It’s official: 2019 is the Year of the Home Run.
Here’s a look at the record-setting night and a deep dive into the numbers behind the record-setting season.
Countdown to the new MLB home run record
With 14 games on the schedule Wednesday (Yankees-Tigers was rained out) and an average of 2.8 home runs being hit per game this season, it was clear the record would fall. That meant the biggest question of the night was which player would be lucky enough to hit the record-setting blast.
Most home runs hit in a single season
2019: 6,107 … and counting
Maybe it’s fitting that the team that has allowed the most home runs in one season in MLB history hits the record-breaking home run. Jonathan Villar of the Orioles unloaded on a 93-mph fastball from Caleb Ferguson and hit home run No. 6,106, breaking the single-season record from 2017. I don’t know if Villar knew he hit the record-breaker, but let’s just say he enjoyed his trot around the bases.
Adalberto Mondesi and Marcus Semien have joined in the home run fun and just like that, the home run record is tied. Who will hit the record-breaking blast?
The Marlins haven’t hit many home runs this season — well, compared to most of the other teams — but Garrett Cooper has hit their second of the night as he and Isan Diaz go back-to-back off two different Milwaukee pitchers. In Little League, everyone gets to bat! In 2019 major league baseball, everyone gets to homer!
Springer Dinger! George Springer hit the 6,102nd HR of the season and we are now three away from tying the record.
Don’t tell me you’re not excited about the home run countdown! Eat your Tootsie Rolls! Teoscar Hernandez of the Blue Jays and Isan Diaz of the Marlins have gone deep and now we’re five away from the single-season mark. It’s tense, it’s wonderful, and, my god, there are a lot of home runs.
A pair of home runs from star American League shortstops have pulled us even closer to the MLB record as Francisco Lindor and Jorge Polanco went deep within moments of each other. We’re now seven homers away from a new all-time MLB mark.
We’re into the final 10 of the countdown now and Ryan Zimmerman goes yard for the Nationals, a three-run shot off Martin Perez that gives the Nats a 5-0 lead in the third inning over the Twins. We’re nine away. Hey, this could be a potential World Series preview!
Back in 1975, it was determined that the one millionth run in MLB history would be scored in May. MLB hyped the feat with a countdown scoreboard in every park and the player who scored the millionth run would receive a Seiko watch … and one million Tootsie rolls. (It was a simpler time.) With one run to go, two players got thrown out at home plate. In Cincinnati, the Reds’ Dave Concepcion hit a home run and sprinted around the bases and the team celebrated the millionth run. Alas, the Astros’ Bob Watson had scored a second or two earlier and he got the watch and Tootsie rolls. So, all I ask is that when the record-breaking home run is hit tonight that player sprints around the bases and is rewarded with 6,106 Tootsie rolls.
The Year of the Home Run is a team effort
An incredible 16 teams are on pace to set a new franchise for home runs this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most to set a new franchise record in a single season was 12 in 2000. Five teams — the Dodgers, Twins, Yankees, Padres and Astros — have already set their franchise mark.
The 2017 season saw 17 teams with at least 200 home runs, the most in a single season in MLB history. There have already been 18 teams to hit 200 HRs this year. We’re on pace to have 23 teams hit 200 homers this year.
Both the Twins and Yankees have blown past the previous single-season mark for a team (267 by the 2017 Yankees) and are in a back-and-forth battle to end 2019 with the title.
Someone’s probably going to get to 50 home runs
His season-ending knee injury means Christian Yelich won’t add to his career-high 44 homers — but these sluggers all have a legitimate shot at joining the 50-home run club:
Pete Alonso: Current total, 47; projected, 53
Mike Trout: Current total, 45; projected, 50
Cody Bellinger: Current total, 44; projected, 49
Eugenio Suarez: Current total, 44; projected, 49
Jorge Soler: Current total, 41; projected, 46
Name a benchmark and these guys are hitting it
While the names at the top of the leaderboard are impressive, we wouldn’t be talking about a new standard for home runs for a season if it wasn’t for the league-wide rise in long balls. In all, a whopping 523 players have hit home runs this season and there are staggering totals for number of players hitting every round number.
Players with …
30 home runs: 40
20 home runs: 108
10 home runs: 256
Pick a day, any day
Yes, the single-season record is going to fall on a Wednesday night — but players are going deep on every day that ends in a “Y.” Saturday currently stands as the leader for home runs by days of the week, with Monday (often a baseball travel day) lagging behind others.
Here’s the breakdown by day this season:
If you are more of a monthly tracker
MLB has rewritten the record books for home runs in every month played this season. While early long ball totals had fans wondering if the pace would eventually slow down, the answer has been a resounding “no,” with players actually going deep more frequently as the season has progressed.
Home runs hit by month