Babe Ruth became the club's inaugural member on August 11, 1929. Ruth finished his career with 714 home runs, a mark that held until Hank Aaron broke it in 1974.
Ruth played for the New York Yankees from 1919 to 1930, American League (AL) champion Yankees from 1923 to 1927 and National League (NL) champion Braves from 1935 to 1936.
After his retirement, Ruth worked as a baseball analyst for NBC Radio and television from 1937 to 1951. He returned to the Yankees as a coach in 1955 and served in that role until he died of cancer on April 5, 1960 at the age of 53.
The Yankees have retired #99 across all sports, which is also the number worn by owner George Steinbrenner during his time with the team.
In 1973, Lou Gehrig joined the 500 homer club when he hit his 4th home run of the season against the Cleveland Indians. On June 2, 1987, the Yankees hosted a doubleheader against the Indians. In game one, Mark McGwire hit his 70th home run of the season leading to much controversy regarding his actual total. After game one, an exhausted McGwire went into the clubhouse shaking like a leaf while reporters questioned him about his performance.
Hank Aaron hit the first home run of his major league baseball career on April 23, 1954. Twenty years later, Aaron shattered Babe Ruth's long-standing record of 714 career home runs to become baseball's new home run king.
During his time with the Milwaukee Braves, Aaron hit more than one home run per game for nine consecutive seasons from 1955 to 1963. He is considered by many to be the best hitter in baseball history.
Aaron made his professional baseball debut with the Atlanta Crackers of the Class A South Atlantic League in 1947 at the age of 18. He played only part of one season before being drafted into the Army where he served for three years. When he returned to baseball in 1951, he took over as the full-time left fielder for the Braves. In his first season back, he led the league in home runs with 42 while playing in 155 games. He was named the MVP of the All-Star Game.
In 1955, when the National League adopted its modern era ball, Aaron became the first player to hit more than one home run per game since 1914 when the American League began using a rubber ball. That same year, he broke Ruth's record with his 714th career homer to become the new home run king. From 1956 to 1963, Aaron averaged more than one home run per game every season.
Most of us remember who led the league in home runs in 1961, and few will ever forget who led in 1998. A few others can tell you who led in 1920, but after that, we frequently forget who the home run leaders were.
The American League Except for 1922, Babe Ruth was first or second in the American League in home runs in every season from 1918 through 1933, and he established the single-season home run record four times. In 1938, Jimmie Foxx hit 50 home runs but finished second in the league to Hank Greenberg, who hit 58.
The Baseball Almanac is delighted to publish a year-by-year leaderboard of Major League home runs dating back to 1876. A bolded item indicates that the player played in the preceding major league season. Someone will hit four hundred (.400) once again.
George Hall of the Philadelphia Athletics set the first single-season record with five home runs in 1876. Charley Jones batted 9 in 1879; Harry Stovey batted 14 in 1883; and Ned Williamson batted 27 in 1884, holding the record for 35 years until Babe Ruth broke it in 1919.
In any case, there is no doubt that Ruth is the greatest hitter who has ever lived and it is very interesting to note that he broke his own record just three seasons after it was established.
Another interesting fact about Ruth's career is that he never played another game after August 31, 1915; however, he remained on the active roster of the Boston Red Sox until March 2, 1920. It is because of this reason that many people do not know that Ruth actually played in his last game at the age of 36.
He finished his major league career with 256 home runs, but according to some sources, if you include games after 1916 when baseball started using balls coated with rubber from the midwest, then his real total comes out to be 290.
However, what matters is not how many home runs he hit but rather why he hit them. What made Ruth so special beyond all doubt is that he possessed an extraordinary combination of power, patience, and knowledge of the strike zone.
Aaron's chase of Ruth's all-time home run record was one of the most popular sports storylines of the 1970s, receiving extensive media coverage. He concluded the 1973 season with 713 home runs, one shy of Ruth's record, allowing drama to develop for months before the 1974 season began. Ruth died in March 1974; Aaron broke his record the following April.
Hank Aaron had a great year in 1973, finishing first in voting for the MVP award. The Milwaukee Brewers played in front of small crowds in their first season after moving from New York, but that didn't stop them from making plenty of noise on the field - particularly during batting practice. Sometimes they would even hit balls out of Miller Park. One such display occurred on August 5 when Aaron hit 13 homers during a single BP session. It is still a MLB record.
In addition to being MVP, Aaron won the Triple Crown and led the Brewers to the top seed in the Western Division. He finished with 65 hits in 285 at-bats with men in scoring position, which is excellent number today.
Aaron started the 1973 season by hitting four homers in one game against the San Diego Padres on April 11. He ended up breaking the record that same day when he hit his 599th career homer off Dave Stewart of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hank Aaron retired after the 1974 season due to chronic knee problems.