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500 home run club

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An African American man in a white baseball uniform with "GIANTS" on the chest takes a left-handed baseball swing as a catcher kneels behind him to receive the pitch.
Barry Bonds joined the 500 home run club in 2001 and set a new career home run record of 762 in 2007.

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 500 home run club is a term given to the 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. This record stood from 1935 until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.[1] Aaron's ending career total, 755, stayed the record until Barry Bonds set the current mark of 762 during the 2007 season.[1] Albert Pujols is the most recent to reach 500 home runs; he hit his 500th home run on April 22, 2014.[2] Twenty-six players are members of the 500 home run club.

Of these 26 players, 14 were right-handed batters, 10 were left-handed, and 2 were switch hitters (meaning they could bat from either side of the plate). The San Francisco Giants are the only franchise to have four players reach 500 home runs while on their roster: Mel Ott while the team was in New York, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and most recently Bonds. Four 500 home run club members—Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, and Rafael Palmeiro—are also members of the 3,000 hit club. 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.[3] Alex Rodriguez, at 32 years and 8 days, was the youngest player to hit 500. Ted Williams, at 41 years and 291 days, was the oldest.[3][4]

Being a member of the 500 home run club is sometimes described as a guarantee of entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some believe the milestone has become less meaningful in recent years.[5][6][7][8] Four club members who are now eligible for election to the Hall of Fame—Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Palmeiro—have not been elected. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or be dead for at least six months.[9] Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members; 10 players joined the club from 1999 to 2009.[5] Also, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.[5][8] Some believe that by not electing McGwire to the Hall, the voters were starting a "guideline" on how they would treat players from the "Steroid Era".[10][11] Since then, Bonds and Sosa have also failed to earn election. Most recently, Palmeiro became the first club member to be dropped from the Hall of Fame ballot, failing to earn enough votes (5% of votes cast) in the 2014 election to stay on the ballot.[12]

KeyEdit

Player Name of the player
HR Career home runs
Date Date of the player's 500th home run
Team The batter's team for his 500th home run
Seasons The seasons this player played in the major leagues
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
* Denotes player who is still active

MembersEdit

Statistics up to date as of June 8, 2014
 
Babe Ruth was the first player to reach 500 home runs and set a career home run mark of 714 that stood until 1974.
 
Albert Pujols is the most recent player to hit 500 home runs, one of 11 to reach the milestone from 1999 to 2014.
Player HR Date Team Seasons Ref(s)
Barry Bonds 762 April 17, 2001 San Francisco Giants 1986–2007 [13]
Hank Aaron 755 July 14, 1968 Atlanta Braves 1954–1976 [14]
Babe Ruth 714 August 11, 1929 New York Yankees 1914–1935 [15]
Willie Mays 660 September 13, 1965 San Francisco Giants 1951–1973 [16]
Ken Griffey, Jr. 630 June 20, 2004 Cincinnati Reds 1989–2010 [17]
Alex Rodriguez* 618 August 4, 2007 New York Yankees 1994– [4][18]
Jim Thome 612 September 16, 2007 Chicago White Sox 1991–2012 [6][19]
Sammy Sosa 609 April 4, 2003 Chicago Cubs 1989–2005, 2007 [20]
Frank Robinson 586 September 13, 1971 Baltimore Orioles 1956–1976 [21]
Mark McGwire 583 August 5, 1999 St. Louis Cardinals 1986–2001 [22]
Harmon Killebrew 573 August 10, 1971 Minnesota Twins 1954–1975 [23]
Rafael Palmeiro 569 May 11, 2003 Texas Rangers 1986–2005 [24]
Reggie Jackson 563 September 17, 1984 California Angels 1967–1987 [25]
Manny Ramirez 555 May 31, 2008 Boston Red Sox 1993–2011 [26][27]
Mike Schmidt 548 April 18, 1987 Philadelphia Phillies 1972–1989 [28]
Mickey Mantle 536 May 14, 1967 New York Yankees 1951–1968 [29]
Jimmie Foxx 534 September 24, 1940 Boston Red Sox 1925–1942, 1944–1945 [30]
Ted Williams 521 June 17, 1960 Boston Red Sox 1939–1942, 1946–1960 [31]
Willie McCovey 521 June 30, 1978 San Francisco Giants 1959–1980 [32]
Frank Thomas 521 June 28, 2007 Toronto Blue Jays 1990–2008 [33][34]
Ernie Banks 512 May 12, 1970 Chicago Cubs 1953–1971 [35]
Eddie Mathews 512[a] July 14, 1967 Houston Astros 1952–1968 [36]
Mel Ott 511 August 1, 1945 New York Giants 1926–1947 [37]
Gary Sheffield 509 April 17, 2009 New York Mets 1988–2009 [3][38]
Albert Pujols* 507 April 22, 2014 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2001– [39]
Eddie Murray 504 September 6, 1996 Baltimore Orioles 1977–1997 [40]


FootnotesEdit

  • a Although MLB.com's 500 Home Run Club page lists Mathews at 511 home runs, his listings on both MLB.com and Baseball-Reference show 512.[36][41]

ReferencesEdit

General
  • "Career Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  • "500 Home Run Club – Milestones | MLB.com: History". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
Specific
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Progressive Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  2. "Albert Pujols hits 500th career HR". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 22, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ghiroli, Brittany (April 18, 2009). "Sheffield joins elite club with No. 500". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hoch, Bryan (August 4, 2007). "A-Rod belts historic 500th homer". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Passan, Jeff (April 18, 2009). "500 home run club losing its cachet". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Curry, Jack (April 27, 2008). "500 Home Runs, Zero Certainty for Thome". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  7. Romano, John (April 22, 2009). "Gary Sheffield's 500 home runs is merely a number, and not a very special one". St. Petersburg Times. www.tampabay.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Swartz, Cody (April 19, 2009). "Why 500 Home Runs No Longer Guarantees Admission to the Hall of Fame". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. "Rules for Election". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  10. "Bonds says Rose, McGwire belong in Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 18, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  11. "McGwire denied Hall; Gwynn, Ripken get in". NBC Sports. Associated Press. January 10, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  12. "Maddux, Glavine, Thomas to HOF". ESPN. January 8, 2014.
  13. "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  14. "Hank Aaron Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. "Babe Ruth Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  16. "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  17. "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  18. "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  19. "Jim Thome Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  20. "Sammy Sosa Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  21. "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  22. "Mark McGwire Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  23. "Harmon Killebrew Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  24. "Rafael Palmeiro Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  25. "Reggie Jackson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  26. "Manny Ramirez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  27. Browne, Ian (June 1, 2008). "Manny cements his place in history". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  28. "Mike Schmidt Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  29. "Mickey Mantle Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  30. "Jimmie Foxx Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  31. "Ted Williams Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  32. "Willie McCovey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  33. "Frank Thomas Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  34. Kieser, Joe (June 28, 2007). "Thomas launches No. 500 at Metrodome". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  35. "Ernie Banks Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Eddie Mathews Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  37. "Mel Ott Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  38. "Gary Sheffield Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  39. "Albert Pujols Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  40. "Eddie Murray Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  41. "Historical Player Stats | MLB.com: Stats | MLB.com: History". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.