A man in full baseball attire wears a pinstriped jersey and a hat with overlapping white "N" and "Y". Looking to the left of the camera, he is holding a baseball bat upward.
Babe Ruth was the first player to reach 600 home runs. He set a career home run mark of 714 that stood until 1974.

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 600 home run club is a group of batters who have hit 600 or more regular-season home runs in their careers.[1] There are nine players who are members of the 600 home run club. Four 600 home run club members—Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez—are also members of the 3,000 hit club.


On August 21, 1931, two years and 10 days after becoming the charter member of the 500 home run club, Babe Ruth hit his 600th career homer in a game in which his New York Yankees defeated the St. Louis Browns 11–7.[2] It took another 34 years for another member to join the club, so rare a feat was hitting 600 career homers.

On September 22, 1969, Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hit his 600th home run in a game against the San Diego Padres, an expansion team in the first year of its existence.[3] Hank Aaron joined the 600 homer club on April 21, 1971, when he hit his 600th career homer off of future fellow Hall of Famer[4] Gaylord Perry in a game in which his Atlanta Braves lost to the San Francisco Giants team that included the only other living 600 homer club member, Willie Mays.

In the 1960s, many felt that Mays would beat Ruth's career record of 714 home runs that had stood unchallenged since 1935, but the "Say Hey Kid" finished with 660 career round-trippers.[5] It was Hammering Hank who broke Ruth's record in 1974.[6]

For the following 31 years, there were only three members of the 600 home run club, all first-ballot Hall of Famers and three of the greatest legends of the game. Then, Willie Mays' godson, Barry Bonds, joined the 600 homer club on August 9, 2002, as a member of the Giants, hitting a homer off of Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Kip Wells.[7]

Bond made it into the club the season after he set the single-season homer record in all organized baseball, when he hit 73 homers in 2001. (Minor Leaguer Joe Bauman had hit 72 in the Class C Longhorn League in 1954.[8]) Ruth's career record of 714 had been surpassed by Aaron, whose ultimate total of 755 remained the career record until Bonds set the current mark of 762 during the 2007 season.[6]

On June 20, 2007, Sammy Sosa became the fifth member of the 600 homer club. A long-time member of the Chicago Cubs, Sosa hit his milestone against his former team while a member of the Texas Rangers in an interleague game.[9] Almost a year later, Ken Griffey Jr. joined the club on June 9, 2008, hitting his 600th home run as a Cincinnati Reds player against the Florida Marlins.[10]

Three years to the day after Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees became the youngest member of the 500 homer club, he became the youngest player to join the 600th homer club when, on August 4, 2010, he went yard during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankees Stadium.[11] A year later, on August 15, 2011, Jim Thome of the Detroit Tigers hit career homers 599 and 600 against the Minnesota Twins.[12] On June 3, 2017, future 700 homer club member Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels hit his 600th homer, a grandslam off of Ervin Santana of the Twins.[13] Pujols became the ninth, and so-far last member of the 600 homer club.

Hall of Fame

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 (pictured here in 2006) joined the 600 home run club in 2002 and set a new career home run record of 762 in 2007.

In the past, membership in the 500 home run club let alone the 600 homer club was a guarantee of eventual entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.[14][15][16][17]

All three players who became members of the 600 home run club between 1931 and 1971 are members of the Hall of Fame. Of the five players who made the 600 homer club between 2002 and 2011 who are Hall of Fame eligible, three have been enshrined in Cooperstown. Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa have not been elected to the Hall. Bonds is one of only four members in the 700 home run club, all of whose other members are Hall of Famers except for the recently retired Albert Pujols, who hit 703 career home runs and is not eligible until 2027.

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.[18][14] Both Bonds and Sosa had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.[14][17][19] Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or be deceased for at least six months.Some believe that by not electing Mark McGwire (583 career homers) to the Hall the voters were establishing a "referendum" on how they would treat players from the "Steroid Era".[20][21]

Other milestones

Babe Ruth (.340) holds the highest batting average among the club members while Sammy Sosa (.273) holds the lowest.

The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants are the only franchises to see two players reach the milestone while on their roster: for the Yankees, Ruth and Rodriguez while Mays and Bonds did it for the Giants.

Two members of the club were born outside of the United States: Sammy Sosa and Albert Pujols were born in the Dominican Republic.


Player HR Date Team Seasons played Opposing pitcher Ref(s)
Barry Bonds 762 August 9, 2002 San Francisco Giants 1986–2007 Kip Wells [22]
Hank Aaron* 755 April 27, 1971 Atlanta Braves 1954–1976 Gaylord Perry [23]
Babe Ruth* 714 August 21, 1931 New York Yankees 1914–1935 George Blaeholder [24]
Albert Pujols 703 June 3, 2017 Los Angeles Angels 2001–2022 Ervin Santana [25]
Alex Rodriguez 696 August 4, 2010 New York Yankees 1994–2013, 2015–2016 Shawn Marcum [26][27]
Willie Mays* 660 September 22, 1969 San Francisco Giants 1951–1952, 1954–1973 Mike Corkins [28]
Ken Griffey Jr.* 630 June 9, 2008 Cincinnati Reds 1989–2010 Mark Hendrickson [29]
Jim Thome* 612 August 15, 2011 Cleveland Indians 1991–2012 Daniel Schlereth [15][30]
Sammy Sosa 609 June 20, 2007 Texas Rangers 1989–2005, 2007 Jason Marquis [31]
Player Name of the player
HR Career home runs
Date Date of the player's 600th home run
Team The batter's team at the time of his 600th 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

700 home run club

Four members of the 600 homer club have gone on to break the 700 home run threshold: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols. Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for 211 games including the entire 2014 season for violating MLB policy on performance-enhancing drugs,[32] came up shy with 696 homers.

Ruth started the 700 homer club on July 13, 1934,[33] and was the sole member for 39 years until Hank Aaron belted his 700th homer on July 21, 1973.[34] They were the exclusive members for another 32 years.

Barry Bonds hit his 700th career home run on September 17, 2005, off of Jake Peavy of the Padres[35] while Albert Pujols became a member of the 700 homer club after hitting two circuit clouts in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 23, 2022.[36]

Outside MLB

See also: List of top Nippon Professional Baseball home run hitters

Only two players have over 600 verified career home runs outside of Major League Baseball, both of them playing in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Sadaharu Oh, who played 22 seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, holds the world career home run record with 868, nearly 100 more than Barry Bond's total in MLB; he hit his 600th home run in the third inning of a May 30, 1974 game against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya.[37] Katsuya Nomura, the only other member of NPB's 600 home run club, joined Oh almost exactly a year later while with the Nankai Hawks, in the 8th inning of a May 22 game against the Nippon-Ham Fighters at Korakuen Stadium.

See also


  1. ^ Kelly, Matt. "The 600 Home Run Club: Only nine players reside on one of baseball's most exclusive lists". mlb.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  2. ^ "This Date in Baseball: Babe Ruth hit his 600th home run". USA Today. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau History: Willie Mays' 600th Home Run". census.gov. US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  4. ^ "This Date in Baseball - Hank Aaron hits 600th career home". apnews.com. Associated Press. April 27, 2023. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Neyer, Rob. "Mays may have caught Ruth if not for Army stint". ESPN. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Progressive Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "This Date in Baseball-Barry Bonds hit his 600th homer". apnews.org. Associated Press. August 8, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  8. ^ Goldstein, Richard (September 22, 2005). "Joe Bauman, 83, Who Hit 72 Homers as Minor Leaguer, Dies". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "reuters.com". Sosa hits 600th home run. Reuters. June 21, 2007. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  10. ^ "Today in History, June 9, 2008: Ken Griffey Jr. hits 600th home run". cincinnati.com. Cincinnati Inquirer. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  11. ^ "Alex Rodriguez Hits 600th Home Run". Fox News. March 27, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  12. ^ "Thome blasts No. 600". postbulletin.com. Rochester Post Bulletin. August 16, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  13. ^ "This Date in Baseball - Albert Pujols hits his 600th home run of his career". USA Today. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  14. ^ a b c Passan, Jeff (April 18, 2009). "500 home run club losing its cachet". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ a b Curry, Jack (April 27, 2008). "500 Home Runs, Zero Certainty for Thome". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "2013 Hall of Fame Vote a Shutout" (Press release). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. January 9, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  19. ^ Kurkjian, Tim (January 9, 2012). "Whopper of a list of names await in 2013". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  20. ^ "Bonds says Rose, McGwire belong in Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 18, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "Barry Bonds Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  23. ^ "Hank Aaron Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  24. ^ "Babe Ruth Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  25. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (June 4, 2017). "Albert Pujols: 'Pretty special' to be ninth ever to reach 600 home runs". ESPN. Archived from the original on June 4, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "Alex Rodriguez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  28. ^ "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  29. ^ "Ken Griffey Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  30. ^ "Jim Thome Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  31. ^ "Sammy Sosa Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  32. ^ "A-Rod Suspended 211 Games By MLB In Biogenesis Case". CBS News. CBS New York. August 5, 2013. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  33. ^ Larkin, Kevin. "July 13, 1934: The Babe bashes 700th career home run". sabr.com. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  34. ^ Wilson, Burt. "49 years ago, Braves' Henry Aaron hit his 700th career home run off Phillies' Ken Brett". lancasteronline.com. Lancaster County News. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  35. ^ "Bonds Hits Home Run No. 700". The New York Times. September 17, 2004. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  36. ^ Lev, Jacob (September 24, 2022). "Albert Pujols becomes the 4th player in MLB history to hit 700 career home runs". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  37. ^ "Sadaharu Oh". SABR. Society for American Baseball Research.