The following is a list of the major league baseball (MLB) players who have hit 50 or more home runs in a season the most number of times. Hitting 50 or more home runs in a season is not an easy task in the major leagues, as the feat has only been accomplished 43 times in MLB history.
A total of 27 players have hit 50 or more home runs in a season, with nine of the players accomplishing the feat in more than one season. I’ve listed all nine players here who have hit 50 or more home runs in a season at least twice.
MLB Players with the Most 50 Home Run Seasons
T-1. Babe Ruth – 4 times
Not only did Babe Ruth hit 50 home runs in a season the most number of times in major league baseball history, when he accomplished the feat for the fourth time in 1928, he was the only player in baseball history to have ever hit 50 home runs in a season to that point.
Babe Ruth hit 50 or more home runs in 1920 (54 home runs), 1921 (59), 1927 (60), and 1928 (54). Babe Ruth hit 714 career home runs, which is the third highest total in major league baseball history.
T-1. Mark McGwire – 4
Mark McGwire is tied with Babe Ruth for the most 50 home run seasons with four. McGwire hit 50 or more home runs in 1996 (52), 1997 (58), 1998 (70), and 1999 (65).
In 1987, Mark McGwire hit 49 home runs as a rookie, just missing the 50 plateau. That is the record for most home runs by a rookie. For his career, Mark McGwire hit 583 home runs, which is tenth best in baseball history.
Mark McGwire’s use of steroids and other PEDs tarnish everything he did in baseball, including his home run feats.
T-1. Sammy Sosa – 4
Another cheater in baseball, Sammy Sosa, also hit 50 or more home runs in a season four times. Sosa hit 66 home runs in 1998, 63 in 1999, 50 in 2000, and 64 in 2001. Sammy Sosa reportedly tested positive for PEDs in 2003, and he also was caught using a corked bat on June 3, 2003.
In his career, Sammy Sosa hit 609 tainted home runs. That ranks him eighth on the all-time home run list.
4. Alex Rodriguez – 3
Alex Rodriguez hit 50 ore more home runs three times in his career. A-Rod had 52 home runs in 2001, 57 in 2002, and 54 in 2007. Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using steroids in his career.
T-5. Jimmie Foxx – 2
Jimmie Foxx hit 58 home runs in 1932, and 50 home runs in 1938. When he hit the 58 home runs in 1932, Foxx became just the second player in baseball history to hit 50 or more home runs in a season. Babe Ruth had already accomplished the feat four times by then.
For his career, Jimmie Foxx hit 534 home runs, which is 17th on the all-time list.
T-5. Ralph Kiner – 2
Ralph Kiner hit 51 home runs in 1947, and then hit 54 home runs in 1949. Though he only played MLB for 10 years, Ralph Kiner hit 369 career home runs, or an average of 37 per season.
Ralph Kiner led the National League in home runs seven times in his career. He was inducted into the Baseball Hal of Fame in 1975.
T-5. Mickey Mantle – 2
Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees hit 52 home runs in 1956, and then hit 56 home runs in 1961. Mantle is the only switch-hitter to make this list, and he is the only player on the list to win baseball’s triple crown while hitting over 50 home runs in a season (he won the Triple Crown in 1956).
For his career, Mickey Mantle hit 536 home runs. That is the 16th most in major league baseball history.
T-5. Willie Mays – 2
Willie Mays hit 51 home runs in 1955, and then hit 52 home runs in 1965. Mays was with the New York Giants in 1955, and the San Francisco Giants in 1965. For his career, Willie Mays hit 660 home runs, the fourth most in MLB history.
T-5. Ken Griffey, Jr. – 2
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 56 home runs for the Seattle Mariners in back-to-back seasons in 1997 and 1998. Griffey, Jr. hit 630 career home runs, the sixth most in baseball history.