When the 2017 regular season came to an end Sunday, baseball did not have its first 60-home run hitter in nearly two decades.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton did not go deep in Sunday's loss the Braves (ATL 8, MIA 5), leaving him at 59 homers for the season overall. He did have a productive day at the plate, going 2 for 5 with an RBI. Stanton struck out against Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino in the ninth inning in his final at-bat of 2017.
Manager Don Mattingly batted Stanton leadoff in Game 162 in an effort to get him as many at-bats as possible. After hitting his 58th and 59th home runs of the season Thursday, Stanton went 4 for 13 with a double, two walks, and four strikeouts in three games against the Braves this weekend. He finishes the season with an incredible .281/.376/.631 batting line.
While Stanton was unable to join the hallowed 60-homer club, he does enter the record books with a top-10 all-time home run season. He's the sixth player in history to hit 59 home runs in a season. Here is baseball's all-time single-season home run leaderboard:
- Barry Bonds, 2001: 73
- Mark McGwire, 1998: 70
- Sammy Sosa, 1998: 66
- Mark McGwire, 1999: 65
- Sammy Sosa, 2001: 64
- Sammy Sosa, 1999: 63
- Roger Maris, 1961: 61
- Babe Ruth, 1927: 60
- Giancarlo Stanton, 2017: 59
- Babe Ruth, 1921: 59
Stanton made a huge climb up the single-season home run leaderboard in July and August this year, at one point hitting 11 homers in 12 games and 30 homers in 48 games. Prior to this season, his previous career high was 37 home runs, done twice (2012 and 2014). From 2012-16, Stanton averaged 43 home runs per 162 games played.
Home runs are way up around baseball this season -- teams are hitting an MLB-record 1.26 home runs per game in 2017 -- leading to speculation the ball is juiced. . Either way, juiced ball or not, Stanton is now only the sixth player in history to hit 59 home runs in a season, and that is an amazing accomplishment.