A closer look at how every member of the 600 HR Club reached the milestone

On June 3, 2017, Albert Pujols became the ninth player to reach the 600 home run club, the fourth youngest to do so. In the bottom of the fourth inning at Angel Stadium, The Machine stepped up to the plate and knocked no. 600 out of the park. Of course, it was much more dramatic than that, and we’ll get to the play-by-play later on.

In honor of his feat, we take a look back at the other eight gentlemen on the list, and how they each reached no. 600.

Babe Ruth, 714 career home runs

The Bambino was the first player to ever reach 600 home runs, and 700 home runs, but we’re not there yet. Babe Ruth knocked his 600th out of the park on August 21, 1931. The Yanks were tied at 3 with the St. Louis Browns when the Sultan of Swat stepped up to the plate and made history. He hit 46 home runs that season, and reached 700 three seasons later.

babe ruth 1920s

Willie Mays, 660 career home runs

Willie Mays became the second player ever to reach the 600 club on September 22, 1969 in San Diego. The teams were tied at two when the Say Hey Kid hit number 600, and the game winner, off of Mike Corkins. Mays was already 38 years old and after his prime, but he’d knock 60 more out of the park before he retired.

Hank Aaron, 755 career home runs  

Hank Aaron hit his 600th home run on April 27, 1971. The Braves were facing the Giants in Atlanta. They were down 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Aaron stole the show. With one out and one on, Aaron knocked one out of the park off of Gaylord Perry, his 600th career home run and 8th homer of the season. He would go on to 47 HRs that season.

Barry Bonds, 762 career home runs

On August 9. 2002, Barry Bonds became only the fourth player in history to hit 600 home runs. The Giants were down 4-2 when the slugger stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, facing the Pirates’ Kip Wells. Bonds swung on the 2-1 count, hitting the ball deep to center field, off the scoreboard wall and into the stands. A 3-run home run for the ages.

Sammy Sosa, 609 career home runs

After 13 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, it’s only fitting that Sammy Sosa’s 600th career home run would come against his former team. Sosa had just come back after a year away from baseball and joined the Texas Rangers. Sosa hit it to right center field off of Jason Marquis and would hit only nine more home runs before retiring for good.

Ken Griffey Jr., 630 career home runs

At one point, it was believed that Ken Griffey Jr. would be the player to pass Hank Aaron’s 755 home run record. Griffey was nearing 400 home runs by the age of 29. But injuries set him back, so when Griffey hit no. 600 on June 9, 2008 at the age of 38, it was all the sweeter. The home run came in the first inning of a game against the Florida Marlins. Griffey, facing Mark Hendrickson, hit the 2-run homer deep to right. He would go on to hit 30 more for his career before retiring in 2010.

Alex Rodriguez, 696 career home runs

On a sunny day in Yankee Stadium in August 2010, Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run. ARod stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, facing Shaun Marcum of the Toronto Blue Jays. With two outs and Derek Jeter on first, Rodriguez hit the ball deep to center field, becoming the seventh to reach 600, and the youngest ever to do so at age 34. He retired just four home runs short of 700.

Jim Thome, 612 career home runs

No one had time to prepare for Jim Thome’s 600th. The slugger hit no. 599 and 600 on the same day in August, 2011. Thome’s first home run of the day came in the top of the sixth, with one man on and no outs. He hit it deep to left center off Tigers Pitcher Rick Porcello. Homer number two that day, and 600 overall came an inning later. With two men on and two out, Thome hit a fly ball to left center and into the bullpen.

Albert Pujols, 600 career home runs

The latest to join the club, Albert Pujols, did it in style. Pujols stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and two outs, and hit it deep to left field, joining a club only eight men have reached before him. With four years left on his contract, we’re hoping to see many, many more.