It took 11 seasons, but someone has finally hit more home runs than Ryan Howard did in 2006, when his 58-home run season led him to the National League MVP.
Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins hit his 58th and 59th home runs in the team's 7-1 win over the Atlanta Braves Thursday night:
Stanton's mark of 59 home runs is the most any player has hit in an individual season since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit an MLB record 73 home runs and Sammy Sosa also hit 64. He now has passed Howard, Mark McGwire and Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Jimmie Foxx on the list of most home runs in a single-season. His 59 home runs tie him with Babe Ruth for the ninth-most home runs in a single season, as Ruth hit 59 home runs in 1921. If he hits a 60th home run, it would tie him for the eighth most home runs in individual season, again with Ruth, who hit 60 home runs for the 1927 New York Yankees.
The six highest single-season home run totals are owned by the trio of Sosa, McGwire and Bonds. However, a combination of admission, court testimony and credible media reports cast doubt on whether any of those seasons were done without the help of PEDs.
Those seasons, of course, still count. Regardless of how you feel about how seasons played under the suspicion of PED use should be historically evaluated, they happened. With that said, Stanton now has hit the most home runs of any National League player presumed to have played said season without the assistance of PEDs. Howard previously held that mark.
The Marlins will finish their season up this weekend against the Atlanta Braves, with Stanton two home runs away from Roger Maris' 1961 mark of 61 home runs.