MLB hitters have been on pace to set a league-wide, single-season home run record all year. On Tuesday, Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals hit home run number 5,694, officially making the 2017 season the new record-holder, smashing the pace set back in 2000.
A new record for most homers hit in a season – EVER.
— MLB (@MLB) September 20, 2017
It was inevitable that this was going to happen. Entering Tuesday’s play, MLB players had hit 5,677 home runs, only 16 short of the previous record.
Following home runs from Jose Reyes, Kyle Schwarber, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Zack Cozart, Domingo Santana, Yadier Molina, Yasmani Grandal, Paul DeJong, Christian Yelich, Ian Kinsler, Darwin Barney, Travis d’Arnaud, Brad Miller, Max Kepler, and Alex Presley, the record was tied.
With 12 days (or 168 games) remaining in the season following Tuesday’s slate, there’s even more time to pad this incredible record.
The top-five seasons are now (in order) 2017, 2000, 2016, 1999, and 2001. It’s certainly not surprising to see 1999-2001 on the list, given that those years were essentially the height of the Steroid Era. With drug testing now prevalent, we have to assume that most players are clean. Still, a number of factors, including juiced baseballs, are contributing to the home run explosion over the last two seasons.
While 2017’s final mark will blow away the previous record, don’t be surprised if we’re right back here in 2018.