MLB: 10 Most Inflated Career Home Run Totals Ever
The record books have been tainted with cheaters as of late.
The days of the epic home run showdown between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa can no longer be looked at as shining moments for Americas past time. While that chase might have rekindle the flame of the the MLB's fans, those who sat and watched feel cheated.
We should feel cheated. Players who made us "Oooh" and "Ahh" are no longer heroes, but players who decided that their God given ability was not enough. They needed just a little bit more.
While some players owned up to their mistakes, others still live in a falsified world and have convinced themselves that they never did anything to get an edge on the competition.
Selfish players leave behind inflated stats. The statistic that ballooned the most due to these rampant times was the home run.
10. Jose Canseco: 462 HR
The self proclaimed "Chemist", Jose Caseco has become the rat of the MLB. Without much regard for anyone other than himself, he has outed many greats and help create the "Steroid Era."
Canseco decide take the easy route to the top and found his solution in a syringe. He has introduced some of the greats to the drug including McGwire, Palmeiro, Pudge Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Jason Giambi.
It is a shame that Canseco decided to take this route, since he had such promise. He won the ROY Award in 1986 and the MVP in 1988. During this time, he was most likely experimenting with PEDs so it is difficult to credit him with any recognition for obtaining these awards.
Jose Canseco put baseball in a tail-spin after his book hit the shelves and forever defiled his own career as well as others.
9. Juan Gonzalez: 434 HR
Juan Gonzalez was implicated by Jose Canseco in his tell-all autobiography, Juiced. Canseco goes on to say that he not only educated Gonzalez while he was on the Rangers, but also went as far as injecting him and acquiring the banned substances for him.
During his 17 year career, Gonzalez went on to accumulate 434 HR. He also eclipsed the 40 HR mark five times during that span.
If not for Canseco throwing Gonzalez under the bus, statisticians would have come to the conclusion that spending the majority of his career with the Rangers and calling Arlington his home would justify his massive home run total.
8. Jason Giambi: 416 HR
Giambi came into the league as a mauler. He clobbered 20 HR in each of his first two complete seasons with the Oakland A's. As the years went on, he became increasingly more muscular and the rumors began to circulate.
He finally came clean in 2003 and admitted to using the infamous BALCO drugs and even went as far as to "accidentally" implicate Barry Bonds by saying that he contacted Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson due to the success that Bonds was having. Well that just opened up the flood gates.
Giambi admitted to using during his first two seasons with the New York Yankees, but by the looks of his numbers and his physique throughout his entire career, he was most likely dabbling way before then.
After weaning off the juice, Giambi came back noticeably thinner and was still a decent ball player, but nothing like he was previously.
7. Gary Sheffield: 509 HR
Gary Sheffield will always be remembered for his unorthodox swing and his hard-nose play. He would swing so hard that you would fear the bat would come flying out of his hand with his arms still attached. He made a living hitting lasers over the outfield fences.
Wherever Sheffield played, he did one thing and that was hit.
Sheffield's legacy will forever be tainted since he admitted to using the BALCO drugs from which he obtained directly from Bonds himself.
Sheffield only played in five near complete seasons during his 22 seasons in he majors. His inability to stay healthy surely played a factor in his decision to do anything possible to stay on the field longer. Regardless, his admittance to using steroids has tarnished his illustrious home run total.
6. Rafael Palmeiro: 569 HR
"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period."
That one quote sums up Rafael Palmeiro. He, to this day, will never admit to the fact that he cheated. Canseco has stated that he has personally injected him, but that has seemed to slip Palmeiro's mind.
Palmeiro was a fantastic ball player, but it seems to be more than a coincidence that his power surge happened in 1993, just one year after Canseco joined the Rangers. From that point on, Palmeiro could not only hit for average, but for power as well.
Now, he did nearly all of his career in to hitter-friendly parks in Camden Yards as well as Arlington, but that does not overshadow the fact that playing with Canseco played a huge role in his new found stroke.
If he came clean, we all could forgive, but never forget.
5. Alex Rodriguez: 616 HR
Alex Rodriguez has more ability in his pinky finger than we can even wrap our heads around. During his first full season with the Mariners, he clubbed 36 HR, 123 RBI and finished second in the MVP voting. During that time, he was stick figure compared to the size he is now. Yes, did play in the Kingdome, but this kid could rake.
A-Rod continued to wreak havoc on opposing pitchers during his tenure with the M's, hitting 42, 42 and 41 HR respectively during his last three years in Seattle.
When he signed his mega-deal with the Texas Rangers, the pressure was too much for the young slugger and in order to live up to his lofty contract, he turned to steroids. During the three-year stint with the Rangers, he clubbed 156 HR. It is a shame that those numbers have to be looked at with a grain of salt.
He finally came clean in 2009 and it seemed that a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It is a shame that his incredible ability will be overshadowed by his use of PEDs.
4. Manny Ramirez: 555 HR
Manny Ramirez was one of the fiercest right-handed hitters in the game. His career was filled with ups and downs, but the one thing that remained constant was his hitting.
His career numbers are unmistakeable as one of the best of all-time. a .312 BA and .996 career OPS is enough to enshrine him in the Hall of Fame once he hits the first ballot.
It is a shame that his career will always have an asterisk next to it since he was caught using a banned substance not once, but twice over the last two years.
During his time with Cleveland and Boston, Ramirez could hit for power and for average. Why he decided to take short cuts in his career when he was already on the fast track to the Hall is beyond me. Just chalk that one up as "Manny being Manny."
3. Sammy Sosa: 609 HR
Slammin' Sammy Sosa hit over 60 HR three times in his career. One time is impressive enough, but three is just out of this world. 1998 will forever live in baseball lure due to the spectacle that he and McGwire put on.
Sosa could always hit for power, but seemed to take it to another level during that season and across the next seven seasons. During that span he averaged 53 home runs.
In 2003, Sosa was said to have tested positive for PEDs, but it is still unknown what drug he tested positive for. A positive test is enough to explain just where this power surge came from.
Sammy Sosa was known for his hop out of the batters box after he connected with a pitch and parked it in the seats. It is a shame that his final leap landed him on to this list.
2. Mark McGwire: 583 HR
McGwire was once a bash brother. He and teammate Jose Canseco were two of the most feared hitters in the major leagues. This was not the only thing that these two teamed up on.
Mark McGwire put together a show in 1998 that had the whole nation on the edge of their seat. The day he clubbed his 62nd home run will go down in history. The picture of him holding his son after he touched home plate brought tears to father's eyes.
Now the only tears are coming from McGwire in front of a grand jury.
Trying to put this all in the past, McGwire has tried to right the ship and make amends and now is the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Regardless of what he does, it will be impossible to forget how this once home run legend had his historic career turned upside down.
1. Barry Bonds: 762 HR
There is only one thing more inflated than Barry Bonds' home run total and that is his hat size.
Bonds will forever be known as the greatest juice of all-time. He mashed 73 HR in 2001 and won four straight MVP awards from that infamous until 2004. Pitchers refused to face him due to the fact that even the slightest mistake would end up in a round-tripper. Not only does he own the home run record after surpassing Hank Aaron, but he also has his name in the record books next to the most free passes.
Barry Bonds was an electrifying player when he took the field. He joined the 30-30 club four times and even joined the elite in the 40-40 club during the 1996 season which has only happened a total of four times in MLB history. It should also be noted that three out of the four players in the club have been linked to PEDs—Alfonso Soriano is the only one who has not been.
Bonds and his trainer Greg Anderson in some shape or form have been linked to an astonishing amount of players who have dabbled in PEDs.
Barry Bonds was a historic player who was blessed with speed and power. His career was great from the start, but his name will forever be associated with one word—steroids.