Nailing a home run is the ultimate goal of anyone who steps up to the plate in the MLB, and over the league’s 120-year history, several star players have amassed several hundreds of them.
Officially, there is a clear winner when it comes to the most home runs scored in MLB history, and yet, there’s a point of contention that could bring down the record.
So, here’s the player with the most home runs outright, the most home runs post-2004, the most home runs in a season, and the game that saw the most home runs scored.
Who has Scored the Most Home Runs in the MLB?
The outright top home run scorer in MLB history is Barry Bonds. The former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants left fielder put up 762 home runs – 73 of which came in a single season.
A 12-time Silver Slugger and 14-time All-Star, Bonds is seven home runs clear of the next top home runs scorer, Hank Aaron, and 48 clear of Babe Ruth in third place.
Despite his records and the Californian’s run in the sport until he was 42-years-old, Bonds’ presence in the Hall of Fame is limited to his 756th home run ball.
He missed out in each round of voting from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America during his ten years of eligibility and missed the mark in 2022 when put to Today’s Game Committee.
Much of this will come down to his notorious ties to the BALCO performance-enhancing anabolic steroids scandal, which has a contingent of baseball fans calling for the home run record to be stripped from Bonds.
Who has Scored the Most Home Runs Outside of the Steroid Era?
MLB’s Steroid Era is a rough window from 1994 to 2004. Here, steroid use is seen as being particularly prevalent. However, there’s something to be said for players before 1994 who toyed with PEDs.
Some say that organized and even normalized steroid use in the MLB began in the mid-80s, but even Babe Ruth (1914 to 1935) reportedly attempted to boost his skills with an injection of sheep testicle extract.
The only window in which we can be nearly certain about players not using PEDs in baseball is since 2004 testing for PEDs came into force, followed by the start of banned amphetamine testing in 2006, and then growth hormone testing in 2012.
Following this line of thinking, it would appear as though Albert Pujols is the more deserving of the title of most home runs in MLB history, with Hank Aaron, Ruth, and Bonds being tied to performance-enhancing drugs and the like.
In a career that spanned 2001 to 2022, Pujols put up 703 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Importantly, Pujols’ home run counts during the pre-testing years of 2001, 2002, and 2003 were as you’d expect based on his later career stats, putting up 37 home runs as a rookie, 34 as a sophomore, and 43 in his third year.
This season, Mookie Betts put up another 34 home runs in his first 118 games, with the slugger being a big reason behind the Dodgers’ +320 in the MLB odds to win the World Series.
Radio host Jack Clark did once accuse Pujols of taking steroids, but publically retracted his statements shortly after.
Who has Scored the Most Home Runs in a Single MLB Season?
Technically, the player with the most home runs in a single season is Barry Bonds with 73, followed by Mark McGwire at 70, and then Sammy Sosa’s 66.
However, all of those players have either admitted to or have previously tested positive for taking performance-enhancing drugs. This pulls the top home run scorer in a single season down to what is seventh place as it stands.
In 2022, Aaron Judge became the PED-free home run king for a single season by smashing 62 out of the field. He started quite hot this season, hitting 24 home runs in 71 games to become a favourite for live betting online.
However, following Judge’s big toe injury, the hopes of the New York Yankees just making it to the playoffs crumbled away, and now there’s talk of shutting down the slugger for the rest of 2023.
What Single Game had the Most Home Runs in the MLB?
In 1987, on September 14, the Toronto Blue Jays welcomed the Baltimore Orioles to their home field, Exhibition Stadium, only to send them packing to the tune of an 18-3 scoreline.
The 27,446 people in attendance were treated to a mighty and record-setting count of ten home runs. Three of those came via the bat of Ernie Whitt, while Rance Mulliniks and George Bell each got two of their own.
Lloyd Moseby, Rob Ducey, and Fred McGriff also hit home runs to set a record that still stands as the most home runs in a single MLB game.
Officially, Barry Bonds is the MLB’s all-time home runs leader, but there’s a fair case to be made for the title to go to Albert Pujols in the spirit of fair play.
*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*