Way Back...It's Gone! Ranking the 600 HR Club

Nick Santa MariaContributor IAugust 4, 2010

Way Back...It's Gone! Ranking the 600 HR Club

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    So many huge names, yet such a small club.

    As Alex Rodriguez enters the 600 HR club, here is my ranking of the club's best members.

    NOTE: This list is very flexible, as each member can be argued as the best player of their era. This list is not only about home runs; it's about overall statistics. Everyone has their own opinions. Thank you and enjoy!

7. Sammy Sosa, OF

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .273

    Home Runs: 609

    Hits: 2408

    RBI: 1667

    Notable Achievements: Seven-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, 1998 NL MVP, 2000 HR Derby Winner, two-time HR champion, 1999 Hank Aaron Award winner, three 60-plus HR Seasons

    Sammy Sosa is one the most recognizable baseball players of the 21st century.

    However, his statistics are the lowest of the 600 club (A-Rod will pass his HRs).

    In addition to being part of the steroid controversy in 2003, Sammy Sosa ranks the lowest of the seven members.

    Can he get to the Hall of Fame? Probably.

6. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

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    Career Stats (active)

    Batting Average: .303

    Home Runs: 600

    Hits: 2632

    RBI: 1793

    Notable Achievements: 13-time All-Star, 10-time Silver Slugger, four Hank Aaron Awards, three-time AL MVP, World Series champion, youngest player to hit 500 and 600 HRs, two-time Gold Glove winner

    Alex Rodriguez is one of the best players ever to wear a baseball uniform.

    With consistently high numbers every year, what team wouldn’t want A-Rod?

    If his numbers are so great, then why is he so low on this list? The answer is steroids.

    Alex Rodriguez allegedly took steroids from 2001-2003. In those years, he had 156 HR and 395 RBI. It’s a shame to see him sink due to “an enormous amount of pressure.”

    He swears that he never took steroids while in a Yankee uniform. But sometimes, I question him.

    Alex is the favorite to break the all-time HR record.

    I think he’ll do it.

    Hall of Fame? Yes.

5. Ken Griffey Jr., OF

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .284

    Home Runs: 630

    Hits: 2781

    RBIs: 1836

    Notable Achievements: 13-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Winner, seven-time Silver Slugger, 1997 AL MVP, three-time HR Derby Winner, 1992 All-Star Game MVP

    Ken Griffey Jr. was an amazing baseball player.

    During his prime, Griffey was projected to break Hank Aaron’s HR record. He had all the potential to achieve this feat. However, after a series of injuries, his projection quickly died down.

    A definite fan-favorite, Ken Griffey rightfully deserves his spot in the 600 HR club. I, as well as many others, were heartbroken when Ken Griffey Jr. decided to retire from baseball a few months ago.

    The history of Kingdome and the great baseball city of Seattle would be completely different had it not been for the illustrious career of the living legend, Ken Griffey Jr.

    Hall of Fame? Is this even a valid question? Of course!

4. Barry Bonds, OF

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .298

    Home Runs: 762 (all-time record)

    Hits: 2935

    RBIs: 1996

    Notable Achievements: 14-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, 12-time Silver Slugger, three-time Hank Aaron Award winner, 73 home runs in one season, seven-time NL MVP, most intentional walks

    Barry Bonds is widely regarded as one of the best baseball players to live.

    Barry Bonds is also widely regarded as one of the best baseball players to allegedly use steroids.

    Personally, I am not a big Barry Bonds fan. Steroids aside, Barry Bonds was a very good ball player.

    There probably won’t be another player to hit 73 HR in one season. There probably won’t be another seven-time NL MVP (Pujols?).

    There will never be another Barry Bonds.

    Hall of Fame? Yes, as much as I hate to say that.

3. Willie Mays, OF

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .302

    Home Runs: 660

    Hits: 3283

    RBIs: 1903

    Notable Achievements: 24-time All-Star, 12 Gold Gloves, two-time NL MVP, 1951 NL ROY, two-time All-Star Game MVP, four HR in one game, No. 24 retired, World Series champion

    Highly regarded as the best baseball player of all time, Willie Mays has every right to say so.

    “The Say Hey Kid” has statistics that are absolutely phenomenal in both offense and defense.

    Willie Mays is a member of the Hall of Fame, and he definitely deserves it. Not many players will have numbers as good as he does.

    “They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.”—Ted Williams

1. Hank Aaron, OF (TIE)

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .305

    Homeruns: 755 (Second All Time)

    Hits: 3771 (Third All Time)

    RBIs: 2297 (All-Time Record)

    Notable Achievements: 25-time All-Star (all-time record), three Gold Gloves, 1957 NL MVP, World Series champion, No. 44 retired by Braves and Brewers, 17 consecutive seasons with 150 or more hits, 6,856 total bases

    Hank Aaron is one of the best outfielders to ever live. Does anyone even come close to his statistics?

    Hammerin’ Hank shocked the world when he broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.

    Is he the greatest Brave/Brewer ever to live? He’s definitely up there.

    "It took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”—Hank Aaron

    (Did I mention he’s got a great sense of humor, too?)

    Teams will never come across a player like the great Hank Aaron.

1. Babe Ruth, OF/P (TIE)

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    Career Stats

    Batting Average: .342 (10th All Time)

    Homeruns: 714 (Third All Time)

    Hits: 2873

    RBIs: 2213 (Second All Time)

    Notable Achievements: Two-time All-Star, 1923 AL MVP, seven-time World Series Champion, No. 3 retired by the Yankees, 89-46 Red Sox pitching record.

    Babe Ruth is arguably the best player in MLB history.

    Certainly, he needs some credit since he ranks in the top 10 of many statistical categories.

    Imagine how many more home runs the Babe would have if his career wasn’t shortened. Easily, 800.

    What’s so unique about the Babe was that he was a successful pitcher!

    “Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.”—Babe Ruth

    So here’s to the 600 HR Club. May many new members join and become successful.