Fans pile in and out of ballparks throughout the year as they look for entertainment from the players on the field, and there's nothing more entertaining in baseball than a slugger who can send a ball into the stands on any given at-bat. How well do you know the greatest sluggers in baseball history? Can you recall the ones who slammed 50 home runs in a season? Here's a quiz where you can find out!
Before the live-ball era, which began in 1920, home runs were a rarity in the league as teams used a more unified approach to scoring runs. However, once the home run-era began, there was no looking back. Home runs were just too popular with fans, and batters learned there was a benefit in swinging for the fences, even if they struck out a few times.
Do you know these great batters who swung for the fences, from the first slugger to hit over 50 home runs in a season to the more recent stars in MLB? Are you going to be able to separate them from other great players who didn't quite make it to 50?
If you're ready to test your knowledge on MLB sluggers, get started with this quiz and see if you can knock it out of the park!
Babe Ruth was traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees prior to the 1920 season. The trade became known as "The Curse of the Bambino," as the Red Sox wouldn't win a World Series for 86 years.
"Hack" Wilson was one of the first real home run threats in MLB. Playing from 1923 until 1934, Wilson led the National League in home runs four times in his career.
Ted Williams' baseball career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Navy. Williams didn't miss a beat when he returned from the war, winning the AL MVP in 1946.
Spending all but one season of his career with the Detroit Tigers, Hank Greenberg went to four World Series with the team. They won two championships, in 1935 and 1945.
Ty Cobb was a superb batter throughout his MLB career, but he wasn't much of a home run threat. He finished his career with only 117 home runs.
Jimmie Fox was the first MLB player to hit 50 or more home runs in a season with two different teams. He accomplished the feat with both the Red Sox and the Athletics.
Ralph Kiner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1946 until 1953. He was the NL home run leader every season he was with the team, except for his last.
Stan Musial was selected to 24 All-Star games with the St. Louis Cardinals, with which he spent his entire MLB career. He's tied with two other players for the most All-Star appearances in a career.
Lou Gehrig received the nickname, "The Iron Horse," for his durability on the field. However, that all came to a halt when he was diagnosed with ALS, ending his career in 1939. He died two years later.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Sandy Koufax is one of only 23 players to pitch a perfect game. He accomplished this feat when he struck out 27 straight batters on September 9, 1965.
Willie Mays topped the 50 home run in a single season mark twice in his lengthy MLB career. Those two seasons came 10 years apart, a display of the longevity of his greatness.
Playing in a golden age for the New York Yankees, Mickey Mantle reached 12 World Series with the team. Of those series, the Yankees won seven championships.
Despite not reaching the 50 home run mark, Joe DiMaggio was an excellent hitter. In fact, he holds the MLB hitting-streak record with 56 straight games during which he recorded a hit.
Roger Maris set a new bar for sluggers when he hit 61 home runs during the 1961 season. However, the record was controversial at the time because the league had added games onto the season, meaning Maris had more opportunities to break the record.
Known as "The Big Red Machine," the Cincinnati Reds dominated Major League Baseball throughout the 1970s. The team ultimately won two World Series, in 1975 and 1976.
Mike Schmidt might not have hit 50 home runs in a season, but he did hit four home runs in a single game. In total, only 18 players have ever accomplished this.
Pete Rose only hit 160 home runs over the course of his MLB career. However, he is the all-time leader in hits with 4,256 hits with 14,053 at-bats.
Cecil Fielder led the American League in home runs in 1990 and 1991 while playing for the Detroit Tigers. He was also elected to his first two All-Star games those two seasons.
Mark McGwire hit more than 50 home runs in a season four different times in his career. He also led the league in home runs five different times, including his rookie season.
Debuting in 1989, Ken Griffey Jr. played baseball over the course of four different decades. He finished his career in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners, the same team with which he began his career.
Nicknamed "Mr. November" for his play in the postseason, Derek Jeter won five World Series with the Yankees. He was named the MVP of the 2000 World Series when the Yankees defeated the Mets in five games.
Though he denies it, Sammy Sosa is widely associated with the steroid-era in baseball. His controversial career has kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Jackie Robinson was not only the first African-American player in MLB, but he was also an early star in the game. A six-time All-Star, Robinson won both the World Series MVP and the NL MVP during his career.
Rickey Henderson may have finished his career with only 297 home runs, but he sure knew how to put himself in a position to score by stealing bases. In fact, Henderson holds the MLB record for stolen bases at 1,406.
Roberto Clemente helped put Latin American players on the map in Major League Baseball. Playing from 1955 until 1972, Clemente was the first player from Latin America to win a World Series and win the World Series MVP.
Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 162 games for taking performance-enhancing drugs. He was originally suspended for 211 games, but the sentence was reduced after he appealed.
Barry Bonds holds the Major League Baseball record for home runs in a career at 762. He also holds the single-season home run record with 73.
Cal Ripken Jr. played 2,632 straight games from 1982 until 1998. The streak became an MLB record and earned Ripken the nickname "The Iron Man."
Despite playing for several different teams, Jim Thome spent most of his career with the Cleveland Indians. As one of their greatest players, the Indians retired his No. 25.
Yogi Berra won the most World Series of any player in MLB history. In 14 appearances, Berra won ten championships. He also won three championships as a coach.
Although he never hit 50 home runs in a season, Frank Robinson was nothing short of spectacular during his time in the majors. His greatnesses was recognized too, as he remains the only player to ever win both the AL MVP and the NL MVP.
Ryan Howard spent his entire MLB career, which lasted from 2004 until 2016, with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was named the NLCS MVP in 2009 when he helped the Phillies reach the World Series.
In 2004, David Ortiz helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918. In the series, the Red Sox swept the Cardinals after defeating their rival, the Yankees, in the ALCS.
Though they weren't the first father and son to play in MLB, Prince Fielder and Cecil Fielder are the only father and son combination to hit more than 50 home runs in a season. Prince Fielder was also the youngest player to accomplish the feat when he did it in 2007.
Carl Yastrzemski made 18 All-Star games in his career, all with the Boston Red Sox. Excellent on both offense and defense, he won seven Golden Glove Awards and was the AL batting champion three times.
Debuting in 2004, Jose Bautista was traded around the league like a stock during his rookie season. Before the season ended, his name was included on five different rosters.
Giancarlo Stanton began his MLB career with the Miami Marlins, where he played until 2017. The Marlins made a controversial move in 2017 when they traded Stanton, who was coming off an MVP season, to the New York Yankees.
Born in Ontario, Canada, Joey Votto is recognized as one of the greatest baseball players to come from the country. In fact, he has won two Lou Marsh Trophies, which is given annually to the top athlete from Canada.
Though he debuted in 2011, Mike Trout's official rookie season was in 2012. After a stellar rookie year during which Trout hit 30 home runs and stole 45 bases, he was named the AL Rookie of the Year.
Aaron Judge exceeded the 50 home run mark in his first full season in the majors, setting the MLB record for a rookie. He suffered an injury in his second season, which has somewhat halted his rise to stardom.