Baseball’s single-season team home run record is finally back where it belongs. After the Yankees swatted four long balls against Boston on Friday night to tie Seattle’s 21-year-old mark, Gleyber Torres hit the record-breaking shot today during the penultimate game of the regular season.
Torres crushed a 1-1 pitch with one man on in the fourth inning, depositing it over the right-center field wall and into the Red Sox bullpen for his 24th home run of the year. The blast gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead over their rivals, and was the club’s 265th homer of the year.
Nineteen players contributed to New York’s historic home run tally, including a record 12 who reached the double-digit plateau. Incumbant NL MVP Award winner Giancarlo Stanton leads the Bombers with 37 homers, while American League runner-up Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, and Miguel Andujar have each hit 27. Gary Sanchez (18), second-half sensation Luke Voit (13), Brett Gardner (12), Greg Bird (11), Neil Walker (11), and Austin Romine (10) round out the group who have belted 10 or more.
Recent arrivals Andrew McCutchen (5) and Adeiny Hechavarria (2) have made their impact down the stretch. Third-string catcher Kyle Higashioka (3), Shane Robinson (1), and Tyler Wade (1) also contributed, as did Tyler Austin (8) and Brandon Drury (1) before they were traded.
The Yankees established the modern home run record in 1920, when Babe Ruth bashed 54 of the team’s 115 homers during his first year in pinstripes. The Bombers improved their mark with 134 the following year, and again with 158 in ‘27.
The team home run mark passed to the Cubs (171 in 1930) and Athletics (172 in ‘32), before the ‘36 Yankees — led by Lou Gehrig (49) and Joe DiMaggio — re-claimed it by belting 182. The Giants hit 221 homers in ‘47, as did the Reds in ‘56.
It was the pursuit of Ruth’s single-season record by Roger Maris (61) and Mickey Mantle (54) that propelled the ‘61 team to bring the crown back to the Bronx. Their 240 home runs stood as the gold standard for 35 years, until a trio of teams surpassed it in ‘96. Oakland (243) and Seattle (245) were edged by Baltimore (257), but the Orioles’ mark only lasted one year. The record-breaking Mariners club, led by Ken Griffey Jr. (56), Jay Buhner (40), and Paul Sorrento (31), boasted a lineup which saw all nine starters hit 10 plus homers.
That New York re-captured the home run title on the very field where The Bambino first broke into the big leagues is pure poetry. Let’s take a look at the record-breaking shot:
Congratulations to the 2018 Yankees on this historic accomplishment!