Baseball’s 40-40 Club: What is it, and Who is in it?

Baseball loves statistics. The sports tracks so many, and with the advent of new technology, even more can be tracked. But some special plateaus are related to tried-and-true stats. In this case, baseball’s 40/40 club refers to players who have hit 40 home runs (HRs) and stolen 40 bases (SBs) in a single season.

In baseball’s history, only four players have managed this feat: Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, and Barry Bonds.

Taking a look at those 4 player’s record seasons

Player Year # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
Jose Canseco (Athletics) 1988 42 40
Barry Bonds (Giants) 1996 42 40
Alex Rodriguez (Mariners) 1998 42 46
Alfonso Soriano (Nationals) 2006 46 41

Repeat 40/40 Seasons?

No player has ever had more than one 40/40 season

It’s somewhat surprising that only these four players have managed to accomplish this feat, and not so surprising that they have not repeated. Still, how close did they come in their career to having a second 40 home run / 40 stolen base season?

Jose Canseco

Same as Rodriguez, Canseco never did reach 30, much less 40, stolen bases in any other season. Interestingly, he had an outburst of speed later in his career (2004).

Season Year # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
1990 37 19
1991 44 26
1998 46 29
Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod’s stolen base total never rose above 30 in any other season, keeping him out of even the 30/30 club for any other season.

Season Year # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
1999 42 21
2004 36 28
2007 54 24
Barry Bonds

Bonds had realistic opportunities to have more than one 40/40 season in any season between 1990 and 1998. After that, the HR total remained high, but he swiped fewer bases. Here are his 4 highest HR+SB seasons (excluding his 73 HR season)

Season Year # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
1990 33 52
1992 34 39
1993 46 29
1997 40 37
Alfonso Soriano

Soriano had a number of close calls in the five years preceding his 40/40 year in 2006.

Season Year # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
2002 39 41
2003 38 35
2005 36 30

A Look at Recent Seasons

Are any players likely candidates to reach 40/40? Even though no one has done it yet, it is reasonable to expect it to happen in the next few years. Ronald Acuna has even talked about becoming baseball’s first 50/50 player.

Here’s a quick look at the closet players the last few years

2019 season
Player Team # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
Ronald Acuna Braves 41 37
Christian Yelich Brewers 42 40
Jonathan Villar Orioles 42 46
2018 season
Player Team # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
Jose Ramirez Indians 39 34
Trevor Story Rockies 37 27
Mookie Betts Red Sox 32 30
2017 season

Quick note about this season: Only two players had over 40 stolen bases, and they (Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton) combined for only six home runs. The next two highest stolen base totals came from Whit Merrifield and Jose Altuve, and they barely combined for 40 home runs between the two of them. Below are the only two 30/20 seasons, as well as an almost 30/20.

Player Team # of Home Runs # of Stolen Bases
Mike Trout Angels 33 22
Wil Myers Padres 30 20
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 36 18

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