Five players hit their 500th career home runs this week: David Ortiz, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Jim Thome and Reggie Jackson.
Mays and Robinson each hit his landmark homer on Sept. 13. Mays did it in 1965, and Robinson did it in 1971.
At the time Mays hit his 500th home run (which came against the Houston Astros), he was the fifth member of the club. At season’s end, the leaderboard feature Babe Ruth at the top with 714, Jimmie Foxx with 534, Ted Williams with 521, Mel Ott with 511 and Mays with 505.
The 1965 season was the last in an 11-year run in which Mays totaled 440 home runs and averaged 40 home runs per season. His 52 that season led the National League and were a career high, surpassing the 51 he hit to start the run in 1955.
Mays finished his career with 660 home runs, which ranks him fifth all time behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).
When Robinson hit his 500th home run, he became the 11th member of the 500 home run club. He currently ranks 10th all time with 586 home runs.
Robinson’s 500th home run was his last home run for the Orioles, for whom he played from 1966 to 1971. He was one home run shy of averaging 30 home runs per season with the Orioles. The Orioles won a pair of World Series with Robinson on the team, the first during his Triple Crown season in 1966 and the other in 1970.
The team for which Robinson hit the most home runs was the Reds, for whom he hit 324 in 10 seasons. He hit his final 14 home runs for the Indians, a team for whom he also served as player-manager.
Who hits 500 next?
The two players next in line to join the 500 home run club are Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre, who each entered the week with 461. But there’s no guarantee that either will reach the mark. Beltre has 16 home runs this season at age 38. Cabrera has 15 at age 34. Both have dealt with injuries that sapped their ability to play every day like they did in their younger days.