Chicks dig the long ball, and in baseball the guys that can really rip the cover off the ball are the superstars of the sport. Now, before I dive into the list of the top 10 home run hitters of all time I will say that this list completely ignores allegations of steroid use, corked bats and so on. Whether the following athletes had any extra “help” in attaining the amazing statistics they put up throughout their career is a matter for others to decide. Some may have cheated while others did everything naturally, but I will ignore such allegations in this top 10 list. I wish to keep the focus on one simple thing: the best home run hitters of all time. So, without further ado, here is my list:
10 – Ted Williams
This list isn’t strictly about the numbers. Ted Williams does not rank in the top 10 of all time when it comes to the number of career home runs hit, but his 521 career dingers is still a respectable number. This legend of the game was not just a slugger. In 1941 he finished the season with an astounding .406 batting average. No other hitter has had a .400 season since.
9 – Sammy Sosa
This charismatic slugger from the Dominican Republic is one of the truly great long ball hitters in the history of the game. He gained instant stardom during the 1998 season as he and Mark McGwire went head to head, smacking homer after homer as each sought to eclipse Roger Maris’s single season home run record of 61. McGwire would win the duel, hitting 70, but Sosa finished with 66. Not too shabby. He would go on to hit 60+ home runs in 2 more seasons, and had a career total of 609 taters.
8 – Frank Robinson
At the time of his retirement this great home run hitter ranked 4th all time in career home runs. Since then, he has slowly slipped down the list, but his 586 career homers still ranks him 7th on the all time list. He devastated opposing pitchers throughout his career, and is the only player in MLB history to win MVP award as both the National League’s and the American League’s most valuable player.
7 – Ken Griffey Jr.
Junior didn’t waste any time making a name for himself as a long ball hitter, and as tight as the competition is, this slugger merits a deserving spot on the list of the top 10 home run hitters of all time. Known for one the most effortless swings in the game Griffey’s smooth style helped his smack 630 out of the park in his career.
6 – Reggie Jackson
Mr. October is most famous for his game 6 performance in the 1977 World Series, hitting for Yankees against the Dodgers. That night he crushed 3 home runs to lift the Yanks to victory in one of the greatest single game performances in the history of that storied franchise. Jackson, always outspoken, created much controversy during his time as a player, but no one can deny his 563 career homers and his clutch post-season hitting make him one of the best home run hitters of all time.
5 – Alex Rodriguez
One of the most polarizing figures in modern sports history, this exceptional athlete has already hit 654 career home runs, and providing he can stay healthy and get his career back on track he has a shot to be the all time leader in that category by the time he retires.
4 – Willie Mays
The Say Hey Kid is one of the most recognizable figures in all of the professional sports, and with 24 career All-star game appearances it is no wonder why. He crushed 660 homers during his storied career, almost exclusively spent as a member of the Giants. Truly one of the legends of the game of baseball.
3 – Barry Bonds
Not the most charismatic of sports figures, and is one of the aforementioned athletes that unfortunately has allegations of steroid use dogging him. Still, no one can deny the pure talent of this slugger, and as the all time career home runs leader with 762 and the all time single season home run record holder with 73 he is as obvious a choice for one of the top 10 home run hitters of all time as you can get.
2 – Hank Aaron
Until Bonds recently surpassed him, Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron had long held the crown for the most career home runs with 755. Though he never put up the huge single season numbers that players like Bonds, McGwire and Sosa did, it was his consistency that was the hallmark of his 23 year career. He hit 40 or more home runs 8 times and topped 30 taters 15 times. With almost 2300 RBI and a career batting average of .305, this phenomenal all around player would sit at number 1 on many top 10 lists.
1 – Babe Ruth
He may have played in a different era, arguably against weaker competition, but this “heavy” hitter’s numbers are so phenomenal I had no choice but to put him at the number 1 position on my list of the top 10 home run hitters of all time. The Bambino was the first player to hit 60 home runs in a single season, and his 714 career homers put him 3rd on the all time list. This American icon, who was later overtaken as the home run king by Aaron and then Bonds, played far fewer games (approximately 500 fewer than Bonds, and 800 fewer than Aaron). Had he played as long as either of those gentlemen there is no question he would be the all time leader by a mile.