Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run Thursday, August 26th off of Jordan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals. He’s the 47th player in Major League history to hit 400 home runs, and he’s the third youngest player to reach 400 career home runs. Perhaps you’ve heard of the two players that have hit 400 career home runs faster, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.
Personally, what I find so amazing is that Albert Pujols hit his 400th career home run in his 10th Major League season. That means he’s averaged atleast 40 home runs a year over a 10 year period. I decided to take a look at who else in baseball history hit 400 home runs over a 10 year period. You’ll find the list to be quite short and filled with legends.
1992-2001 = 425 HRs, 1993-2002 = 437 HRs, 1994-2003 = 436 HRs, 1995-2004 = 444 HRs, 1996-2005 = 416 HRs, 1997-2006 = 400 HRs
Barry Bonds had a surprisingly high number of 10 year spans in which he hit over 400 home runs. This was predominantly due to his 73 home run season which carried some of his poorer seasons. For example, his 400 home runs from 1997-2006 includes a year in which he hit only 5 home runs.
1918-1927 = 407 HRs, 1919-1928 = 450 HRs, 1920-1929 = 467 HRs, 1921-1930 = 462 HRs, 1922-1931 = 449 HRs, 1923-1932 = 455 HRs, 1924-1933 = 448 HRs, 1925-1934 = 424 HRs, 1926-1935 = 405 HRs
The legend Babe Ruth has had the most 10 year spans in which he hit over 400 home runs. It’s not hard to see why. He consistently hit an astounding number of home runs year in and year out. From 1920-1933 Babe Ruth hit atleast 40 home runs 11 times, eclipsing 50 home runs 4 times. In comparison, Barry Bonds had eight 40 home run seasons and eclipsed 50 home runs only in his record breaking year.
Ken Griffey Jr.
1991-2000 = 400 HRs, 1992-2001 = 400 HRs
In 1995 Ken Griffey Jr. suffered an injury that lead him to hitting only 17 home runs that year. However, he was able to make up for it with several 56 home run seasons in 1997 and 1998.
1992-2001 = 421 HRs, 1993-2002 = 462 HRs, 1994-2003 = 469 HRs, 1995-2004 = 479 HRs, 1996-2005 = 457 HRs, 1997-2006 = 438 HRs, 1998-2007 = 402 HRs
What’s amazing is that the later two decades of 1997-2006 and 1998-2007 include the 2006 year in which Sammy Sosa retired and hit 0 home runs. Hitting 400 home runs over that span is predominantly carried by his three 60 home run seasons in 1998, 1999, and 2001.
1996-2005 = 424 HRs, 1997-2006 = 423 HRs, 1998-2007 = 454 HRs, 1999-2008 = 447 HRs, 2000-2009 = 435 HRs, 2001-2010 = 415 HRs and counting …
Not much needs to be said about Alex Rodriguez’s runs of home runs. He’s hitting them often and he’s doing it year after year. He’s got eight 40 home run seasons and three 50 home run seasons in his career.
1990-1999 = 405 HRs, 1992-2001 = 405 HRs
What’s astounding about Mark McGwire’s 400 home run spans is that he hit only 18 home runs from 1992-1993. Naturally, his numbers were carried by four 50 home run seasons, including his 70 home run season in 1998. Interestingly enough, due to Mark McGwire’s terrible 1991, in which he hit only 22 home runs, he’s the only player on this list to have a break between 400 home run decades (he hit 398 home runs from 1991-2000).
1961-1970 = 403 HRs
Harmon Killebrew is a good example of how luck is involved in accomplishing 400 home runs in a decade. In 1968 he suffered an injury that shortened his season and ultimately he only hit 17 home runs that year. His other great seasons were able to give him the 400 home runs from 1961-1970, but not quite in any other 10 year range of his career.
1929-1938 = 413 HRs, 1930-1939 = 415 HRs, 1931-1940 = 414 HRs, 1932-1941 = 403 HRs
Jimmie Foxx’s home run numbers are perhaps the least gaudy of the players listed here. He only eclipsed 40 home runs five times in his career, but did eclipse 50 twice.
Who hasn’t hit atleast 400 home runs over a decade of their career? Interestingly enough, it includes a long list of other legends, including Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Amazingly, while Willie Mays never hit 400 home runs over a 10 year span, he did average over 40 home runs a year for an 11 and 12 year span. From 1954-1965, Willie Mays hit 481 home runs. But over any 10 year span in that range, he failed to reach 400 home runs. A pair of 29 home run seasons in 1958 and 1960 ultimately brought his average down for those years.
Albert Pujols is beginning to join a number of very elite lists, which shows how incredible a player he really is.
Albert Pujols: Greatness By Comparison
Which 2010 Major League Baseball Players Are Hall of Famers?
“Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Baseball Statistics and History”, Baseball-Reference
“St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals – Box Score – August 26, 2010”, ESPN
Associated Press, “Albert Pujols hits 400th career home run”, Newsobserver
“What 2 Watch 4: Albert Pujols Swings For #400, Twins vs Rangers and WNBA Playoffs”, ESPN
“Harmon Killebrew”, Wikipedia