Total Home Runs Hit in Major League Baseball by Season and the Top 20 Years with the Most Home Runs

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire: Poster Children of the Steroid Era

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire: Poster Children of the Steroid Era

The 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees are: no one. Neither Barry Bonds, nor Roger Clemens, not even Mike Piazza or Craig Biggio, made it in on their first ballot.

It was a protest vote from writers, a pushback against the era of steroids. Maybe they are hoping more information will come to light regarding those players who are guilty by association with the 1990′s and 2000′s.

Home run statistics are often cited as a measure of proof that many players were doing steroids during those decades.

But they are really only partially supportive.

Take the top 20 seasons in baseball history when the most home runs were hit. Yes, at the top there are suspect years: seven of the top 10 occurred between the seasons 1998 and 2004.

But then again every season after 2004 (2005-2012) – which is after the PED news broke – shows up in the top 20, too.

What gives? Well, baseball has had 30 teams since 1998. That makes things interesting. Since 1998, the steroid years do appear to have more home runs hit (more in the top half) than after baseball “caught on” (more in the bottom half).

Below the top 20, check out a second list today, total home runs hit every season since 1903, the first year of the World Series.

TOP 20 SEASONS: MOST TOTAL HOME RUNS HIT

YEAR HR HR/GAME GAMES AB TEAMS PLAYERS
1. 2000 5,693 1.172 4,858 167,290 30 1,230
2. 1999 5,528 1.138 4,856 167,137 30 1,209
3. 2001 5,458 1.124 4,858 166,234 30 1,220
4. 2004 5,451 1.123 4,856 167,353 30 1,247
5. 2006 5,386 1.109 4,858 167,341 30 1,242
6. 2003 5,207 1.071 4,860 166,737 30 1,230
7. 1998 5,064 1.041 4,864 167,116 30 1,186
8. 2002 5,059 1.043 4,852 165,582 30 1,218
9. 2009 5,042 1.037 4,860 165,849 30 1,266
10. 2005 5,017 1.032 4,862 166,335 30 1,237
11. 1996 4,962 1.094 4,534 156,801 28 1,141
12. 2007 4,957 1.020 4,862 167,783 30 1,278
13. 2012 4,934 1.015 4,860 165,251 30 1,284
14. 2008 4,878 1.005 4,856 166,714 30 1,291
15. 1997 4,640 1.024 4,532 155,438 28 1,123
16. 2010 4,613 0.949 4,860 165,353 30 1,249
17. 2011 4,552 0.937 4,858 165,705 30 1,295
18. 1987 4,458 1.059 4,210 144,095 26 975
19. 1995 4,081 1.012 4,034 138,571 28 1,133
20. 1993 4,030 0.888 4,538 154,995 28 1,104

Incidentally, those 20 seasons are the only ones with at least 4,000 home runs hit.

HOME RUNS HIT BY SEASON

YEAR HR HR/GAME GAMES AB TEAMS PLAYERS
1903 335 0.150 2,228 75,439 16 368
1904 331 0.133 2,498 82,488 16 364
1905 338 0.137 2,474 81,841 16 390
1906 261 0.106 2,456 80,061 16 412
1907 244 0.099 2,466 80,304 16 418
1908 267 0.107 2,488 80,680 16 440
1909 259 0.104 2,482 80,613 16 504
1910 361 0.145 2,498 81,548 16 508
1911 514 0.208 2,474 82,258 16 536
1912 442 0.179 2,464 82,039 16 604
1913 470 0.190 2,468 81,216 16 582
1914 710 0.189 3,760 122,587 24 740
1915 635 0.170 3,728 121,704 24 733
1916 383 0.154 2,494 81,923 16 527
1917 335 0.134 2,494 82,055 16 490
1918 235 0.116 2,032 67,315 16 489
1919 447 0.200 2,236 74,671 16 479
1920 630 0.255 2,468 84,179 16 495
1921 937 0.381 2,458 85,172 16 492
1922 1,055 0.426 2,476 85,346 16 497
1923 980 0.397 2,466 85,232 16 513
1924 896 0.364 2,462 84,670 16 529
1925 1,169 0.476 2,456 85,432 16 526
1926 863 0.350 2,468 83,762 16 502
1927 922 0.373 2,472 84,461 16 512
1928 1,093 0.444 2,462 84,480 16 505
1929 1,349 0.549 2,458 85,210 16 510
1930 1,565 0.634 2,468 86,571 16 493
1931 1,069 0.432 2,472 86,614 16 492
1932 1,358 0.551 2,466 87,182 16 491
1933 1,067 0.435 2,452 85,222 16 460
1934 1,344 0.549 2,446 85,911 16 487
1935 1,325 0.539 2,456 86,437 16 484
1936 1,364 0.551 2,476 87,638 16 481
1937 1,430 0.577 2,478 85,963 16 498
1938 1,475 0.603 2,446 85,013 16 502
1939 1,445 0.587 2,462 84,879 16 533
1940 1,571 0.636 2,472 86,003 16 514
1941 1,331 0.535 2,488 85,854 16 546
1942 1,071 0.438 2,448 83,731 16 512
1943 905 0.366 2,476 84,701 16 519
1944 1,034 0.416 2,484 85,665 16 548
1945 1,007 0.409 2,460 84,447 16 547
1946 1,215 0.489 2,484 84,333 16 633
1947 1,565 0.630 2,486 84,436 16 544
1948 1,555 0.629 2,474 84,411 16 542
1949 1,704 0.687 2,480 84,380 16 532
1950 2,073 0.837 2,476 84,823 16 530
1951 1,863 0.752 2,478 85,065 16 543
1952 1,701 0.686 2,478 84,195 16 556
1953 2,076 0.837 2,480 84,997 16 534
1954 1,937 0.783 2,474 83,936 16 536
1955 2,224 0.901 2,468 83,590 16 599
1956 2,294 0.926 2,478 83,856 16 552
1957 2,202 0.891 2,470 84,906 16 563
1958 2,240 0.907 2,470 83,827 16 580
1959 2,250 0.909 2,476 84,294 16 571
1960 2,128 0.861 2,472 84,014 16 575
1961 2,730 0.955 2,860 97,032 18 620
1962 3,001 0.926 3,242 110,688 20 702
1963 2,704 0.835 3,238 109,814 20 695
1964 2,762 0.849 3,252 110,464 20 700
1965 2,688 0.828 3,246 109,739 20 702
1966 2,743 0.849 3,230 109,467 20 714
1967 2,299 0.710 3,240 109,205 20 718
1968 1,995 0.614 3,250 108,622 20 676
1969 3,119 0.801 3,892 131,287 24 849
1970 3,429 0.882 3,888 132,140 24 849
1971 2,863 0.739 3,876 130,544 24 828
1972 2,534 0.682 3,718 124,828 24 824
1973 3,102 0.798 3,886 132,363 24 821
1974 2,649 0.681 3,890 132,256 24 861
1975 2,698 0.698 3,868 131,473 24 844
1976 2,235 0.576 3,878 131,525 24 818
1977 3,644 0.866 4,206 143,974 26 900
1978 2,956 0.703 4,204 141,567 26 904
1979 3,433 0.818 4,198 142,792 26 899
1980 3,087 0.733 4,210 144,160 26 916
1981 1,781 0.639 2,788 94,467 26 907
1982 3,379 0.802 4,214 144,149 26 932
1983 3,301 0.783 4,218 143,538 26 953
1984 3,258 0.774 4,210 143,829 26 935
1985 3,602 0.856 4,206 143,075 26 943
1986 3,813 0.907 4,206 143,106 26 953
1987 4,458 1.059 4,210 144,095 26 975
1988 3,180 0.757 4,200 142,568 26 973
1989 3,083 0.732 4,212 142,821 26 988
1990 3,317 0.788 4,210 142,768 26 1,030
1991 3,383 0.804 4,208 142,968 26 1,034
1992 3,038 0.721 4,212 142,895 26 1,007
1993 4,030 0.888 4,538 154,995 28 1,104
1994 3,306 1.033 3,200 110,266 28 991
1995 4,081 1.012 4,034 138,571 28 1,133
1996 4,962 1.094 4,534 156,801 28 1,141
1997 4,640 1.024 4,532 155,438 28 1,123
1998 5,064 1.041 4,864 167,116 30 1,186
1999 5,528 1.138 4,856 167,137 30 1,209
2000 5,693 1.172 4,858 167,290 30 1,230
2001 5,458 1.124 4,858 166,234 30 1,220
2002 5,059 1.043 4,852 165,582 30 1,218
2003 5,207 1.071 4,860 166,737 30 1,230
2004 5,451 1.123 4,856 167,353 30 1,247
2005 5,017 1.032 4,862 166,335 30 1,237
2006 5,386 1.109 4,858 167,341 30 1,242
2007 4,957 1.020 4,862 167,783 30 1,278
2008 4,878 1.005 4,856 166,714 30 1,291
2009 5,042 1.037 4,860 165,849 30 1,266
2010 4,613 0.949 4,860 165,353 30 1,249
2011 4,552 0.937 4,858 165,705 30 1,295
2012 4,934 1.015 4,860 165,251 30 1,284

Thanks to baseball-reference.com for the source data. Check it out!

Photo: nytimes.com

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Posted on January 9, 2013, in MLB Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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