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With Last Night’s Rocket-Shot HR, Giancarlo Stanton Is Just Five Shy of Maris’ 61 HRs in 1961

Interesting

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton crushed his 56th home run of the season off Mets reliever Erik Goeddel, and it was an absolute ROCKET:


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According to Statcast, that was yet another one of Stanton’s patently low launch angle (17 degrees) extreme-velocity (116.7 MPH) lasers for a 399 foot home run – the second hardest hit homer of the entire season.

But perhaps more impressively, it inched him further up the single-season home run leaderboards:

  1. Barry Bonds (2001): 73 HRs
  2. Mark McGwire (1998): 70 HRs
  3. Sammy Sosa (1998): 66 HRs
  4. Mark McGwire (1999): 65 HRs
  5. Sammy Sosa (2001):  64 HRs
  6. Sammy Sosa (1999): 63 HRs
  7. Roger Maris (1961): 61 HRs
  8. Babe Ruth (1927): 60 HRs
  9. Babe Ruth (1921): 59 HRs
  10. Jimmie Foxx (1932): 58 HRs

  1. Giancarlo Stanton (2017): 56 HRs

As of today, Stanton is tied for the 16th most home runs in a single season with Hack Wilson (1930), and two seasons of Ken Griffey Jr. (1997, 1998). If he hits just three more, he’ll propel himself into the top ten, tied with Babe Ruth’s 1921 season – which, I am vehemently rooting for.

If he can hit five more, however, he may cement his name in history forever.

Although there’s always going to be unofficial (steroids) and official (more games) asterisks next to many of these leaderboards, plenty of fans recognize that the 61 PED-free homers hit by Roger Maris in 1961 represent something of an important benchmark. It’s technically not the all-time high, but because the three record-holders ahead of him (Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa) were all connected to performance enhancing drugs, 61 remains a satisfying target.


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With just ten games remaining, it’ll be tough for Stanton to do it, but to be one of the greats, you have to be great, right? Let’s see if he can pull it off.


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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami writes about MLB at Baseball Is Fun. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami.