Home run history

Home run history

Kaden Brady, Staff Writer

How many records are there?

There are single-game, single-season, and career records. For both American and National Leagues, and the MLB in general. The AL single-season record is 62 by Aaron Judge, and the NL single-season record is 73 by Barry Bonds. 73 is the single-season record for the MLB, and the all-time record is 762, also by Bonds. The single-game record is 4, it has happened 19 times, but no one has reached 5 yet. The last to do it was J.D. Martinez in 2019 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He went 4-5 that game according to the article Four or more home runs in a single game.

Who holds the home run records?

Barry Bonds is the king of home runs, holding both the all-time and single-season records at 762 and 73. But there is some controversy behind that which gets covered later. So some consider Hank Aaron to be the home run king, with 755 in his career. The article Hank Aaron still holds the real home run record by the NY Post says “Hank Aaron was a tremendous ambassador for baseball, and we can think of one way baseball can honor him in death. MLB, give him back his home run record.” Getting rid of all the steroid-era players in the single-season list leaves you with a current player Aaron Judge. Some like to say that his new AL record of 62 should be the real single-season record. This is due to the controversy behind those like Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire.

What did they do to break these records?

Almost all these records have some type of controversy behind them. Bonds was on drugs. So were Sosa and McGwire. Everyone above Babe Ruth also played more games than he did in a season. In fact, he has 2000 fewer plate appearances than almost everyone around him on the all-time list. He sits in 3rd place. The least controversial one is Aaron Judge’s AL record. Though some believe that he could have hit even more if it was not for the league’s use of a deadened ball this year. The ball is not flying as far as years past because of manufacturing changes in the ball. If it was not for the ball, “the statistics website Ballpark Pal estimates that Judge would be on pace for nearly 80 home runs this year” said Dan Good from NBCNews.

When did they break the records?

Babe Ruth was the first person to hold a career home run record. At least one that would actually compare to the levels of homers hit nowadays. He hit 714 and he hit his final home run in 1935. His record stood for a very long time, 39 years to be exact until Hank Aaron broke it. Aaron ended his career in 1976 with 755. His 755th ball sold for $650,000 at auction in 1999 according to Rhiannon Walker, an associate editor at Andescape. His record was not broken until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007 by reaching 762. No one has gotten even close to that number. With the closest being 704 by Albert Pujols, who is retiring after this season.

Where did the records get broken?

They have gotten broken at many different ballparks with many different dimensions. The unique thing about the MLB is no 2 stadiums are alike. They all have their own unique features and dimensions. There used to be a flag pole in play at the Astros’ home field. Back in the 1900s, Polo Grounds was 475 feet from the center field wall. The Red Sox Fenway Park has a 37 feet high wall in left field. All parks are different, making it easier or harder to hit a home run depending on where you are playing. From 2013-2018, the most home runs hit were in Baltimore, and the least hit was in San Fransisco according to MLB Stadium Home Runs.

Why should I care about the past?

You should care because the history of the home run shows how the game changed over time. From the way that the players approached the game, to even the players who played the game. Before 1947, no African American player had played Major League Baseball. Now every home run record holder is either African American or biracial. The MLB has united people in the past in difficult times. Like after 9/11, New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza hit a home run in the first MLB game after the attacks. His home run helped the country mourn through a difficult time in its history. “It was a home run that helped lift a city – and a nation – reeling from unspeakable tragedy.”, said Jason Lee, writer for MLB Network.