All-Time Home Run Leaders For Every Team (MLB)
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.
Invisible People, and the Noise They Make
Imagine if Wal-Mart opened for business today, but barred customers from entering their stores. Imagine a new radio station going on the air, but not advertising as to where to find their signal. Imagine a public election being held, where, due to distrust of (some of) the citizenry, the people were not allowed to vote.
Imagine a baseball game where the fans were not allowed to attend.
This bizarre, yet thoroughly American turn of events will occur this afternoon in Baltimore in a home game scheduled against the White Sox. Does a team still have home-field advantage when no one’s home?
In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, “Slaughterhouse Five,” the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, becomes “unstuck” in time. Pilgrim’s life plays out randomly, the normal linear progression of events mixed up and occurring haphazardly. One event does not lead to the next, but could, in fact, circle back to a prior event. Normal cause and effect cease to have any meaning.
What we appear to be witnessing today in Baltimore is the progeny of a business-law enforcement alliance where privatized public spectacles are now shielded from the public itself. Corporatism in America has become “unstuck” from the citizenry. Normal cause and effect no longer have any meaning. Business decisions are unmoored from the real world concerns of local municipalities.
Banks are bailed out, but not people. Corporations magically become citizens, while much of the citizenry lacks the basic necessities of life. The Dignity of Work is summoned to shame those who’ve lost their jobs to overseas competition. And people who lack the ability to buy shoes for their children are lectured to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
In many ways, this is not a new development, but is, in fact, the inevitable outcome of what happens when a political system is entirely consumed by corporatism, leveraging the power of law enforcement to corral, contain and coerce those elements of the citizenry written off as undesirable, irredeemable and politically powerless.
Many, perhaps most of the chattering class and the interests they serve will describe the current unrest in Baltimore this week as primarily a law enforcement issue. After thirty years of a War on Drugs, Zero Tolerance Policies, and Three Strikes and Your Out legislation (the irony of which will certainly fail to find fertile ground in the imaginations of those who decided to play a baseball game today to empty stands), and over a million African-American men and women having been incarcerated at one time or another in their lives, it appears that American society remains more comfortable providing them with a ticket to prison than a ticket to a baseball game.
Last year, an elderly rancher named Cliven Bundy and his Gang-That-Couldn’t-Think-Straight were heralded by many in the media as heroes for individual liberty, property rights, and the idea that no white man, however delusional, should be denied his moment of public heroism, even as some of his supporters aimed their weapons directly at law enforcement officers.
That law enforcement officers were deemed “jack-booted thugs” when attempting to enforce the laws of the land in that situation out west, while the “thugs” are now the young men and women of Baltimore armed with bricks, and the police have been magically transformed once again into the thin blue line separating respectable society from those that would do us harm is familiar territory here in America. Yet familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt, and contempt is the jet fuel of social unrest.
All of which brings us back to a baseball game later today in Baltimore. Camden Yards and the area in which it is situated was the product of the sort of palatable corporate urban renewal that has become fashionable over the past quarter century or so, where gentrification (the removal of the undesirables) in favor of public and private investment that overwhelmingly favors the upper middle class has become the only politically expedient investment in existence.
Will it make money for a fortunate few, perhaps even at the expense of others? If so, that’s a price that has been deemed acceptable, once you are able to hide the losers from view.
But now the “losers” are in full view on our round-the-clock cable news networks where the well-fed and well-groomed simultaneously engage in hand-wringing analysis that mimics concern while also condemning the inevitable rage that burns wherever people are marginalized. But the system must be allowed to continue operating under any and all circumstances, because the system, after all, is its own reward.
So a professional baseball game will be played today for the first time in baseball history without a single fan to witness it. The human element has finally been rendered obsolete. The beast has eaten its fill.
In America, people are the raw material that feeds the system. When the system no longer requires your contribution, or even your existence, the expectation is your silent acquiescence to a permanent state of invisibility.
Thus, in a stadium in downtown Baltimore, in a park that seats 45,971, ushers will serve no one, ticket takers will stare out at empty parking lots, and players will hit doubles that no one will cheer. No one will stand up and stretch in the seventh inning, and the Great American Game will reflect the emptiness at the heart of a broken system where to be invisible is the price you pay for being born poor and powerless.