washington Nationals from 2012 through 2018. He has been touted as a "five-tool player".Harper graduated from high school early so that he could attend the College of Southern Nevada, where he won the 2010 Golden Spikes Award. The Nationals selected Harper as the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut with the Nationals on April 28, 2012, at 19 years old. Harper was selected for the 2012 All-Star Game, becoming the youngest position player to perform in an All-Star Game.Harper won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award in 2012 and tied for the NL lead in home runs in 2015. He was named the NL Most Valuable Player for 2015 by unanimous decision of the Baseball Writers' Association of America; at age 23, he became the youngest MLB baseball player to win the award. As a free agent during the 2018–19 offseason, he signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, the richest contract in the history of North American sports at the time.

Chris Davis (baseball)

Christopher Lyn Davis (born March 17, 1986), nicknamed "Crush Davis", is an American professional baseball first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB). Davis played in MLB for the Texas Rangers from 2008 until being traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2011. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed. While primarily a first baseman throughout his career, Davis has also been a designated hitter, third baseman, and outfielder.

Davis attended Navarro Junior College and was selected by the Rangers in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB draft. He ascended quickly through the Rangers' minor league system, getting named their Minor League Player of the Year in 2007. He was called up in the middle of 2008 and had a strong start to his major league career. He was the Rangers' starting first baseman for 92 games in 2009 and hit 21 home runs, but a low batting average and his tendency to strike out left the Rangers dissatisfied with him. Because of this, the Rangers sent Davis back and forth between the minors and the majors over the next two years and left him off their playoff roster in 2010. On July 30, 2011, they traded him to the Orioles.

Davis appeared in 31 games for the Orioles in 2011. In the lineup full-time in 2012, he hit 33 home runs while batting .270 and helping the Orioles reach the playoffs for the first time since 1997. In 2013, his 53 home runs led all MLB players and set a new Orioles single-season franchise record. Davis also had 138 runs batted in (RBIs), was selected to the All-Star Game, and finished third in American League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) voting.

From 2015 through 2018, Davis led all major league players in strikeouts-per-at-bat. In 2018, he set the MLB record for the lowest batting average ever for a qualified player when he batted .168. In 2019, he set the MLB record for the most consecutive at bats by a position player without a hit, going 0-for-54 before breaking his hitless streak on April 13, 2019.

David Ortiz

David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975), nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican-American former Major League Baseball (MLB) designated hitter (DH) and first baseman who played 20 seasons, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Minnesota Twins. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set during the 2006 season.

Originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, Ortiz was traded to the Twins in 1996 and played parts of six seasons with the team. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003, where he spent the remainder of his career. In Boston, Ortiz established himself as "one of the greatest designated hitters the game has ever seen". He was instrumental in the team ending its 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, as well as during successful championship runs in 2007 and 2013, and was named MVP of the latter.

Ortiz finished his career with 541 home runs, which ranks 17th on the MLB all-time home run list, 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time) and a .286 batting average. Among designated hitters, he is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs (485), runs batted in (RBIs) (1,569), and hits (2,192). Regarded as one of the best clutch hitters of all time, Ortiz had 11 career walk-off home runs during the regular season and two during the postseason.

Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton (born November 8, 1989), formerly known as Mike Stanton, is an American outfielder and designated hitter for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his major league debut in 2010 as a member of the Miami Marlins, with whom he played until the end of the 2017 season. Stanton has twice led the National League (NL) in home runs; he hit 59 home runs in 2017, the most in 16 years. Known for his prodigious physical strength and ability to regularly hit long home runs, Stanton stands 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighs 245 pounds (111 kg). He bats and throws right-handed.

Stanton is originally from the Greater Los Angeles region. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, before the Marlins selected him in the second round of the 2007 MLB draft. In 2017, Stanton led the major leagues in home runs (59), runs batted in (RBIs) (132), and slugging percentage (.631), winning the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. A four-time MLB All-Star, Stanton has twice won both the NL Hank Aaron and outfield Silver Slugger Award after leading the league in home runs.

In November 2014, the Marlins signed Stanton to the richest total dollar value contract in team sports history at the time of the signing; the contract is worth $325 million over 13 years. Following the 2017 season, Stanton was traded to the New York Yankees.

Hank Aaron

Henry Louis Aaron (born February 5, 1934), nicknamed "Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank", is a retired American Major League Baseball (MLB) right fielder who serves as the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. He played 21 seasons for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL), from 1954 through 1976. Aaron held the MLB record for career home runs for 33 years, and he still holds several MLB offensive records. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is one of only two players to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked Aaron fifth on its "100 Greatest Baseball Players" list.

Aaron was born and raised in and around Mobile, Alabama. Aaron had seven siblings, including Tommie Aaron, who later played in MLB with him. He appeared briefly in the Negro American League and in minor league baseball before starting his major league career. By his final MLB season, Aaron was the last Negro league baseball player on a major league roster.

Aaron played the vast majority of his MLB games in right field, though he appeared at several other infield and outfield positions. In his last two seasons, he was primarily a designated hitter. Aaron was an NL All-Star for 20 seasons and an AL All-Star for 1 season, from 1955 through 1975. Aaron holds the record for the most seasons as an All-Star and the most All-Star Game selections (25), and is tied with Willie Mays and Stan Musial for the most All-Star Games played (24). He was a Gold Glove winner for three seasons. In 1957, he was the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) when the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series. He won the NL Player of the Month award in May 1958 and June 1967. Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in (RBI) (2,297), extra base hits (1,477), and total bases (6,856). Aaron is also in the top five for career hits (3,771) and runs (2,174). He is one of only four players to have at least seventeen seasons with 150 or more hits. Aaron is in second place in home runs (755) and at-bats (12,364), and in third place in games played (3,298). At the time of his retirement, Aaron held most of the game's key career power hitting records.

Since his retirement, Aaron has held front office roles with the Atlanta Braves. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, MLB introduced the Hank Aaron Award to recognize the top offensive players in each league. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. He was named a 2010 Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society in recognition of accomplishments that reflect the ideals of Georgia's founders. Aaron resides near Atlanta.

Ken Griffey Jr.

George Kenneth Griffey Jr. (born November 21, 1969) nicknamed "Junior" and "The Kid", is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played 22 years in Major League Baseball (MLB). He spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, along with a short stint with the Chicago White Sox. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a 13-time All-Star, Griffey is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history; his 630 home runs rank as the seventh-most in MLB history. Griffey was also an exceptional defender and won 10 Gold Glove Awards in center field. He is tied for the record of most consecutive games with a home run (eight, with Don Mattingly and Dale Long).Although popular with fans around the league, Griffey was unable to shake reports of his petulant demeanor throughout his major league baseball career. Griffey signed lucrative deals with companies of international prominence like Nike and Nintendo; his popularity reflected well upon MLB and is credited by some with helping restore its image after the 1994 labor dispute. Griffey is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four different calendar decades.

Following his playing career, Griffey joined the Mariners' front office as a special consultant. He was inducted into both the Mariners' Hall of Fame and the Reds Hall of Fame. In 2016, Griffey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving a 99.30% of the vote, breaking pitcher Tom Seaver's record of 98.84%. However, Griffey's record was broken three years later by Mariano Rivera, who became the first player to be inducted unanimously.Griffey is the son of former MLB player Ken Griffey Sr. and the father of National Football League player Trey Griffey.

List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders

This is a list of the top 300 Major League Baseball leaders in home runs hit. In the sport of baseball, a home run is a hit in which the batter scores by circling all the bases and reaching home plate in one play, without the benefit of a fielding error. This can be accomplished either by hitting the ball out of play while it is still in fair territory (a conventional home run), or by an inside-the-park home run.

Barry Bonds holds the Major League Baseball home run record with 762. He passed Hank Aaron, who hit 755, on August 7, 2007. The only other player to have hit 700 or more is Babe Ruth with 714. Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Albert Pujols (633), Ken Griffey, Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609) are the only other players to have hit 600 or more.

Listed are all Major League Baseball players with 217 or more home runs hit during an official regular season (i.e., excluding playoffs or exhibition games). Players in bold face are active as of the 2019 Major League Baseball season (including free agents), with the number in parentheses designating the number of home runs they have hit during the 2019 season. The last change in the cutoff for the top 300 occurred on April 20, 2019, when Paul Goldschmidt hit his 217th career home run.

Mark McGwire

Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963), nicknamed Big Mac, is an American former professional baseball first baseman. His Major League Baseball (MLB) playing career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, winning one World Series championship each with Oakland as a player in 1989 and with St. Louis as a coach in 2011. One of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, McGwire holds the major league career record for at bats per home run ratio (10.6), and is the former record holder for both home runs in a single season (70 in 1998) and home runs hit by rookie (49 in 1987). He ranks 11th all time in home runs with 583, and led the major leagues in home runs in five different seasons, while establishing the major league record for home runs hit in a four-season period from 1996−1999 with 245. Further, he demonstrated exemplary patience as a batter, producing a career .394 on-base percentage (OBP) and twice leading the major leagues in bases on balls. Injuries cut short the manifestation of even greater potential as he reached 140 games played in just eight of 16 total seasons. A right-handed batter and thrower, McGwire stood 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighed 245 pounds (111 kg) during his playing career.

From Pomona, California, the Athletics chose McGwire with the 10th overall selection in the 1984 MLB draft, and he was a member of the silver medal-winning entry of the United States national team that same year at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. As a rookie in 1987, he quickly grabbed media attention with 33 home runs before the All-Star break, and would lead the major leagues in home runs that year with 49, while setting the single-season rookie record. He appeared in six straight All-Star Games from 1987 to 1992 despite a brief career decline related to injuries. Another string of six consecutive All-Star appearances followed from 1995 to 2001. Each season from 1996 to 1999, he again led the major leagues in home runs.

A part of the 1998 Major League Baseball home run record chase of Roger Maris' 61 with the Cardinals, McGwire set the major league single-season home run record with 70, which Barry Bonds broke three years later with 73. McGwire also led the league in runs batted in, twice in bases on balls and on-base percentage, and four times in slugging percentage. Injuries significantly cut into his playing time in 2000 and 2001 before factoring into his retirement. He finished with 583 home runs, which was fifth all-time when he retired.For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.76). He was the fastest player to hit 500 home runs, in 5,487 at-bats.McGwire was a central figure in baseball's steroids scandal. In 2010, McGwire publicly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a large portion of his career. In his first ten years of eligibility, McGwire has not been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Roger Maris

Roger Eugene Maris (September 10, 1934 – December 14, 1985) was an American professional baseball player who played four seasons in the minor leagues and twelve seasons in the major leagues. Maris played right field on four Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, from 1957 through 1968.

Maris set the MLB record for home runs during the 1961 season with 61, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs in 1927. This record was challenged by then-baseball commissioner Ford Frick (who had been a friend of Babe Ruth's), who said that Maris needed to break the record in 154 games instead of the current schedule of 162 games. (When Babe Ruth hit 29 home runs , it was not accomplished within the time frame of the previous player ). His accomplishment of 61 home runs in a season came back to the forefront in 1998, when the 61 homer mark was exceeded by Mark McGwire, and later that same year by Sammy Sosa. Barry Bonds currently holds the single-season home run record of 73, which he accomplished in 2001. However, all those who exceeded Maris's single season record did so during baseball's so-called "steroid era", and each of those players who surpassed 61 has been linked to steroids. As such, many baseball fans still consider Roger Maris's 61 HRs in 1961 to be baseball's legitimate single season home run record.

Maris began playing in the minor leagues in 1953. He reached the major leagues in 1957 playing for the Cleveland Indians. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics during the 1958 season, and to the New York Yankees after the 1959 season. He finished his MLB career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 and 1968. Maris was an American League (AL) All-Star from 1959 through 1962, an AL Most Valuable Player in 1960 and 1961, and an AL Gold Glove Award winner in 1960. Maris appeared in seven World Series, five as a member of the Yankees and two with the Cardinals.

Ryan Howard

Ryan James Howard (born November 19, 1979), nicknamed "The Big Piece", is an American former professional baseball first baseman. Howard spent his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, from 2004 to 2016. He holds numerous Phillies franchise records.

Howard made his MLB debut in 2004. He won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 2006. Howard was a three-time NL All-Star (2006, 2009, 2010), and won the Silver Slugger Award, Hank Aaron Award, and the NL Championship Series MVP Award in 2009. Known for his power, Howard is a member of the 50 home run club. He was a two-time NL home run champion (2006, 2008), and became the fastest player to reach both the 100 and 200 home run milestones in MLB history, passing the marks in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Howard is Major League Baseball’s (ignominious) all-time record-holder for most lifetime Golden Sombrero awards.

Sammy Sosa

Samuel Kelvin Peralta Sosa (born November 12, 1968) is a Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder. Starting his career with the Texas Rangers, Sosa became a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1992 and became one of the game's best hitters. Sosa hit his 400th home run in his 1,354th game and his 5,273rd at-bat, reaching this milestone quicker than any player in National League history. He is one of nine players in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs.In 1998, Sosa and Mark McGwire achieved national fame for their home run-hitting prowess in pursuit of Roger Maris' home run record. Sosa is best known for his time with the Cubs where he became a 7-time All-Star while holding numerous team records. He finished his career with stints with the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers, Sosa hit his 600th career home run to become the fifth player in MLB history to reach the milestone.

Sosa is second all-time in home runs among foreign-born MLB players and is one of only three National League players since 1900 to reach 160 RBIs in a season (2001). Sosa is also the only player to have hit 60 or more home runs in a single season three times.

In a 2005 congressional hearing, Sosa--through his attorney--denied having used performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career.

Ted Williams

Theodore Samuel Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 19-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1960; his career was interrupted only by mandatory military service during World War II and the Korean War. Nicknamed "The Kid," "The Splendid Splinter," "Teddy Ballgame," and "The Thumper," Williams is regarded as one of the greatest players in baseball history.

Williams was a nineteen-time All-Star, a two-time recipient of the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, a six-time AL batting champion, and a two-time Triple Crown winner. He finished his playing career with a .344 batting average, 521 home runs, and a .482 on-base percentage, the highest of all time. His career batting average is the highest of any MLB player whose career was played primarily in the live-ball era, and ranks tied for 7th all-time (with Billy Hamilton).

Born and raised in San Diego, Williams played baseball throughout his youth. Joining the Red Sox in 1939, he immediately emerged as one of the sport's best hitters. In 1941, Williams posted a .406 batting average, making him the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. He followed this up by winning his first Triple Crown in 1942. Williams was required to interrupt his baseball career in 1943 to serve three years in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during World War II. Upon returning to MLB in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. In 1947, he won his second Triple Crown. Williams was returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons to serve as a Marine combat aviator in the Korean War. In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40, respectively, he was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth time.

Williams retired from playing in 1960. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, in his first year of eligibility. Williams managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers franchise from 1969 to 1972. An avid sport fisherman, he hosted a television program about fishing, and was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. Williams' involvement in the Jimmy Fund helped raise millions in dollars for cancer care and research. In 1991 President George H. W. Bush presented Williams with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States government. He was selected for the Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997 and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

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