Barry Bonds (pictured here in 2006) joined the 500 home run club in 2001 and set a new career home run record of 762 in 2007.
Barry Bonds (pictured here in 2006) 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 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.[1] Aaron's ultimate career total, 755, remained the record until Barry Bonds set the current mark of 762 during the 2007 season.[1] Twenty-eight 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 28 players, 15 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. Seven 500 home run club members—Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera—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.[2] 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.[2][3] The most recent player to reach 500 home runs is Miguel Cabrera, who hit his 500th home run on August 22, 2021.[4][5] Pujols and Cabrera are the only active members of the 500 home run club.[6] Six members of the club were born outside of the United States: Sammy Sosa, Ramirez, Pujols and Ortiz in the Dominican Republic; Palmeiro in Cuba, and Cabrera in Venezuela.

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.[7][8][9][10] Seven eligible club members—Bonds, Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Palmeiro, Ramirez, Sheffield and 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.[11] 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.[7] Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.[7][10][12] 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".[13][14] On January 8, 2014, Palmeiro became the first member of the 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.[15]

Key

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

Members

Babe Ruth was the first player to reach 500 home runs and set a career home run mark of 714 that stood until 1974.
Babe Ruth was the first player to reach 500 home runs and set a career home run mark of 714 that stood until 1974.
David Ortiz is one of 12 to reach the milestone from 1999 to 2015.
David Ortiz is one of 12 to reach the milestone from 1999 to 2015.
Player HR Date Team Seasons played Opposing pitcher Ref(s)
Barry Bonds 762 April 17, 2001 San Francisco Giants 1986–2007 Terry Adams [16]
Hank Aaron* 755 July 14, 1968 Atlanta Braves 1954–1976 Mike McCormick [17]
Babe Ruth* 714 August 11, 1929 New York Yankees 1914–1935 Willis Hudlin [18]
Albert Pujolsdouble-dagger 697 April 22, 2014 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2001–present Taylor Jordan [19]
Alex Rodriguez 696 August 4, 2007 New York Yankees 1994–2013, 2015–2016 Kyle Davies [3][20]
Willie Mays* 660 September 13, 1965 San Francisco Giants 1951–1952, 1954–1973 Don Nottebart [21]
Ken Griffey Jr.* 630 June 20, 2004 Cincinnati Reds 1989–2010 Matt Morris [22]
Jim Thome* 612 September 16, 2007 Chicago White Sox 1991–2012 Dustin Moseley [8][23]
Sammy Sosa 609 April 4, 2003 Chicago Cubs 1989–2005, 2007 Scott Sullivan [24]
Frank Robinson* 586 September 13, 1971 Baltimore Orioles 1956–1976 Fred Scherman [25]
Mark McGwire 583 August 5, 1999 St. Louis Cardinals 1986–2001 Andy Ashby [26]
Harmon Killebrew* 573 August 10, 1971 Minnesota Twins 1954–1975 Mike Cuellar [27]
Rafael Palmeiro 569 May 11, 2003 Texas Rangers 1986–2005 Dave Elder [28]
Reggie Jackson* 563 September 17, 1984 California Angels 1967–1987 Bud Black [29]
Manny Ramirez 555 May 31, 2008 Boston Red Sox 1993–2011 Chad Bradford [30][31]
Mike Schmidt* 548 April 18, 1987 Philadelphia Phillies 1972–1989 Don Robinson [32]
David Ortiz* 541 September 12, 2015 Boston Red Sox 1997–2016 Matt Moore [33]
Mickey Mantle* 536 May 14, 1967 New York Yankees 1951–1968 Stu Miller [34]
Jimmie Foxx* 534 September 24, 1940 Boston Red Sox 1925–1942, 1944–1945 George Caster [35]
Willie McCovey* 521 June 30, 1978 San Francisco Giants 1959–1980 Jamie Easterly [36]
Frank Thomas* 521 June 28, 2007 Toronto Blue Jays 1990–2008 Carlos Silva [37][38]
Ted Williams* 521 June 17, 1960 Boston Red Sox 1939–1942, 1946–1960 Wynn Hawkins [39]
Ernie Banks* 512 May 12, 1970 Chicago Cubs 1953–1971 Pat Jarvis [40]
Eddie Mathews* 512 July 14, 1967 Houston Astros 1952–1968 Juan Marichal [41]
Mel Ott* 511 August 1, 1945 New York Giants 1926–1947 Johnny Hutchings [42]
Gary Sheffield 509 April 17, 2009 New York Mets 1988–2009 Mitch Stetter [2][43]
Miguel Cabreradouble-dagger 506 August 22, 2021 Detroit Tigers 2003–present Steven Matz [44]
Eddie Murray* 504 September 6, 1996 Baltimore Orioles 1977–1997 Felipe Lira [45]

See also

References

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b "Progressive Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Ghiroli, Brittany (April 18, 2009). "Sheffield joins elite club with No. 500". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Hoch, Bryan (August 4, 2007). "A-Rod belts historic 500th homer". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "500 Home Run Club". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. ^ Kelly, Matt (September 7, 2021). "The 500 Home Run Club". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  6. ^ "Active Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Passan, Jeff (April 18, 2009). "500 home run club losing its cachet". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Curry, Jack (April 27, 2008). "500 Home Runs, Zero Certainty for Thome". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ 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. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Swartz, Cody (April 19, 2009). "Why 500 Home Runs No Longer Guarantees Admission to the Hall of Fame". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "2013 Hall of Fame Vote a Shutout" (Press release). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Kurkjian, Tim (January 9, 2012). "Whopper of a list of names await in 2013". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "Bonds says Rose, McGwire belong in Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 18, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  14. ^ "McGwire denied Hall; Gwynn, Ripken get in". NBC Sports. Associated Press. January 10, 2007. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Rafael Palmeiro Becomes First Fatality of PED Era". Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  16. ^ "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Hank Aaron Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  18. ^ "Babe Ruth Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  19. ^ White, Paul (April 22, 2014). "Albert Pujols: 500 home runs, and looking like old self". USA Today. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  20. ^ "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  21. ^ "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  22. ^ "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
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  24. ^ "Sammy Sosa Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  25. ^ "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  26. ^ "Mark McGwire Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
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  28. ^ "Rafael Palmeiro Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  29. ^ "Reggie Jackson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  30. ^ "Manny Ramirez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
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  33. ^ "David Ortiz Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
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  36. ^ "Willie McCovey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  37. ^ "Frank Thomas Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  38. ^ Kieser, Joe (June 28, 2007). "Thomas launches No. 500 at Metrodome". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on April 11, 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  39. ^ "Ted Williams Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  40. ^ "Ernie Banks Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  41. ^ "Eddie Mathews Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  42. ^ "Mel Ott Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  43. ^ "Gary Sheffield Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  44. ^ "Miguel Cabrera Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  45. ^ "Eddie Murray Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.