Thundering in at #78 is A’s and Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire. Depending on what statistics we focus on, we can say Big Mac is—without hyperbole—the most prolific home run hitter in baseball history. McGwire’s at-bat per home run ratio of 10.6 is by far the best of all time. He owns the records for most home runs over a two-year, three-year, and four-year period. He is the only player in history with a 70 and a 60-home run season. He’s tied with Babe Ruth and Sammy Sosa for most 50-home run seasons. McGwire and Sosa are the only players in history with four consecutive 50-home run seasons. McGwire joins Ruth as the only two players with five seasons of at least 49 home runs. McGwire is 7th all-time in slugging percentage and his .588 mark is the second-best since 1960. His adjusted OPS+ of 163 is 11th all-time and 4th since 1960. McGwire led the league in home runs, slugging %, and OPS+ four times and walks and on-base percentage twice each. His 162-walk total in 1998 is the 5th highest single-season mark in history. Big Mac finished among the top-7 in MVP voting five times, including a runner-up finish in 1998 after breaking Roger Maris’s single-season home run record.
Coming in at #79 on our list is Giants slugger Willie McCovey. To get an idea of how feared McCovey’s bat was, consider that he was intentionally walked 260 times in his career which is the 5th highest total in history behind only Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Stan Musial, and Hank Aaron. That’s some stellar company. Before Bonds rewrote the history books on intentional walks from 2002-2004, McCovey held the single-season intentional walks record (45). In fact, McCovey still has the highest non-Bonds single-season mark and he’s the only non-Bonds player to reach 40+ intentional walks in a season twice. McCovey led the National League in slugging % and OPS+ for three consecutive seasons. He led the league in home runs three times and finished in the top-5 seven times. He took home the National League MVP in 1969 and was 8th on the all time home run list when he retired in 1980.
Hitting the list at #80 is Padres legend Tony Gwynn. Gwynn is arguably the most skilled batsman in baseball history, using his keen eye and amazing contact skills to reach 3,000 hits in just 2,284 games which is the 3rd fastest to 3,000 in history and the fastest in more than 100 years. Gwynn led the league in batting average eight times and hits seven times, both ranking second in history behind Ty Cobb. He also led the league in at-bats/K a remarkable 10 times. His .338 career batting average is the highest since 1960 and the 18th best mark in history. Gwynn is one of only four players to hit at least .350 in four consecutive seasons and the only to do so since 1930. He’s one of only three players in history with at least 3,100 career hits, 300 stolen bases, and fewer than 450 strikeouts and the only player to do it since 1930. Gwynn hit over .300 in an incredible 19-straight seasons and hit .394 in 1994 which is the best single-season mark since 1941.