MLB

Ranking Every Member Of MLB’s Historic 500 Home Run Club

Darren - August 25, 2021
MLB

Ranking Every Member Of MLB’s Historic 500 Home Run Club

Darren - August 25, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Frank Robinson

Robinson set so many records that it’s difficult to know where to start. Obviously, he was a member of the 500 home run club but achieved so much more. His most famous achievement is probably being the only player to win the NL and AL MVP awards. He did so when he played effectively for the Orioles and Reds. This showed his consistent excellence.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He joined the club when he hit two home runs in a 1971 series against the Tigers. Two games took him over the line. After he retired from playing, Robinson set another milestone. He became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history (via Observer) when he took the Cleveland Indians job. As well as two World Series wins, he also had 14 All-Star awards to his name.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

11. Mel Ott

Ott was the first National Leaguer to break the barrier of 500 home runs. He did so at his beloved Polo Grounds in 1945. The Louisiana native wasn’t a big man but he was a deceptively effective slugger. A World Series winner in 1933, Ott was also a 12-time All-Star. Meanwhile, he spent his entire career with the New York Yankees and made the Hall of Fame.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Many fans believe that Ott was one of the best players never to win an MVP award. This was despite his frightening .304 batting average and he also led the league in home runs and walks on six occasions (via Baseball Reference). Ott had the strangest wind-up because he looked more like a pitcher than a batter. But make no mistake, he was lethal with an ash bat in his hands.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Mike Schmidt

Definitely the greatest player in Philadelphia Phillies history, Schmidt was a force in his 17 Major League seasons. He was even arguably the best baseball player of the 1980s (via The Sporting News). In 13 of his 18 seasons, he hit at least 30 home runs. That’s why he’s among the best third baseman in history. A 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, he spent his entire career in Philadelphia. They never had a player like him before and may never again.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

A three-time NL MVP, Schmidt hit his 500th home run in 1987. He won a World Series with his franchise in 1980 and enjoyed almost every possible accolade. After retirement, he mostly retreated from public life. He only reappeared to accept honors like his Hall of Fame selection. Schmidt was a phenomenal talent and a true franchise leader.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Albert Pujols

Pujols wasn’t at his most effective when he reached 500 home runs, but he endured long enough to make it. At his peak, he was one of the best hitters in the game, with a batting average of .328. However, this dropped as he aged and left the Cardinals. Despite this, Pujols was still a force and an excellent player. That’s why he’s only the fourth player ever to break 600 home runs and 3000 hits (via Sports Illustrated).

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The two-time World Series champion was also a 10-time All-Star. He won the Gold Glove award twice as well as the Silver Slugger on six occasions. Pujols left St. Louis in style after winning his second Series with the franchise. Then, he played for several seasons with the Angels and Dodgers.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Barry Bonds

Some would argue Bonds should be higher up this list because of his ludicrous records. However, others will put him near the bottom because he clearly cheated to rack up more home runs. That’s why we’ve put him near the middle. There’s a reason why Bonds will never enter the shrine at Cooperstown. But at the same time, his physical gifts played a part in his stunning achievements.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

Bonds leads MLB with the most homers ever. But it’s too bad the league commissioner didn’t even bother to watch him hit it because he knew it stank. He thumped his 500th in 2001 while he was on the Giants’ roster. Then he went on to smack another 262. The 14-time All-Star is also the only MLB player with over 500 stolen bases as well as home runs (via Detroit Sports Nation). It’s a mesmerizing achievement but unfortunately it’s also very tainted.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

7. Mickey Mantle

Mantle was an extraordinary offensive threat and held many records until the rise of Mike Trout. The Yankees’ center fielder holds the record for most homers in World Series history with a stunning 18 (via The New York Times). It’s no surprise that he reached over 500 home runs overall. The landmark hit came in 1967 when he became the sixth member of this legendary group.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Alcoholism was one of Mantle’s many demons but it didn’t hold him back when he played ball. As well as being a brilliant player, Mantle was also a great teammate. Nobody he played with had a bad word to say about him because of the effort he made. In the end, the seven-time World Series champion retired as one of the Yankees’ greatest-ever players.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

6. Jimmie Foxx

Foxx was only the second player in history to make the 500 Home Run Club (via The Society For American Baseball Research). He followed Babe Ruth into this iconic brotherhood when he played for the Boston Red Sox in 1940. The Hall of Famer overcame George Caster to seal his name in the record books for eternity. Meanwhile, he was also the youngest major leaguer to achieve this feat for almost 70 years.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

A nine-time All-Star, Foxx also has two World Series wins on his outstanding record. With a batting average of .325, he was one of the most prolific hitters of his day. “Double X” hit at least 30 home runs in 12 consecutive seasons. Any baseball fan will appreciate that kind of consistency because it is so rare. Sadly, his retirement was less successful than his days as a professional athlete.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Ken Griffey Jr.

A magnificent centerfielder, Griffey was an outstanding hitter. He represented the Seatle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds with great success. The 13-time All-Star earned his place in the 500 Home Runs Club in 2004. In a beautiful twist, it was Father’s Day and his own dad was there in attendance. Because of this, it was an extra special day for the family. Griffey was extremely prolific before injuries took their toll.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He was the youngest player ever to hit 350, 400, and 450 homers (via Baseball Almanac) but then he slowed down. However, he still reached a grand total of 630 before he left the sport. The 10-time Gold Glove winner was a unanimous Hall of Fame pick in 2016. It was no surprise because Griffey was one of the greatest players of his generation. His defensive capabilities also made him a very balanced player.

Mandatory Credit: History

4. Ted Williams

Sadly, Williams lost several years of his career to the military. The navy drafted him during World War II and he spent time in the naval reserve. While it was an honor to serve his country, he missed out on some of his prime. Despite this, he still joined the 500 Home Runs Club in 1960. Even Babe Ruth believed Williams was one of the most natural hitters (via The New Yorker) in the sport because he was so good.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

He wrapped up his career with a total of 521 home runs but his final one was one of the greatest in Major League history. The military stalled his progress again when they called him up for the Korean War. He saw active service and won the Air Medal with two gold stars after a bombing raid. Williams never won a World Series but he was a Red Sox legend and a true Hall of Famer.

Mandatory Credit: Youtube

3. Hank Aaron

Aaron endured extensive racism on his way to becoming one of baseball’s greatest players. He became of baseball’s most exclusive club when he smashed his 500th in 1968. Then, in 1974, he passed Babe Ruth to beat the all-time record. Of course, Barry Bonds eventually overtook Aaron, but that came with a giant asterisk. Aaron’s personal achievements were more impressive because there was no hint of wrongdoing.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

His consistency was unbelievable because he hit at least 20 homers in 20 of his 22 seasons (via The Seattle Times). A 25-time All-Star, Aaron also won the World Series in 1957 with the Braves. As well as passing home run records, Aaron also received more mail than anybody except U.S. politicians. Fans loved and hated him in equal measure because of who he represented. However, he had the last laugh in the end.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

2. Willie Mays

Mays had a magnificent career in San Francisco and was a 12-time Gold Glove winner. His total of 660 home runs is a testament to his abilities. In 1965, he landed his 500th but showed no signs of slowing down. That same season he had a career-best 52 home runs. However, this was a renaissance of sorts because it came 10 years after his previous record of 51 home runs.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Meanwhile, Mays lands this high because of his cultural status as one of baseball’s greatest-ever players. The 24-time All-Star (via Desert Sun) retired with a .302 batting average. He also won a single World Series with the Giants and led the NL in stolen bases on four occasions. Also, Mays paved the way for black baseball players after reintegration. Because of this, he’s one of the most important players in the sport’s history.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

1. Babe Ruth

It’s a toss-up between Ruth and Mays for the top spot, but we went with the former. Ruth was one of baseball’s first power hitters even though he began life as a pitcher. His 22-year career was one of the greatest ever because he set so many records. He hit a total of 714 home runs (via How They Play) before his retirement. However, this total came before re-integration so that should be taken into consideration.

Mandatory Credit: History

Ruth split his career between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. In 1927, Ruth hit a stunning 60 home runs in his most prolific season. Furthermore, he was one of the sport’s first major superstars. He became a celebrity and a cultural icon over time. He won three World Series and led the league in home runs on 12 occasions. Ruth retains his mystique because of his consistent brilliance.

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