Los Angeles Angels’ slugger Albert Pujols hit his 499th and 500th career home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. He joins a club with 25 other members, but there is an even more exclusive 500 Home Run Club – the one for pitchers.
You can’t even call it a club, really. It is more like a small get-together of two dudes talking about all the long balls they gave up. The two dudes: Robin Roberts and Jaime Moyer.
Robin Roberts compiled a 286–245 record over 19 seasons with 2,357 strikeouts in 4,688 innings pitched — good enough for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1976). He ranked No. 80 on ESPN’s list of the 100 greatest players in baseball history and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Roberts was rocked for 505 home runs, with 186 leaving Shibe Park, the home field during his time with the Philadelphia Phillies. Some of the hitters who went yard against him include Duke Snider (19 homers against), Hank Aaron (9), Jackie Robinson (9) and Pee Wee Reese (6). His 505th home run was surrendered to Willie Stargell, a 3-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning on September 3, 1966. Unfortunately, no video is available.
Jaime Moyer pitched up until his 49th birthday and saw his career span 25 years. He won 269 games and struck out 2,441 in 4,074 MLB innings pitched. During that time he surrendered 522 home runs to 332 batters in 43 parks. Some of those batters are members of the less exclusive 500 Home Run Club, like Manny Ramirez (10), Alex Rodriguez (6), Frank Thomas (6), Barry Bonds (5), Rafael Palmeiro (5), Gary Sheffield (4), Jim Thome (2), Mark McGwire (2), Mike Schmidt (2) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1).
Eleven of the current 26 batter with 500 or more home runs have reached that milestone within the last 15 years. Just two have given up that many in the last 100 years.
“The way I look at it,” said Moyer after breaking Roberts’ record in 2010, “there’s two pitchers in the 500-home-run-given-up club, me and Robin. There’s what, 25 guys in the 500-home-run-hit club? But there’s only Robin and I in this one. That’s way more elite.”