Once in a while, I like to take a look at how each of the franchises in Major League Baseball stack up against each other in various ways. Home runs are to baseball what fireworks are to the 4th of July, so I thought this would be a good time to explore each team’s all time home run leaders (for a career.) I broke it down by league, and then by division. While many of the all-time leaders were predictable, there were (for me) a couple of surprises on this list. Let me know what you think:
Note: In some cases, the number of home runs a player hit with a single franchise will not necessarily match their career totals. Home run totals do not include the post-season. An asterisk after a player’s home run total indicates they are still active.
National League East:
1) Braves: H. Aaron – 733
2) Marlins: G. Stanton – 181*
3) Mets: D. Strawberry – 252
4) Nationals / Expos: R. Zimmerman – 189 * / V. Guerrerro – 234
5) Phillies: M. Schmidt – 548
National League Central:
1) Brewers: R. Yount – 251
2) Cardinals: S. Musial – 475
3) Cubs: S. Sosa – 545
4) Pirates: W. Stargell – 475
5) Reds: J. Bench – 389
National League West
1) Diamondbacks: L. Gonzalez – 224
2) Dodgers: D. Snider – 389
3) Giants: W. Mays – 646
4) Padres: N. Colbert – 163
5) Rockies: T. Helton – 369
American League East
1) Blue Jays: C. Delgado – 336
2) Orioles: C. Ripkin, Jr. – 431
3) Rays: E. Longoria – 192*
4) Red Sox: T. Williams – 521
5) Yankees: B. Ruth – 659
American League Central
1) Indians: J. Thome – 337
2) Royals: G. Brett – 317
3) Tigers: A. Kaline – 399
4) Twins: H. Killebrew – 559
5) White Sox: F. Thomas – 448
American League West
1) A’s: M. McGwire – 363
2) Angels: T. Salmon – 299
3) Astros: J. Bagwell – 449
4) Mariners: K. Griffey, Jr. – 417
5) Rangers: J. Gonzalez – 372
Some thoughts about this list:
– Two of the three currently active players on this list — Giancarlo Stanton and Ryan Zimmerman — are each currently on their respective team’s Disabled List.
– Aaron’s total is still ridiculous and awesome.
– Have the Mets ever produced another home run hitter aside from Strawberry?
– Stanton is a monster. Just 25-years old, and he’s already pushing 200 homers.
– It would be kind of cool if Zimmerman could someday tie Guerrerro for the franchise record for what are essentially two different teams.
– Yount was better than many of us probably remember.
– Musial and Stargell tied within their division. That’s pretty cool.
– How weird is it that Sosa has been almost totally disregarded altogether in our collective baseball memory? My first guess for all-time Cubs leader was Ernie Banks, though I am quite aware of Sosa’s accomplishments.
– Bench is the only catcher on this list (though Delgado started out as one with the Blue Jays.)
– Perhaps unfairly, Luis Gonzalez (probably a very likable guy) seemed to me the most random name on this list.
– Given all the great players in their history, it’s strange in a way that no Dodgers player ever reached the 400 homer plateau for that franchise.
– Good to see Mays, not Bonds, still holding the Giants career record.
– What’s up with the Padres? As a franchise, they’re like that guy who shows up on Draft Day for your fantasy league draft, then you never see or hear from him again all season. Except they’ve been doing this for about a half-century.
– If Todd Helton isn’t someday elected to the Hall of Fame, Rockies fans should riot.
– Interesting that Ruth and Delgado are the only two players on the A.L. East list that didn’t spend their careers with just one team.
– As for Ripkin, I wonder how many homers Manny Machado will hit before he’s done?
– If Williams was still alive today, he could probably recall what pitch he hit off of each pitcher for every one of his 521 homers.
– Jim Thome slugged 612 homers in his career. When was the last time you heard anyone mention Jim Thome?
– We don’t normally think of Brett as a power hitter, but no Royal ever hit more home runs.
– You have to wonder if Al Kaline or Tim Salmon ever wake up in the dead of night thinking of that one more career homer that would have made for a nice, round number.
– Tim Salmon never appeared in a single All-Star game.
– In a pretty good era for pitchers, Killebrew topped 40 homers eight times.
– I’m not sure you (or I) could name five better right-handed hitters in baseball history than Frank Thomas.
– For Oakland, McGwire first led the A.L. in home runs as a rookie at age 23 (with 49) in 1987. Nine years later, he led the A.L. in homers for the second time at age 32 (with 52) in 1996. In between, he apparently discovered the Fountain of Youth.
– If you include defense and base-running as well as the ability to hit for both average and power, I’m not sure there’s a first baseman in baseball history I’d pick ahead of Jeff Bagwell.
– Not only were Ken Griffey, Jr. and Stan Musial both born in the company town of Donora, Pennsylvania, they were both born on November 21st (49 years apart.)
– While we’re on the subject, Bagwell and Thomas were born on the same day, May 27, 1968.
– Juan Gonzalez’s career is like that rock band you were once so impressed with, but now look back on with a tinge of embarrassment (you’re careful to never mention to your friends that you used to own one of their LP / Cassette / CD.) Full Disclosure: I once owned a Bay City Rollers record. Have at me, boys and girls.