Which players have hit the most home runs in a season for every MLB franchise?

Which players have hit the most home runs in a season for every MLB franchise?

Updated February 04, 2024  |  By Justin Mears

There are a lot of exciting things to see at a Major League Baseball game. Pitchers blowing away hitters with high fastballs, a player with speed hitting one in the gap and racing first to third for a triple, and dazzling defensive plays. But does anything really compare to seeing your favorite player crush an absolute moonshot for a home run? Let’s take a look at each franchise’s single-season home run leaders.

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New York Yankees: Aaron Judge, 62, 2022


New York Yankees: Aaron Judge, 62, 2022
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees single-season home run record was just set last year by outfielder Aaron Judge, in a chase that captivated baseball’s audience for most of September. The 61 home runs Roger Maris hit in 1961 were still considered the all-time record by many baseball pundits who were unimpressed with the gaudy numbers put up during the steroid era. Judge’s pursuit of 61 thus became an incredibly big deal, and his at-bats were must see TV down the stretch. His 62nd blast, accomplished during the last week of the season while the Yankees were in Texas set what could be considered to be the new single-season benchmark, and he’ll forever be remembered as one of the game’s premier power threats.

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Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz, 54, 2006


Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz, 54, 2006

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David Ortiz is arguably the greatest designated hitter baseball has ever seen, and is easily one of the most iconic figures in the long history of the Boston Red Sox. Big Papi starred in New England for nearly a decade and a half, and he was never better than in 2006 when he led the American League in RBI for the second consecutive season. He also crushed an eye-opening 54 home runs that season to set Boston’s single-season record. Somewhat surprisingly, he would not hit more than 38 in a season for the remainder of his career.

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Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, 53, 2013


Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, 53, 2013

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Left-handed slugger Chris Davis’ peak was relatively short-lived compared to some of the other names on this list, but there was a time in the beginning of the previous decade when he was one of the most feared home run hitters in baseball. Davis blasted 253 homers in a Baltimore Orioles uniform, and 53 of them came during his phenomenal 2013 campaign. That year he slashed an excellent .286/.370/.634 and led the Majors in both major power statistics. Davis finished third in the American League MVP voting that year and appeared destined for greatness moving forward, and while he had some more productive seasons, he would never put together a year with that level of consistency again.

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Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista, 54, 2010


Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista, 54, 2010

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Outfielder Jose Bautista was a beloved figure north of the border for a decade, and provided the Blue Jays with one of the most fun and energetic players in the American League–not to mention one of the most dangerous sluggers in the game–for most of that timeframe. Bautista led the AL in homers in both 2010 and 2011, but ’10 was the season that really put him on the map for the national audience. After never hitting more than 16 long balls in a single season, Bautista exploded for 54, and very nearly won the MVP award in the process.

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Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Pena, 46, 2007

Tampa Bay Rays: Carlos Pena, 46, 2007

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports


First baseman Carlos Pena was one of the main sources of disagreement between the A’s coaching staff and front office during their Moneyball phase in 2002, and while it didn’t ever work out for Pena in Oakland, things changed when he left the Bay Area. The left-handed slugger developed into a productive regular with the Tigers, and later on in Tampa Bay became one of the most feared power hitters in the American League. In 2007 he cleared the fence 46 times for the Rays, a mark that is still the franchise’s single-season record.

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Chicago White Sox: Albert Belle, 49, 1998

Chicago White Sox: Albert Belle, 49, 1998
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Shreveport, LA native Albert Belle is remembered mostly for his exploits in Cleveland as a member of the Indians, but he also left his mark on a different AL Central team during his brief two-year stint with the club. With the White Sox in 1998, Belle connected on an astounding 49 home runs, his third season with 48 or more. Several Chicago hitters have reached the 40 home run plateau since, but none of been able to best Belle’s total, making him an unlikely answer to a trivia question, because after playing just 324 games in a White Sox uniform he is just not the first name you think of when it comes to great Chicago home run hitters.

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Cleveland Guardians: Jim Thome, 52, 2002

Cleveland Guardians: Jim Thome, 52, 2002

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The aforementioned Albert Belle came very close to being on this list with back-to-back teams, as were it not for Jim Thome narrowly edging him out in 2002, the 50 home runs Belle hit for Cleveland in 1995 would be the franchise’s benchmark. As for Thome, he debuted for the Indians in 1991 and wasted little time developing into one of the most dangerous power hitters in baseball. He hit more than 30 home runs for the team seven times, and was never better than he was in 2002 when he put 52 big flies in the seats during his last season with the Indians before joining the Phillies as a free agent.

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Minnesota Twins: Harmon Killebrew, 49, 1964 and 1969

Minnesota Twins: Harmon Killebrew, 49, 1964 and 1969
Photo by Louis Requena/MLB via Getty Images

Harmon Killebrew is one of the most decorated power hitters in big league history and a member of the exclusive 500+ home run club, so it should come as no surprise that he also holds the Twins’ single-season long ball record. Killebrew pounded more than 40 homers in seven different seasons, but was never quite able to crack 50. His career high was 49, a number he accomplished with the Twins in both 1964 and 1969.

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Detroit Tigers: Hank Greenberg, 58, 1938

Detroit Tigers: Hank Greenberg, 58, 1938

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Tigers Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg was one of the most dangerous hitters of his generation, and consistently crushed home runs at a rate very few of his peers could compete with. In 12 seasons in Detroit, Greenberg hammered 306 homers and drove in 1,200 runs, while being named the MVP of the American League twice. The 58 home runs he finished with in 1938 was an almost unheard of number at the time, and even though he retired more than 75 years ago it’s important to remember just how dynamic of a hitter he was.

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Kansas City Royals: Salvador Perez, 48, 2021

Kansas City Royals: Salvador Perez, 48, 2021

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals’ single-season home run record was actually set just two years ago by their longtime catcher and current captain Salvador Perez. Perez was already one of the most potent offensive catchers in the American League but took his game to an entirely new level in 2021, shattering his previous career high of 27 homers when he crushed an eye-opening 48 balls over the fence. He led the Majors in both home runs and RBI that season, and while he hasn’t duplicated that production in the years that have followed, he’ll always have that career season to look back upon fondly.

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Houston Astros: Jeff Bagwell, 47, 2000

Houston Astros: Jeff Bagwell, 47, 2000
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The Astros have employed some serious home run hitters during their history, but longtime first baseman Jeff Bagwell stands above the rest of the pack. The right-handed slugger is the franchise’s all-time home run leader, so it should come as no surprise that he’s also the single-season record holder. That mark was established in 2000, when he cleared the fence 47 times, the third time in his career he clubbed more than 40.

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Texas Rangers: Alex Rodriguez, 57, 2002

Texas Rangers: Alex Rodriguez, 57, 2002
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For the majority of his career there was not a more polarizing player in baseball than Alex Rodriguez, who was beloved by his team’s fans and hated by opposing fans–particularly after his PED suspension–for the better part of two decades. In his prime, Rodriguez’s raw talent was second to none, and that was on full display in 2002 when he blasted 57 home runs as a member of the Texas Rangers. That came in the middle of a three-year stretch where he led the American League in long balls every season, and while looking back the numbers he put up in Texas may be tainted a little, it’s still difficult to forget just how dynamic he was on a nightly basis back then.

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Seattle Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. 56, 1997 and 1998

Seattle Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. 56, 1997 and 1998
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

It’s amazing that a Mariners team that for several seasons had both Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. in the middle of its line-up did not win a whole lot more than they did. We just talked about Rodriguez in the last slide, but for most of his tenure in Seattle he wasn’t even the best player on his own team. That distinction was held by outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., who was the undisputed poster boy for Major League Baseball’s brand in his prime. The sweet-swinging lefty slugger blasted 56 home runs in both ’97 and ’98, and that number still stands as the Mariners’ single-season franchise record 25 years later.

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Oakland Athletics: Jimmie Foxx, 58, 1932

Oakland Athletics: Jimmie Foxx, 58, 1932
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The Athletics’ single-season home run record was actually established long before the franchise moved to Oakland. Playing for the Philadelphia A’s, right-handed slugger Jimmie Foxx pummeled 58 balls over the fence in 1932–the same year he was named the MVP of the American League for the first time. Mark McGwire came close to equaling his total in ’96 but fell a few homers short, and these days this looks like a record that will be difficult to break.

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Los Angeles Angels: Troy Glaus, 47, 2000

Los Angeles Angels: Troy Glaus, 47, 2000
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Right-handed swinging third baseman Troy Glaus burst onto the scene in Anaheim as a 21-year-old rookie in 1999, and very quickly developed into one of the most dangerous power hitters in the American League. In just his second full big-league season Glaus launched 47 home runs and qualified for his first all-star team. He’d end up crushing more than 40 homers again the next season and turned in triple-digit RBI totals for the Halos in three consecutive seasons. Mike Trout has finished with 40+ homers in three different seasons but has been unable to best Glaus’ record, though with Shohei Ohtani currently leading the Majors, this mark may fall later this fall.

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New York Mets: Pete Alonso, 53, 2019

New York Mets: Pete Alonso, 53, 2019

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First baseman Pete Alonso not only set the Mets’ single-season home run record as a rookie in 2019–he shattered it. After never having a player contribute more than 41 bombs in a single campaign, Alonso burst onto the scene and immediately established himself as one of the elite power hitters in our game. The 53 balls he deposited into the seats broke Aaron Judge’s rookie record of 52, and with more homers than any other hitter since he debuted, it’s fair to make a case for Alonso being the premier home run hitter in the sport.

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Atlanta Braves: Andruw Jones, 51, 2005

Atlanta Braves: Andruw Jones, 51, 2005

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have employed some elite home run hitters during their history–including Hank Aaron, for starters–and it may come as a surprise to some to learn that center fielder Andruw Jones actually holds their single-season record. That mark was established in 2005 when the right-handed hitter put 51 balls over the fence, though as is the case with the Angels record, it could be in jeopardy of falling this September. Atlanta’s current first baseman, Matt Olson, is sitting on 37 homers in early August, and it would not be out of the question to see him threaten Jones’ number down the stretch.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard, 58, 2006


Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard, 58, 2006

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia enjoyed tremendous success in the middle portion of the 2000-2010 decade, culminating with a World Series championship in 2008. One of the primary driving forces behind all of that consistent winning was their longtime first baseman, Ryan Howard, who for an extended stretch was one of the most feared left-handed sluggers in the game. Howard gave the Phillies more than 40 home runs in four consecutive seasons from ’06-’09, but his best year came in 2006 when he blasted 58 homers and drove in 149 runs en route to being named National League MVP.

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Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, 59, 2017

Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, 59, 2017

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Giancarlo Stanton is still one of the most lethal pure power hitters in baseball, but he was truly on a different level with the Marlins in 2017. That season, the right-handed slugger led the Majors with both 59 home runs and 132 RBI, while also slashing an impressive .281/.376/.631. He was easily named the MVP of the National League in what would prove to be his final season in south Florida. Following his monster year, Stanton was shipped to the Yankees in a blockbuster trade, and while he’s given the Bombers three seasons with 30+ big flies, he hasn’t quite been the complete hitter he was as a Marlin.

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Washington Nationals: Alfonso Soriano, 46, 2006

Washington Nationals: Alfonso Soriano, 46, 2006
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s another team whose single-season home run leader may come as a surprise. How many non-Nationals fans would have guessed that Washington’s single-season long ball leader is none other than Alfonso Soriano? The veteran played only one year in D.C. but made it count, blasting 46 balls over the fence in 2006 and parlaying that into a nice free-agent payday from the Cubs.

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Chicago Cubs: Sammy Sosa, 66, 1998

Chicago Cubs: Sammy Sosa, 66, 1998
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s where things get controversial. Prior to the year 1998, the Cubs’ single-season home run king was Hack Wilson, who established the mark by crushing 56 long balls in 1930. Wilson’s impressive number is still fourth in club history, but the rest of the top five is blanketed by one name: Sammy Sosa. The right-handed slugger was already an all star-caliber power hitter, but with the help of steroids became much more than that. Sosa blasted 66 bombs in the high-profile home run chase of 1998, and then followed that up with seasons of 63, 50, and 64. His incredible display of consistent power was fun to watch at the time, but it’s hard to not look at the numbers as tainted with the benefit of hindsight.

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St. Louis Cardinals: Mark McGwire, 70, 1998

St. Louis Cardinals: Mark McGwire, 70, 1998
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Talking about Sammy Sosa is the perfect segue into St. Louis’ single-season home run leader, first baseman Mark McGwire. The big right-handed slugger was locked in a fierce race with Sosa during the 1998 campaign to see who could break Roger Maris’ record of 61 first–and then how much further they could go. McGwire ultimately came out on top, belting an outrageous 70 long balls, and then followed it up with another 65 the following season. As is the case with Sosa, however, the gaudy home run totals were a direct result of performance enhancing steroids, so as entertaining as moonshots into Big Mac Land really were at the time, they just don’t feel the same anymore.

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Pittsburgh Pirates: Ralph Kiner, 54, 1949

Pittsburgh Pirates: Ralph Kiner, 54, 1949
Photo by Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images

There is certainly nothing tainted about the numbers the next hitter on this list put up. Right-handed slugger Ralph Kiner was the type of dynamic middle-of-the-order power bat that was somewhat unique during his generation. Kiner spent the first eight seasons of his career in Pittsburgh and led the Majors in long balls in each of his first seven campaigns. His most prolific home run season came in 1949 when he cleared the fence 54 times, a record that still stands in Pittsburgh more than 70 years later.

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Milwaukee Brewers: Prince Fielder, 50, 2007

Milwaukee Brewers: Prince Fielder, 50, 2007
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Second-generation Major League slugger Prince Fielder debuted for the Brewers in 2005, and just two years later set the franchise record for most home runs in a single season. The 50 home runs Fielder blasted that season ended up being his personal career high, but that’s not to say he was a flash in the pan. The 2007 season began a stretch of six consecutive 30+ home runs for the first baseman, and he has three other seasons on his resume with at least 20.

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Cincinnati Reds: George Foster, 52, 1977

Cincinnati Reds: George Foster, 52, 1977
Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

During the late 1970’s, Cincinnati Reds outfielder George Foster was the premier power hitter in the National League, and was simply a player opposing pitchers could not let beat them in a big spot. In 1977, Foster was nearly unstoppable, slashing .320/.382/.631 with 52 homers and 149 RBI. He led the league in both major power numbers as well as slugging percentage, and was easily named the MVP of the senior circuit. Today, 45 years later, his 52 home run campaign is still the single-season high for a Reds franchise that has had more than a few legitimate sluggers call Cincinnati home.

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Los Angeles Dodgers: Shawn Green, 49, 2001

Los Angeles Dodgers: Shawn Green, 49, 2001
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost hard to believe that in their rich and long history no Dodger hitter has ever clubbed 50 home runs in a season. The franchise’s single-season high is 49 and belongs to left-handed swinging outfielder Shawn Green, who accomplished the feat back in 2001. At the time, Green was firmly in his prime and in the middle of a stretch that saw him connect on 40 or more home runs in three out of four seasons. And while he was obviously an all star-caliber player and a force in the middle of Los Angeles’ line-up for several seasons, it is still somewhat surprising that he’s still this franchise’s single-season home run king.

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San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds, 73, 2001

San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds, 73, 2001

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The 73 balls Barry Bonds deposited over outfield fences in 2001 are the most all-time in a single season and thus, are also obviously a San Francisco Giants record that will never be broken. And on some level, they’re also kind of sad. Bonds was already one of the very best players in all of baseball and had won three National League MVP awards in the early ‘90s. Perhaps envious of all the attention Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa got during their home run chase in ’98, Bonds too ultimately involved himself with performance enhancing steroids, and while he put up some astronomical numbers and set a plethora of records, he also tarnished his legacy and reputation irreparably.

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San Diego Padres: Greg Vaughn, 50, 1998

San Diego Padres: Greg Vaughn, 50, 1998
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San Diego’s single-season home run record was established 25 years ago when veteran outfielder Greg Vaughn became the first Padre to reach the 50 home run plateau. Vaughn was no stranger to hitting long balls at the highest level–he actually finished his career with 355 of them–but 1998 was easily his best season. In addition to the 50 homers he blasted, he also drove in a career-high 119 runs, and while the Padres have had several high-octane hitters in their line-up over the years, to date nobody has been able to knock Vaughn’s number from the record books.

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Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton, 49, 2001, Larry Walker, 49, 1997

Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton, 49, 2001, Larry Walker, 49, 1997
Jeff Gross /Allsport

The Rockies are actually the only team on this list that has a tie atop their single-season home run record book, with longtime teammates Larry Walker and Todd Helton sharing the honors with 49 homers each. Walker established the number first in 1997, when he led the league in homers–as well as OBP, SLG%, and OPS—during his MVP-winning campaign. Helton was able to equal him four years later with his own monster season, as in 2001 the longtime Colorado first baseman slashed .336/.432/.685 with those 49 homers and an eye-opening 146 RBI.

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Arizona Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez, 57, 2001

Arizona Diamondbacks: Luis Gonzalez, 57, 2001
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks’ single-season home run leader is a legendary figure in the organization’s history, outfielder Luis Gonzalez. The Tampa, FL native is most remembered today for his walk-off hit against Yankees’ superstar closer Mariano Rivera to win the 2001 World Series, but he accomplished a whole lot else during that wonderful ’01 campaign. For starters, the 57 home runs he delivered that year are easily the most in Arizona history and a record that quite possibly will never be broken. He also drove in an unbelievable 142 runs while playing in every single Diamondbacks contest, and it’s safe to say he’ll forever be considered royalty in Phoenix.



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