Alfonso Soriano is the most recent player to accomplish the milestone, having done so during the 2006 season. Only four players in MLB history have achieved the 40-40 club, and none have done it more than once. The 4x 40-40 player is Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mike Schmidt.
To be eligible for the 40-40 club, a player must hit at least.400 with at least 40 homers and 120 RBI.
There are two ways that one can reach the 40-40 mark. A first baseman can reach this goal by hitting.400 with 40 homers while playing first base. A pitcher can do this by winning 40 games while throwing only 400 innings or less.
The most consecutive seasons any player has reached the 40-40 mark is six, done by Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs from 2006-2011. The most seasons any player has reached the mark is nine, done by Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox from 1939-1947 and 1949-1957.
Reaching the 40-40 mark more than once is very rare. Of the 154 men who have played in the MLB since 1900, only eight have done so twice: Williams, Bobby Doerr, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Ken Boyer, Frank Robinson, and Manny Ramirez.
There are four players. Three of these hitters were right-handed, while one was left-handed. Two other players, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, have 600 home runs. They also each have 100 strikes thrown on them.
The first player to do so was Ted Williams with his 1941 season. He hit.440 with 112 hits in 402 at bats. The second player was Joe DiMaggio with his 56-game season in 1941. He had a.381 average, with 137 hits. Williams and DiMaggio are the only two players to have a.400 or better batting average.
The third player to do so is Mark McGwire. His 70 homers in 1998 led the league. He got 57 hits that year too. This makes him the only player to have hit 70 homers and had 50 or more hits.
The fourth player is Rafael Palmiero. He had three such seasons - 1992, 1993, and 1994. He hit.438,.443, and.462 respectively. Palmieri's best year came when he played for the Rays. He played in only 91 games but still finished with 173 hits.
Palmiero, Williams, and DiMaggio are the only four players to have a.400 or better batting average.
By hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a single season, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano became the elite and exclusive members of this record-setting club. The first four members of the club played for the Oakland Athletics while Soriano joined them on the Chicago Cubs.
The 40-40 Club is so named because each member has hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season. The only other players to do so are Rogers Hornsby (100 games in 1924) and Joe DiMaggio (56 games in 1941).
Besides being a great hitter who led the American League in homers six times, Hornsby was also a superb fielder who made three appearances in the 1920 World Series without recording an out. He was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Series after leading the New York Yankees to their first championship in 22 years.
DiMaggio was one of the most popular players in baseball during his time due to his exceptional batting skills and his role as "Mr. October". He established himself as a force to be reckoned with early in his career when he led the American League in hits twice (1934, 1935). In 1937, his final season before retiring, DiMaggio was considered one of the best hitters in baseball.
Jose Canseco is the only player to have earned the MVP Award in his 40th season, as well as the only one to have led his team to the postseason and to the World Series. Alfonso Soriano finished with 41 doubles and a 40-40 record. Rodriguez is the only non-outfielder with a 40-40 split. He was honored for hitting.300 or better and for having stolen at least ten bases.
Canseco had five straight seasons with over 30 home runs before breaking out in 1997 when he hit 49 bombs. That same year, he also stole 42 bags to finish with a stellar career mark of 95-97. While with the Oakland Athletics, Canseco made the All-Star Game in his first two seasons (1987-88). In 1989, his third year with the A's, he won the AL MVP Award after hitting.441 with 12 home runs and 66 RBI's. After leaving Oakland, he spent eight seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays/Boston Red Sox/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization before returning to the Yankees in 2005. During his second stint with New York, Canseco won another MVP Award while helping the team win its 26th World Series title.
In 1998, when playing for the Seattle Mariners, Canseco became the first player in MLB history to have three consecutive years with over 100 RBI's. From 1999-2001, he topped the 20 homer mark each season while driving in more than 100 runs four times.
The achievement of hitting 50 home runs in a major league season has been accomplished 43 times by 27 different players, including Babe Ruth. The most times this achievement has been done are by Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa (4). Andrew Joseph Davis Jr. is the only player to hit 50 homers in a non-Ruth season; he did so in 1894. The current leader among active players is Aaron Judge, who has already hit more than one hundred career home runs.
In addition to Ruth, the other major contributors to this total are Ted Williams with 57 and Jimmie Foxx with 56. Other notable players who have hit 50 or more homers include Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Carl Yastrzemski, and Willie Mays.
The fastest person to hit 50 home runs was Jesse Barfield, who did so in 1978. His average time per homer was 7 minutes and 44 seconds. The longest swing on record for a hitter who reached 50 homers was by Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves, who used up 553 feet of rope on his swings. By comparison, the average length of an MLB bat is about 33 inches, or 854 millimeters.
Bonds and Rodriguez are the only players to hit 50 homers in a single season three times each. They are also the only players to hit 500 homers during their careers.