Major League Baseball Homer Totals, 1901 Through 2010

Here is a table listing the annual home runs totals for Major League Baseball from the American League-National League merger in 1901 through 2010:

228 227 455 1901
258 98 356 1902
184 151 335 1903
156 175 331 1904
156 182 338 1905
137 126 263 1906
104 141 245 1907
116 151 267 1908
109 150 259 1909 2,849
147 214 361 1910
198 316 514 1911
156 287 443 1912
159 310 669 1913
148 267 415 1914
160 225 385 1915
144 239 383 1916
133 202 335 1917
96 139 235 1918
240 207 447 1919 4,187
369 261 630 1920
477 460 937 1921
525 530 1,055 1922
442 538 980 1923
397 499 896 1924
533 636 1,169 1925
424 439 863 1926
439 483 922 1927
483 610 1,093 1928
595 754 1,349 1929 9,894
673 892 1,565 1930
576 493 1,069 1931
707 651 1,358 1932
607 460 1,067 1933
688 656 1,344 1934
663 662 1,325 1935
758 606 1,364 1936
806 624 1,430 1937
864 611 1,475 1938
796 649 1,445 1939 13,442
883 688 1,571 1940
734 597 1,331 1941
533 538 1,071 1942
473 432 905 1943
459 575 1,034 1944
430 577 1,007 1945
653 562 1,215 1946
679 886 1,565 1947
710 845 1,555 1948
769 935 1,704 1949 12,958
973 1,100 2,073 1950
839 1,024 1,863 1951
794 907 1,701 1952
879 1,197 2,076 1953
823 1,114 1,937 1954
961 1,263 2,224 1955
1,075 1,219 2,294 1956
1,024 1,178 2,202 1957
1,057 1,183 2,240 1958
1,091 1,159 2,250 1959 20,860
1,086 1,042 2,128 1960
1,534 1,196 2,730 1961
1,552 1,449 3,001 1962
1,489 1,215 2,704 1963
1,551 1,211 2,762 1964
1,370 1,318 2,688 1965
1,365 1,378 2,743 1966
1,197 1,102 2,299 1967
1,104 891 1,995 1968
1,649 1,470 3,119 1969 26,169
1,746 1,683 3,429 1970
1,484 1,379 2,863 1971
1,175 1,359 2,534 1972
1,552 1,550 3,102 1973
1,369 1,280 2,649 1974
1,465 1,233 2,698 1975
1,122 1,113 2,235 1976
2,013 1,631 3,644 1977
1,680 1,276 2,956 1978
2,006 1,427 3,433 1979 29,543
1,844 1,243 3,087 1980
1,062 719 1,781 1981
2,080 1,299 3,379 1982
1,903 1,398 3,301 1983
1,980 1,278 3,258 1984
2,178 1,424 3,602 1985
2,290 1,523 3,813 1986
2,634 1,824 4,458 1987
1,901 1,279 3,180 1988
1,718 1,365 3,083 1989 41,349
1,796 1,521 3,317 1990
1,953 1,430 3,383 1991
1,776 1,262 3,038 1992
2,074 1,956 4,030 1993
1,774 1,532 3,306 1994
2,164 1,917 4,081 1995
2,742 2,220 4,962 1996
2,477 2,163 4,640 1997
2,496 2,568 5,064 1998
2,635 2,893 5,528 1999 52,148
2,688 3,005 5,693 2000
2,506 2,952 5,458 2001
2,464 2,595 5,059 2002
2,499 2,708 5,207 2003
2,605 2,846 5,451 2004
2,437 2,580 5,017 2005
2,546 2,840 5,386 2006
2,252 2,705 4,957 2007
2,270 2,608 4,878 2008
2,560 2,482 5,042 2009 56,761
2,209 2,404 4,613 2010


Here a few things to highlight from the numbers:
The N.L.’s 98 homers in 1902 is the only time for that league to not have at least 100 homers in a year; for the A.L., 1918 is the only year without at least 100 homers. Major League Baseball before 1920 is uniformly called the Deadball era, but the variation in homers was considerable: a peak of 669 in 1913, a low of 245 in 1907, and regular swings of 20 percent or more in homers. Also, the 669 peak was followed by a very sharp drop, to 235 in the war-shortened 1918 season, before booming back up to 630 in 1920.

Babe Ruth’s usually credited with revolutionizing slugging in baseball, but after hitting 1,169 homers in 1925 to set a new record, MLB dropped to 863 in 1926 and 922 in ’27, the year of Ruth’s 60 homers. The 863-homer season was just 29 percent greater than the 1913 level.

The 905 homers of 1943 are the post 1927-low, and the only year in that time to have under 1,000 homers. As players came back from WWII and black players began to appear in MLB, homer production more than doubled by 1950, to 2,073. The 3,001 homers of 1962 was the first time MLB crested the 3,000 mark, but homers dropped more than a third, to 1,995, in the pitchers’ year of 1968. The rule changes after that season had an immediate effect, as the 3,119 homers of 1969 set a new record.

The number of A.L. homers rose sharply in 1973, the first year of the DH, from 1,175 in ’72 to 1,552 in ’73. For the first few years of the DH, the gap between A.L. and N.L. homer numbers was usually narrow (in 1976 the N.L. nearly outhomered the A.L.), but in the ’80s the A.L. became the dominant league for power hitters. Still, the 4,458 MLB total in 1987, which was 17 percent more than the record that had been set a year earlier, dropped close to one-third the next year, and homer numbers hit a trough of 3,083 in 1989.

The N.L’s 3,005 homers in 2000, after the league had added four teams and the ’90s offensive explosion had taken hold, nearly matched the MLB total in 1992. The 4,613 homers hit in 2010, supposedly a year of the pitcher, were just 265 fewer than the number hit in 2008, and the 154 homers per team compare to the 147 per team in 1986, when MLB set a record for most homers.

There’s the curiosity that the number of MLB homers in 1919, 1920, 1921, 1927, 1961, 1998, and 2001, the post-WWI seasons in which individual hitters set new single-season homer records, were not peaks for their time. For example, 1913 had the most homers in the ’10s, 1922, 1925, 1928, and 1929 had the most homers in the ’20s, 1961’s 2,730 homers were eclipsed by a nearly 10 percent surge in 1962 (admittedly an expansion year), and 2000, with 5,693 homers despite no one player hitting more than 50, has the all-time MLB record.

Here’s a chart from Wikipedia showing the per game frequency of homers and steals for the years 1900 through 2008 (I know, steals is not relevant to the post, but I didn’t see any reason to try to make a homers-only chart on my own):

Finally, here, adapted from a Suite 101 article, is a list of the hitters with the most homers per decade. You can compare these totals to the totals for entire leagues shown above:

1870-1879: Lipman Emanuel Pike (numerous teams) – 20

1880-1889: Roger Connor (Trojans/Giants)- 67

1890-1899: Ed Delahanty (Phillies) – 79

1900-1909: Harry Davis (A’s) – 67

1910-1919: Cavvy Cravath (Phillies) – 116

1920-1929: Babe Ruth (Yankees) – 467

1930-1939: Jimmie Foxx (Athletics/Red Sox) – 415

1940-1949: Ted Williams (Red Sox) – 234

1950-1959: Duke Snider (Dodgers) – 326

1960-1969: Harmon Killebrew (Senators/Twins) – 393

1970-1979: Willie Stargell (Pirates) – 296

1980-1989: Mike Schmidt (Phillies) – 313

1990-1999: Mark McGwire (A’s/Cardinals) – 405

2000-2009: Alex Rodriguez (Mariners/Rangers/Yankees) – 435

Published in: Uncategorized on June 14, 2011 at 10:14 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Great info. I’ll keep this one handy for my future posts. Excellent research!
    Bill


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