The leadoff hitter’s main job is to get to the base and get his teammates to drive him in. Of course, even the best hitters in the lineup can start by simply pushing themselves.
After all, there’s no better way to start the game with an offense than a leadoff home run.
While this feat has become a bit more common in recent years as home runs surge across the sport, lead-off long balls are still rare overall. That said, 1999 was the first season in history to record four baggers with three-digit leadoffs. That was when I hit exactly 100 in both leagues. 19, before the shortened ’20 season ended that streak.
With context across the league, the next natural question is: Who is the individual player who hits yards most often in his career in the regular season?
Along with the totals provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, the answer reveals a list of fun and well-known names, including many All-Stars and current and future Halls of Fame.
Most listings that include leadoff feats tend to start with Henderson, so it’s surprising that the Hall of Fame stealer king and greatest leadoff hitter in history can be found in his usual number one spot for most of his career. It’s not a thing. leadoff home run.
Henderson’s single-season best in this category came when he hit nine hits with the Yankees in 1986, and in 1990 he also had a total of 28 home runs, matching the A’s in 1990.
The most surprising thing about Henderson’s 81-game starting pitcher is that he has more than anyone else. That’s partly because Henderson played forever. His 3,081 appearances were fourth all-time. Also because, unlike the other players below, he stayed at the forefront of his career. Henderson was number one on the order with 13,122 at-bats and fewer than 100 at other lineup positions.
Another way to express how impressive Henderson’s total career is? The superstar known as the Nomad played for nine different teams during his 25-year career (he hit leadoff homers on all teams, of course), and he hit at least one leadoff blast every season, including the 44-year-old in 2003. I did. – He broke 43 leadoff dingers while recording only A (club record) over 14 seasons, placing him ninth on this list.
With 412 home runs being the most in this Top 10 rundown, if Soriano had held the top spot in the order for a longer period of his career, he would have had a chance to fit within Henderson’s sniffing range.
However, Soriano, who had an early reputation as a sluggish spark plug leadoff hitter, spent much of his playing time in the heart of the Order, where his aggressive approach was more appropriate.
Still, Soriano holds the MLB single-season record with 13 leadoff home runs with the Yankees in 2003. He also hit 12 more with the Cubs in 2007 (as part of his franchise best 22 in Chicago) and 9 more with the Nationals the previous season.
Hall of Famer Biggio, who spent all 20 years at the Astros, took his leadoff assignment to heart by endangering himself and hitting 285 pitches. 287 HBP in baseball history.
Biggio also produced a lot of pop with 291 career data, including 53 of the lead-off variety. His single-season record of eight lead-off home runs in 2001 remained the franchise mark for 16 years before being broken by a player lower on this list. However, Biggio still holds the club’s career record. The last home run of his career was aptly a leadoff blast against the Nationals on August 21, 2007.
Coincidentally, Kinsler is breaking this Top 10 list of three players who have retired after 2019. He cut them off at the age of 37 after a year of injury with the Padres who failed to hit a leadoff home run for the first time since 2007, the second of a 14-year career.
Kinsler’s record of eight of these long balls in 2016 is the Tigers’ single-season record, and he also shared seven hits with the Rangers in ’09, ’11 and ’12 each, sharing the record with other clubs in that category (Shin – Harvest, 2019), which placed him first with 29 all-time Texas records.
As mentioned in the Biggio ad above, Springer set the Astros’ single-season record by recording 12 leadoffs in ’19. After joining the Blue Jays, he added nine more to tie for fifth.
He’s one of only two active players on this list (see below), but Springer can climb quickly as long as he continues to get a chance to retake the top spot and increase leadoff home run totals in second. half of your career.
T-5) Curtis Granderson: 47
Granderson joined Kinsler on goodbyes since 2019, but not before starting 47 games with a home run.
Granderson may have risen to the top of this list, but he didn’t even take a single leadoff shot during his 2010-13 year with the Yankees. Jeter and Brett Gardner at the top of the lineup.
He never hit more than seven leadoff home runs in any season, but hit that record four more times in a row and with the Tigers in 2007 and 2009 (as part of his 24 best franchises in Detroit). It is the club’s single-season record with the Mets in 15 and 16.
A former switch hitter, Rollins hit nine leadoff homers in 2007 while winning the NL MVP in Philadelphia. That number is the highest single-season total in Phillies history, and Rollins’ 46 career leadoff home runs against Philadelphia is also a club record.32 more actually better than 2nd place Juan Samuel).
It would be appropriate for Rollins to follow Granderson here, as both players joined the highly exclusive 20-20-20-20 club in 2007 by achieving those records in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases.
Anderson made his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 1988. He was traded to the O’s for right-hander Mike Bodicker along with Curt Schilling that year, but he didn’t hit his first lead-off gear until 1992.
Four years later, he launched an astonishing 96-year career campaign, hitting a whopping 50 total dingers, including a personal and franchise best of 12 leadoff homers. He also set the record by breaking a leadoff homer in four consecutive games in April of that year.
Anderson never again approached that number in terms of overall home runs, but he hit seven leadoff jacks in a row in 1999 and 2000, setting the Baltimore franchise record of 44.
Like Kinsler and Granderson, Ichiro officially retired in 2019 after playing the first two games of the season against the Mariners in his native Japan.
The future Hall of Famer, even better known for his prowess as a contact hitter with the uncanny ability to hit across the field, never hit five leadoff home runs in 19 seasons in MLB. However, he achieved that record twice, in Seattle in 2002 and 2005. This remains the club’s single-season record. What is the franchise’s career mark? Ichiro’s 37 leadoff shots are farthest away. None of the other Mariners have hit more than 6 hits.
10) Ties — Charlie Blackmon, Choo Shinsu: 36
It is Blackmon who has joined Springer as the only other active player in the top 10 in this field. It is tied with Choo Shin-soo, who returned to Korea for the 2021 season.
Blackmon spent his entire life in Colorado. His single-season best record of 10 lead-off home runs was set by the Rockies with me in 2016, and he also hit six home runs each in ’15, ’17 and ’19. Add all this up and his 36 (cont.) holds Eric Young Sr.’s 8-man career record for the club.
On the other hand, Choo leads three other clubs: 5 from Cleveland (all ’12), 6 from Cincinnati (all ’13) and 25 from Texas (all ’14-’20). The latter number is second only to Kinsler’s 29 in Rangers history.