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History

August 08, 2007

The first Major League home run was hit in the National League by Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings (the team that later became the Chicago Cubs) on May 2, 1876.

On July 18, 1921 Babe Ruth hit the 139th home run of his career, passing Roger Connor's major league record of 138. He held the record for 52 years, 8 months, 21 days until Hank Aaron broke it on April 8, 1974. Aaron held the record for 33 years, 3 months and 30 days until Barry Bonds broke it. The progression of the career home run record:

On July 20, 1976, Aaron hit his 755th and final home run off the Angels' Dick Drago for the Milwaukee Brewers at Milwaukee County Stadium. His last home run was a solo shot to left field in the 7th inning of a 6-2 loss. At the time no one realized the significance of the home run; only 10,134 were in attendance.

One of a kind

Career progression

*--* Year Player Total 1880 Charley Jones 23 1882 Jim O'Rourke 24 1883 Charley Jones 33 1884 Charley Jones 40 1885 Harry Stovey 50 1886 Harry Stovey 57 1887 Dan Brouthers 65 1887 Dan Brouthers 74 1889 Harry Stovey 89 1890 Harry Stovey 101 1891 Harry Stovey 117 1882 Harry Stovey 121 1893 Harry Stovey 122 1895 Roger Connor 126 1896 Roger Connor 137 1898 Roger Connor 138 1921 Babe Ruth 162 1922 Babe Ruth 197 1923 Babe Ruth 238 1924 Babe Ruth 284 1925 Babe Ruth 309 1926 Babe Ruth 356 1927 Babe Ruth 416 1928 Babe Ruth 470 1929 Babe Ruth 516 1930 Babe Ruth 565 1931 Babe Ruth 611 1932 Babe Ruth 652 1933 Babe Ruth 686 1934 Babe Ruth 708 1935 Babe Ruth 714 1974 Hank Aaron 733 1975 Hank Aaron 745 1976 Hank Aaron 755 2007 Barry Bonds 756 *--*

Final four-bagger

Unlikely duo

Two pitchers surrendered home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds -- Frank Tanana and Rick Reuschel. Reuschel gave up Aaron's 691st on June 16, 1973 and his 725th on July 7, 1974. He gave up Bonds' 93rd on May 27, 1990. Tanana Gave up Aaron's 748th on June 14, 1976 and Bonds' 201st on July 17, 1993.

Season progression

Bonds also holds the single season record for home runs, but his second best season total of 49 ranks only 40th all time. The eight players who have held the major league single-season home run record, the home run total and the season length in games that year:

*--* Year Player HR Games 1876 George Hall 5 70 1879 Charley Jones 9 84 1883 Harry Stovey 14 98 1884 Ned Williamson 27 112 1919 Babe Ruth 29 140 1920 Babe Ruth 54 154 1921 Babe Ruth 59 154 1927 Babe Ruth 60 154 1961 Roger Maris 61 162 1998 Mark McGwire 70 162 2001 Barry Bonds 73 162 *--*

Season's best

Babe Ruth has two of the top ten and four of the 25-best home run totals for a single season. Aaron's best season total of 47 only ranks 69th all-time. The ten-best single season home run totals including ties:

*--* Player HR Year Barry Bonds 73 2001 Mark McGwire 70 1998 Sammy Sosa 66 1998 Mark McGwire 65 1999 Sammy Sosa 64 2001 Sammy Sosa 63 1999 Roger Maris 61 1961 Babe Ruth 60 1927 Babe Ruth 59 1921 Jimmie Foxx 58 1932 Hank Greenberg 58 1938 Ryan Howard 58 2006 Mark McGwire 58 1997 *--*

SOURCES FOR THIS PAGE: David Vincent, Society for American Baseball Research, Times research by Houston Mitchell and Michael Whitley, Baseball-reference.com

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The Big Three and Next Best

Text not included, please see page archive

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