And whom did he pass when he did it?
Here’s an article that answers your question.
138, huh? Wow! Thanks!
I assumed it was Frank “Home Run” Baker, but now see he only had 96 total in a career.
Ruth truly revolutionized the concept of hitting the HR. A quic internet search revealed these morsels:
in 1920, his 54 homers surpassed all teams except one.
In 1927, his 60 homers represented 14% of the HR’s in the league that year. In modern times, for a player to hit 14% of the league’s HR’s, he’d have to over 300!
When Ruth retired in 1935 with 714 home runs, #2 all time was Gehrig, with 378. #3 was Rogers Hornsby, with 300.
I don’t know that the “when” part was answered fully.
Babe Ruth hit his 139th home run, becoming the all time home run champ on July 18, 1921.
That’s not quite fair - now the American League has 14 teams rather than 8. If you take the middle 8 teams in HR, 14% comes to a little over 200.
And just because I was curious, if you used the the teams that existed in 1927 (rather than the middle 8 of the current American League) you have:
New York Yankees - 210 home runs in 2006
Boston Red Sox - 192
Chicago White Sox - 236
Cleveland Indians - 196
Detroit Tigers - 203
Baltimore Orioles (the St. Louis Browns then) - 164
Oakland Athletics (the Philadelphia Athletics then) - 175
Minnesota Twins (the Washington Senators then) - 143
For a total of 1,519 home runs. For Babe Ruth to hit 14% of them would require a 218 home run season.