History

Five of baseball’s greatest sluggers each blasted a milestone home run in Philly



Thome display in the Phillies Hall of Fame Club at Citizens Bank Park (Matt Veasey/Phillies Nation)

Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Jim Thome, Jimmie Foxx, Barry Bonds, Mike Schmidt.

All are among baseball’s greatest home run hitters. Each hit a milestone homer in Philadelphia. Oops, Schmidt didn’t. More on that later.

400
Sept. 2, 1927
Ruth of the New York Yankees became the first player to reach 400 career home runs. It came in a game against the Philadelphia A’s at Shibe Park, as it was then called. Rube Walberg was the pitcher, first inning over the right-center-field wall, No. 44 for the season. Attendance is listed as 20,000. Ironically, Ruth, playing left field for the Boston Braves, ended his career in Philadelphia against the Phillies at Baker Bowl, May 30, 1935, first game. He batted once; he grounded to first base and left the game.

April 20, 1966
Aaron of the Atlanta Braves became the second player to hit No. 400 in Philadelphia. His came off Bo Belinsky in the ninth inning to left field at Connie Mack Stadium. No. 399 came in the first inning off Ray Culp. Attendance: 6,855.

June 14, 2004
Thome became the third to hit his 400th in the city. The Phillies first baseman connected off Jose Acevedo of the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park. The game was rescheduled on this date because of an April rainout.

In the first inning, he fell behind Acevedo, 0-2. After working the count full, he launched the next pitch into the left-center-field seats. Attendance: 44,710.

A few days later, a bronze plaque was placed at the exact location, Section 147, Row 4, Seat 6.

500
Jimmie Foxx, Boston Red Sox vs. A’s, September 24, 1940, at Shibe Park. Second time 500 home runs had been reached (after Ruth).

744
Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants vs. Phillies, May 5, 2007, at Citizens Bank Park. Bonds’ last homer vs. Phillies.

Schmidt?

Oh, yes. His first homer (Sept. 17, 1972, Montreal’s Balor Moore) and last (No. 548, May 2, 1989, Houston’s Jim Deshaies) were hit at Veterans Stadium. Oddly, his 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th and 500th homers all came on the road!

Larry Shenk is author/editor of the Phillies.com Alumni section. Articles re-printed at Phillies Nation by permission of Major League Baseball and the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

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