No National League rookie has ever hit more home runs than Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers first baseman on Friday hit his 39th home run of the season, setting a new mark in the senior circuit.
Bellinger’s blast — a three-run shot against Jeff Samardzija in the third inning, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead — broke a tie with Wally Berger (1930) and Frank Robinson (1956), both of whom hit 38 home runs in their rookie campaigns.
Here is your N.L. all-time rookie home run leader.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 23, 2017
In the history of baseball, there have only been two rookie seasons with more home runs than Bellinger. In 1987, Mark McGwire set the major league record with 49 home runs as a rookie for the Athletics. This year, Aaron Judge of the Yankees has 46 home runs.
Judge leads the American League in home runs as a rookie. Bellinger is second in the National League to Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, who has 54 round trippers in 2017.
What makes Bellinger’s rookie season even more remarkable is that he wasn’t called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City until Apr. 25, spending the first 20 games of the season in the minors. His 39 home runs in his first 124 career games rank second in major league history to McGwire, who hit 42.
The home run on Friday for Bellinger gave him a team-leading 94 RBI in 2017, third-most by a Dodgers rookie, trailing only Mike Piazza (112, in 1993) and Del Bissonette (106, in 1928).