Who’s Your Daddy? The Home Run Edition
Ever wondered which slugger has hit the most home runs against your team?
Or who you should be worried about stepping up to the plate against your pitching staff?
Here’s a franchise-by-franchise breakdown of the players who ‘own’ your ballclub.
Barry Bonds – 39 Home Runs
Perhaps unsurprisingly the all-time home run leader starts this list off, especially with the Diamondbacks having only come into existence in 1998, coinciding with Bonds’ best years at the plate in the NL West. But the hit rate at which he launched Arizona’s pitchers into the stands is quite staggering compared to his nearest rival Matt Kemp. Bonds needed just 391 at-bats to record his 39 homers over nine seasons, while Kemp needed 267 more visits to the plate to record three less dingers.
Active Daddy: Nolan Arenado – 29 Home Runs
There’s a chance the St. Louis Cardinals third baseman will be able to close the gap with two series taking place in the 2022 season, beginning at Busch Stadium at the end of April.
Willie Mays – 83 Home Runs
No surprise that a mainstay of the National League with the Giants will appear as a couple of teams’ all-time daddy. Mays led the league in home runs four times and was an All-Star in 20 seasons. It could have been quite different though if Atlanta’s favorite son had been offered $50 more a month by the New York Giants in 1952. Hank Aaron might top this section instead.
Active Daddy: Bryce Harper – 37 Home Runs
Nineteen games await the Philadelphia Phillies star against the Braves this season. On average, it takes him 15.35 at-bats per home run in this series – his fourth-best rate in his MLB career behind the San Diego Padres (12.58), Washington Nationals (13.42) and Colorado Rockies (15.23).
Babe Ruth – 96 Home Runs
If the Boston Red Sox trading Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920 has forever gone down in baseball folklore, than six years before that might be the even more staggering moment. The Orioles name was used by an International League team then, a minor league outfit where Ruth was a young star. But as the money began to run out, players had to be sold. Ruth found himself shifted to Boston for a sale price of just $25,000. There, he would hit plenty of dingers against the St. Louis Browns, who are now known as the Orioles.
Active Daddy: Evan Longoria – 41 Home Runs
The former Tampa Bay Rays third baseman is the active daddy for every other franchise in the AL East. But with Longoria now in San Francisco, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez could take up the mantle in their 19 games this season – although he trails by nine homers as it stands.
Boston Red Sox
Babe Ruth – 90 Home Runs
It was 15 seasons of hurt for Red Sox fans when Ruth continually rocked up to the plate and dispatched Boston pitches into the stands where his once-adoring public stood. A lot of his damage came at the No. 3 slot in the order, with 553 of his 714 total home runs coming there – a record for that place in the lineup.
Active Daddy: Evan Longoria – 31 Home Runs
There were hopes that Nelson Cruz would be able to overhaul Longoria’s record here last season following his trade to Tampa Bay. But the 41-year-old slugger only hit three home runs in his 16 games against the Red Sox – all at Fenway Park.
Willie Mays – 92 Home Runs
Willie Mays LOVED playing against the Cubs. A .319/.389/.611 slash line resulted in him recording more RBIs (266) than he did against any other team, although his 92 home runs is not the most damage he inflicted against a single franchise.
Active Daddy: Albert Pujols – 57 Home Runs
The oldest active player in MLB has one last season to add to his record against the NL Central rivals after 10 seasons away from regular competition against the Cubs. Only against the Nationals (10.88) has Pujols hit more home runs per at-bat (11.79 vs. Chicago).
Chicago White Sox
Babe Ruth – 98 Home Runs
Whisper this quietly, but back in 1920 Ruth could have ended up a White Sox. Their offer that was ultimately beaten out by the Yankees included Shoeless Joe Jackson – nine months away from being indicted by a grand jury. How much different would baseball history look if this sliding door moment had occurred? Instead, Ruth slugged 94 dingers as the White Sox remained Chicago’s second team.
Active Daddy: Miguel Cabrera – 40 Home Runs
No active player has had more at-bats against the White Sox than Cabrera (819), so perhaps it is not too much of a surprise that he also has the most home runs (40). In 2021, he jawed at the Chicago infield for alleged sign-stealing before unloading his first of the season to underline his daddy status.
Hank Aaron – 97 Home Runs
Opening Day of the 1954 season saw a 20-year-old rookie go for 0 for 5 against Joe Nuxhall. It would be as good as it got the Reds against Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron. He would record his 3,000th hit against Reds pitching and also tie Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record off Jack Billingham. The 97 home runs against the Reds are his most against a single franchise.
Active Daddy: Albert Pujols – 47 Home Runs
Another sliding doors moment here – the Reds actively pursued Pujols in free agency before his move west to the Angels. Now back in St. Louis, he’ll be hoping to make the Reds the fourth franchise he has slugged more than 50 home runs against.
Babe Ruth – 92 Home Runs
Or should it be 93? Back when Ruth was playing for the Red Sox, he hit a game-winning ‘home run’ in 1918 against Cleveland in the 10th inning of a scoreless game. The trouble was, Amos Strunk was on first. He scored the game-winning run and before 1920 a run could not be scored after a game was over, leaving Ruth to only be credited with a triple. At one point this, along with 37 other similar statistical errors, was corrected but then later overturned on a 3-to-2 vote by MLB leaving Ruth on *just* 92 home runs against Cleveland.
And while he would *only* hit 73 home runs overall against Cleveland, it’s worth noting that Lou Gehrig holds the overall MLB record for most home runs in a single season against a single opponent with the 14 he mashed against Cleveland in 1936.
Active Daddy: Miguel Cabrera – 50 Home Runs
How can you prove true active daddy status? Most home runs (50), RBIs (166), runs (136), hits (266), walks (110) and intentional walks (23) against a single franchise. Who is your active daddy, Cleveland? It is Miguel Cabrera.
Barry Bonds – 54 Home Runs
It’s not just that nobody has hit more home runs off Rockies pitching than Bonds, but that he’s also the opposing player to have hit the most home runs at hitter friendly Coors Field (26), which is good for 25th best for all players (in just 277 at-bats).
Active Daddies: Paul Goldschmidt/Wil Myers – 26 Home Runs
Our first tie for active daddy status right now, but give it a few months and Myers might be pulling away with 19 games against the Rockies compared to Goldschmidt’s six. And even Brandon Crawford could stake a claim here, sitting just one dinger back of the duo.
Babe Ruth – 123 Home Runs
In case you were wondering which team Ruth feasted on the most, here’s your answer. He quite simply mauled the Tigers, totaling 123 homers across his career (averaging 9.92 at-bats per dinger) with perhaps the highlight coming on July 9, 1927. Ruth went 5 for 6 with two home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs in a 19-7 win for the Yankees. Oh, and he also registered 317 walks against the Tigers too.
Active Daddy: Nelson Cruz – 27 Home runs
Just 94 home runs back sits Cruz, so unless something miraculous happens in his six games against the Rockies this season, the all-time record is safe. Salvador Perez and Carlos Santana are just one back of Cruz with three games to come at Coors Field for the Kansas City Royals in 2022. And keep your eye on Jose Abreu (25), who gets four shots at Colorado this season.
Albert Pujols – 62 Home Runs
Pujols is the only player to be both the all-time and active daddy of a franchise. Only Pete Rose (1,447) has had more at bats than Pujols (1,117) against the Astros – Rose also managed to record far more hits (451 to 310) and runs (225 to 175), but it is incomparable when it comes to home runs with Rose only able to clear the fences nine times while Pujols’ 62 are the most he has belted against a single franchise.
Kansas City Royals
Alex Rodriguez – 50 Home Runs
Fifty home runs against the Royals for A-Rod, with some horrible synergy for the boys in blue. His first major league home run came off future teammate Tom Gordon on Jun. 12, 1995 before the 500th of his career came off Kyle Davies on Aug. 4, 2007 when Rodriguez became the youngest player in MLB history to reach the milestone. He also joined Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle in being the only players to reach the 500 mark in the pinstripes. Jim Thome, meanwhile, sits just one home run behind Rodriguez.
Active Daddy: Miguel Cabrera – 34 Home Runs
When you’ve played nearly 2,600 games in the majors, we shouldn’t be surprised that Cabrera tops the list for many franchises. Of active players, he’s the only one to score more than 100 runs against the Royals (107) and record over 250 hits (253). And don’t be surprised if those numbers increase in the 19 games that will occur in 2022.
Los Angeles Angels
Alex Rodriguez – 70 Home Runs
Rodriguez was more dominant against the Angels than any other franchise. Add to that his performance in the 2009 ALCS in which he had three homers, six RBIs and a .429 batting average as the springboard to his only World Series ring and no wonder that any mention of Orange County will bring a smile to his face.
Active Daddy: Nelson Cruz – 50 Home Runs
A nice round half century for Cruz, who also holds the unique honor of recording the longest home run in Angel Stadium history while playing for the Texas Rangers. It was a 484-foot shot, according to HitTraker on June 3, 2012. Spare a thought for Angels pitcher Bobby Cassevah. Two days after giving up this monster home run, he would play his final MLB game.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Willie Mays – 98 Home Runs
Mays would terrorize the Dodgers throughout his career in a Giants jersey in both New York and San Francisco. But it’s another story that could have had a very different ending as Dodgers players, including Jackie Robinson, were so impressed with the then 16-year-old Mays in an exhibition match that they contacted the front office to sign him. Unfortunately, according to Robinson, they refused to do so because he could not hit a curveball. You can only wonder how many of the 98 home runs he would hit against them came on off-speed pitches.
Active Daddy: Paul Goldschmidt – 33 Home Runs
Goldschmidt was originally drafted by L.A. out of high school in the 48th round of the 2006 draft. It was the same year that Clayton Kershaw was taken by them with the seventh overall pick. However, Goldschmidt was never going to sign, opting to go to college at Texas State before being drafted in the eighth round in 2009 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Just by way of reference, the Dodgers picked outfielder Jon Garcia in the same round. Garcia only made it as high as Double A with Tulsa in 2015.
Ryan Howard/Ryan Zimmerman – 41 Home Runs
Until last season, Howard held this record outright, but Zimmerman made the most of his 16th and final season in Washington to slug three dingers to force a tie at the top of the all-time list. Howard recorded a remarkable season against the Marlins in 2006, hitting .482 with nine homers. This is the most an individual has hit in a single season against the Marlins (along with Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2019).
Active Daddy: Freddie Freeman 38 Home Runs
Freeman certainly enjoyed his time at the plate against the Marlins, but with his move out west, it is possible that someone will overhaul his record sooner rather than later. Bryce Harper is still applying his trade in the NL East for the Phillies and is just three behind Freeman with 15 games left on the slate in 2022.
Reggie Jackson – 62 Home Runs
In a major league career in which he hit 563 home runs, Jackson was more destructive against the Brewers than any other club with 62 home runs in 810 at bats. Jackson also holds the major league record for career strikeouts with 2,596, but he only has the seventh-most Ks versus the Brewers organization.
Active Daddy: Albert Pujols – 43 Home Runs
There’s no slowing Pujols down when it comes to dominating the Brewers. Ok, maybe there is when it comes to trying to steal bases (why should that stop a 42-year-old first baseman/DH from having some fun!). But back in the NL Central with St. Louis in 2022, Pujols hit the 43rd home run of his career against Milwaukee to underline his daddy status. Just 15 games left in this series as he looks to add to his 681 career home runs.
Babe Ruth – 89 Home Runs
Ruth’s domination of the franchise came when they were known as the Washington Senators. It first began with the ball in hand (which we are sure to get into in the pitching edition) before a move to the Yankees led to his rise at the plate. One of the famous pictures from his career follows Ruth being knocked unconscious after running into a concrete wall at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. while trying to make a catch on July 5, 1924. There’s a good chance modern-day players would be sidelined by such events, but Babe didn’t miss a beat, returning to the lineup the following day and hitting .471 with 12 homers in 29 games across the rest of the month.
Active Daddy: Miguel Cabrera – 46 Home Runs
No real surprise that Cabrera heads this list again – the nearest active player is 16 back (Carlos Santana). But perhaps Cabrera’s most famous dinger against Twins actually came in a losing effort. His three-run shot in Game 163 had put the Tigers up on Oct. 6, 2009, but eventually they lost 6-5 in extra innings and became the first team in MLB history to have a three-game division lead with four remaining and not win the title.
New York Mets
Willie Stargell – 60 Home Runs
Maybe it was his windmill, wind-up to swing that had the Mets pitchers mesmerized. Stargell certainly made the most of a career facing Mets pitching in the NL East. Reportedly the first player to hit a home run out of Shea Stadium in 1964, it wasn’t that the Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of some mediocre pitching during his career. He tagged fellow Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman for seven home runs apiece during their time with the Mets.
Active Daddy: Giancarlo Stanton – 37 Home Runs
It’s a shame we don’t get to see Stanton go up against the Mets as much following his trade from Miami to the Yankees. His now crosstown rivals are the franchise against which he has hit the most home runs during his career. He added one to his tally last season and made sure to make it count with the benches clearing after he jawed with Francisco Lindor on his stroll around the bases. Maybe clear your schedule on July 27 when the two franchises are due to meet again.
New York Yankees
Jimmie Foxx – 70 Home Runs
Foxx was the second major league player to hit 500 career home runs and until Alex Rodriguez came along, the youngest to do so. It could have all happened in a Yankees jersey. After dropping out of high school to play minor league ball, Foxx drew the attention of two teams in 1924 – the Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics, whom he would eventually sign with. A career in A’s and Red Sox colors would follow, including an alleged shot into the third deck of the left-field stands at old Yankee Stadium in 1937 – no small feat.
Active Daddy: Evan Longoria – 35 Home Runs
It has been three seasons since Longoria last faced Yankees pitching, but he still holds a 13-homer lead over his nearest rival (Manny Machado). Of course, any mention of Longoria and Yankees immediately brings Sept. 28, 2011 to mind and that famous home run which ended the Red Sox’s initial dynasty which, thankfully, we have already done a deep dive into for you to enjoy.
Babe Ruth – 108 Home Runs
The Hall of Fame slugger enjoyed his trips to Philadelphia, where the A’s resided during his playing days. He got his first hit as a Yankee at Shibe Park, one of 220 he would eventually hit there. He would also belt 68 home runs – more than any other opposing player. Philadelphia was also the site of his final game as a major leaguer, albeit as a Boston Brave against the Phillies (Ruth only played this three-game series against the NL opponents during his career).
Active Daddy: Mike Trout – 38 Home Runs
How Trout fell to 25th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft is one of life’s great questions. Especially when you consider the A’s had the 13th pick and had been to scout him in a game in which he went 0 for 5. A workout was called for, but the Angels did everything in their power to stop him from going, thanks to a minor-league playing days relationship between Mike’s father Jim and scout Greg Morhardt. In the end, the A’s selected shortstop Grant Green, who last appeared in the majors in 2017, while Trout has surpassed Nelson Cruz’s record of 37 homers against the A’s.
Ernie Banks/Mel Ott – 82 Home Runs
After breaking the color barrier for the Cubs against the Phillies on Sept. 17, 1953, Banks didn’t seem bothered by an 0-for-3 performance and went on to hit 82 home runs across his 325 games against the Philadelphia franchise. It took Ott an additional 59 games to set the original mark (and another 141 at-bats) with his final home run (the 511th of his career) coming at the Polo Grounds on opening day of the 1946 season against the Phillies.
Active Daddy: Freddie Freeman – 30 Home Runs
Like many in the NL East, the Phillies weren’t sad to see Freeman leave for Los Angeles. He hit his first major league home run off Roy Halladay in a pinch-hit appearance on Sept. 21, 2010, eventually hitting .298/.398/.495 in 194 career games (so far) against the Phillies and having already shown no mercy to his former Braves teammates in a Dodgers uniform – maybe things won’t change too much come May 13?
Mel Ott – 83 Home Runs
Ott went one better against Pittsburgh than he did Philadelphia, recording 83 home runs in 1,377 at-bats. In fact, he was a model of consistency, batting .317 against both franchises. A long time player-manager for the New York Giants, he became the first manager to be ejected from both games of a double-header when his team lost twice to the Pirates on June 9, 1946.
Active Daddy: Albert Pujols – 50 Home Runs
After 10 years away, Pujols is back to haunt the Pirates on a more regular basis, although don’t expect the numbers he put up in the first half of his career. Pujols is 19 away from breaking the 700-home run barrier and the final series of the regular season pits the Cardinals against the Pirates. Could fate lend a helping hand?
San Diego Padres
Barry Bonds – 87 Home Runs
Baseball’s most destructive hitter certainly took it out on the Padres. The 87 home runs that Bonds hit against San Diego were the most against a single franchise in MLB history – some 22 more than the nearest rival we’ve still yet to get to on this list. It was against the Padres that Bonds started the 2006 season as a 41-year-old slugger, just months after being linked to the Balco laboratory in the book ‘Game of Shadows.’ Still shy of Hank Aaron’s home run record at that time, a syringe was tossed from the crowd as well as catcalls of boos.
Active Daddy: Charlie Blackmon – 31 Home Runs
On June 7, 2011, Blackmon made his MLB debut for the Colorado Rockies against the Padres and a day later, he would record his first hit at Petco Park. Over a year after that, he finally hit his first home run against the Friars, but since then he’s added another 30 to his resume.
San Francisco Giants
Stan Musial – 89 Home Runs
Musial was a three-time World Series champion, three-time NL MVP, seven-time NL batting champion and 24-time All-Star. It’s a great resume, but perhaps his greatest day came on May 2, 1954 against the New York Giants when over the course of a double-header, he hit five home runs in eight at-bats.
Active Daddy: Nolan Arenado – 32 Home Runs
A modern-day Cardinal fittingly holds the record for being the Giants’ active daddy, but only four of Arenado’s home runs against San Francisco have come in a Redbirds jersey. The reduction from 19 games to six over the course of a season will hamper his attempts to extend his advantage over now-teammate Paul Goldschmidt (26).
Rafael Palmeiro – 52 Home Runs
The former Texas Ranger made the most of the 216 games he played against the Mariners to sit atop their list with 52 bombs in 917 plate appearances. Perhaps Palmeiro’s shining moment came in the 2001 season, when he crushed 10 home runs and had two multi-homer games against a Mariners team that won 116 games.
Active Daddy: Mike Trout – 47 Home Runs
Why is it so many active daddys have made their debuts against the franchises they’d go on to dominate throughout their careers? At just 19 years old on July 8, 2011, Trout started in center field and batted NINTH against the Mariners. (He went 0 for 3). The 47 home runs that have followed put him second on the all-time list. Unless a miracle trade happens, he’s likely to move to the top in the near future.
St. Louis Cardinals
Hank Aaron – 91 Home Runs
The one-time home run hitting leader in MLB history did not make his debut against the Cardinals. Aaron, however, did record his first major league hit against them two days after that on April 15, 1954 and then slugged the first of his 91 home runs against the Redbirds (or perhaps, more importantly, 755 overall in the majors) off Vic Raschi on April 23, 1954.
Active Daddy: Joey Votto – 33 Home Runs
Of active players, Votto has played the most games (210), recorded the most at-bats (732), runs (120), hits (22), doubles (50), RBIs (105), walks (149) and, most importantly, home runs (33) against the Cardinals.
Tampa Bay Rays
Alex Rodriguez – 56 Home Runs
When A-Rod finally called it a career, his final hit came against the Rays on a double in the first inning on Aug. 12, 2016 under dark and ominous skies at Yankee Stadium. Despite his daddy status over the Rays, he didn’t conquer the Tropicana Field challenge as many as times as AL East rival David Ortiz. The Red Sox slugger had the most home runs at the Trop by an opponent by a 35-30 edge.
Active Daddy: Robinson Cano – 25 Home Runs
We had to check this fact a few times, but somehow it’s true. Cano has hit more home runs (25) off Rays pitching than any other active player in MLB. His first career hit also came off a Tampa pitcher – back when they were called the Devil Rays – with Hideo Nomo giving it up to the then Yankee.
Reggie Jackson – 54 Home Runs
For 20 seasons, Jackson tormented the Rangers with 54 home runs against the franchise in various guises. Surprisingly, it took him until his 14th game against the then Washington Senators to record his first dinger, with his most prodigious season coming while with Oakland in 1974 (nine).
Active Daddy: Mike Trout – 41 Home Runs
Trout has already added to his impressive record against the Rangers with a towering 470-foot shot (see below) – the 41st of his career against Texas – moving him 11 ahead of Albert Pujols at the top of this chart. We could be looking at another vintage year from Trout, who tied Mickey Mantle’s record of 11 home runs in a single season against the franchise in 2019.
Toronto Blue Jays
David Ortiz – 62 Home Runs
It has felt weird going through this list without mentioning Big Papi more, but here we are. Ortiz played 251 games against the Blue Jays – more than any other opponent in his career. And fittingly, the final home run of his career came against Toronto. It was a two-run shot off Brett Cecil that gave him 541 homers, 62 of which came against the Canadians.
Active Daddies: Nelson Cruz/Aaron Judge/Evan Longoria – 25 Home Runs
There’s no doubt that during the course of 2022, we should see Judge take the outright lead. By way of comparison, Judge has only had 283 at-bats against the Blue Jays, compared to Cruz’s 381 and Longoria’s 656!
Barry Bonds – 65 Home Runs
Aug. 7, 2007. At 8:51pm PDT, Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all-time career home run record with a blast off Washington Nationals hurler Mike Bacsik – the 756th of his career. His 65th home run of the season came against Nats pitching the following day. Bonds also holds the record for the most home runs in the month of August with 148 over his career.
Active Daddy: Giancarlo Stanton – 36 home runs
Only once so far in his major league career has Stanton hit two home runs in a game against the Nationals. Jordan Zimmermann had the honor of seeing balls disappear over the fence in back-to-back innings on Sept. 12, 2010. With the two franchises not due to meet this season, and his nearest rival no longer playing in the division (Freddie Freeman with 26), we suspect this is a mark Stanton will hold for a while.
Graphic design by Matt Sisneros.