Baseball’s best sluggers are the guys who get the biggest hits when it counts most. During their careers, they’ve tallied up RBIs, bulky batting averages and towering home run numbers that mere average players can only dream of. Do you really know anything about the Major League Baseball sluggers in this quiz?
As with so many aspects of baseball, slugging is actually denoted by a statistical formula. The so-called “slugging percentage” tracks how effective a batter is at the plate, and gives added weight for extra-base hits and home runs. Do you know the players who’ve leveraged the slugging percentage to their advantage during their careers?
Let’s get to the heart of the matter — in the end, sluggers are defined by their ability to hit home runs when their teams really need them. Guys like Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Andre Dawson and Johnny Bench all had a sixth sense for when they really needed to smack a big one ... and then they’d go to the plate and do just that. Do you recall some of the biggest slugging moments in MLB history?
Can you name the teams and statistical performance that really make the sluggers in this quiz worthy of the Hall of Fame? Wind up and throw whatever heat you think you can muster — you need it to dodge the bats of these hero sluggers!
Ruth wasn’t just "The Sultan of Swat," the guy who hit 714 HR during his career. He was also a prolific pitcher during his MLB days.
McGwire shot to fame during his 12 seasons with the Athletics. He ended his career with a five-season run in St. Louis.
Mantle was 20 years old in 1951, the year he first took the field with the Yankees, the team that accounted for his whole career. That year, in 341 at-bats, he hit 13 HRs, a number that would drastically improve later in his career.
Mays is often ranked as perhaps the best centerfielder ever to play pro baseball. He was so good that pro scouts were watching his games when he was just 15 years old.
In 1967, the Athletics landed one of the best players in team history, Reggie Jackson. He played there for nine years before heading off to Baltimore.
Killebrew hit HRs in nine straight games versus the Kansas City Royals. Joe Adcock owns the NL record — also nine games — which he earned against the Dodgers.
Schmidt played his whole 18-year career with the Philies, and his teammates often called him "Iron Mike." He finished with 548 total HRs for his career.
Williams was a dynamo who played 2,155 games for the Red Sox. He had 2,654 hits and 521 HRs during that span.
During his MLB, Gehrig earned respect due to the fact that he worked harder than anyone else. His consistency was evident in the fact that he was the first player ever to appear in 2,000 straight games.
Mays started with the Giants in 1951 and played there until 1972. His last two seasons were with the Mets.
Mel Ott was a slugger who played from ‘26-‘47. In 2001, Bonds, Sosa and Mark McGwire all went on a HR tear, each man trying to best the other, game after game.
Foxx was incredibly young when he became a pro ball player. He was just 17. He wound up pitching for 20 years, from 1925 to 1945.
With his powerful swing, "Bad Henry," or Hank Aaron, blasted 755 HRs in his 23-year MLB career. When he retired, those 755 homers were the league’s all-time record.
In 2007, the controversial Barry Bonds passed Aaron for most HRs ever. He hit 762 total; Aaron had 755. Bonds was also tied to one steroids scandal after another during his career.
Mantle was consistently one of the best sluggers of ‘50s and ‘60s — in ‘61, he hit a career-best 54 HRs. Altogether, he tallied 538 career HRs.
In 1962, Harmon Killebrew became the first of only four sluggers to send a home run flying over the top of the left field roof at Tiger Stadium. No wonder they called him "Killer."
On April 30, 1961 Mays went wild, hitting four HRs in a single game. That feat has been duplicated only six times in MLB history.
In 2001, Bonds hit an incredible 73 HRs, which stands as the all-time single season record. But his links to banned steriods will forever tarnish his legacy.
McGwire was part of the historic (and steroids-stained) home run race of 1998, during which he hit 70 HRs. He finished his career with 583 HRs.
That’s a trade the Reds wish they could’ve had back. In ‘65, Cincy gave up Robinson to the Orioles ... and there, he won the Triple Crown, leading in RBIs, HRs, and batting average over the course of the season.
Foxx had his best years with the Athletics and the Red Sox, and he also had stints with the Cubs and Phillies. He didn’t play for the Braves.
A number of players had already topped 500 HRs when Mantle finally accomplished the feat in 1967. But before Mantle, no one had nabbed 500 HRs as a switch hitter.
Williams was 34 years old when he was called to active duty in Korea. He flew dozens of combat missions and had numerous close calls. And before that, of course, he was one of the best hitters in baseball history.
Griffith was often called the "Kid" or "Ken." But en route to 630 career HRs, everyone knew who you were referring to if you brought up "Junior."
Gehrig was so popular that he recorded all sorts of first in his career ... including in 1934, when he was the first player ever pictured on a Wheaties box.
DiMaggio missed out on three prime playing years due to WWII. Twice in his career, he won the MLB batting championship; in 1939, his batting average was .389.
After eight years with the Athletics, slugger Canseco bounced around the MLB. In the end, he played for seven teams before retiring in 2001.
At 6’3 tall and 240 pounds, Cecil Fielder was an imposing figure when he stepped up to the plate. His best seasons were during the ‘90s in Detroit.
Gehrig played 17 seasons with the Yankees. He retired in 1939 after amassing 493 HRs in 8,001 at bats.
In ‘61, Maris fittingly hit 61 HRs, enough to break Ruth’s record by a single home run. It was a legendary moment for an iconic slugger.