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Oakland A’s break franchise record for home runs

The 2019 A’s have hit more dingers than any other edition.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s hit their 244th homer of the season on Sunday, breaking the all-time franchise record — with 12 games still to go.

The A’s franchise began in 1901 and is now in its 119th season. The previous record of 243 homers had been set in 1996. There have been seven A’s teams that exceeded 200 long balls:

  1. 244 in 2019
  2. 243 in 1996
  3. 239 in 2000
  4. 235 in 1999
  5. 234 in 2017
  6. 227 in 2018
  7. 205 in 2002

(Also 199 HR in both 1987 and 2001)

The record-breaker was hit by Matt Chapman, who also shares the team lead with 34. The A’s already set a franchise record by having seven players reach 20 homers or more, and another record with 10 players in double-digits. Here’s the leaderboard, with some bold and italics to set apart the tiers.

  1. Matt Olson, 34
  2. Matt Chapman, 34
  3. Marcus Semien, 30
  4. Mark Canha, 24
  5. Ramon Laureano, 22
  6. Khris Davis, 22
  7. Jurickson Profar, 20
  8. Stephen Piscotty, 13
  9. Josh Phegley, 12
  10. Chad Pinder, 12

They’ve also gotten some from the following players to help set this new all-time mark: Robbie Grossman (6), Sean Murphy (4), Nick Hundley (2), Franklin Barreto (2), Beau Taylor (2), and one each from Kendrys Morales, Chris Herrmann, Corban Joseph, Dustin Garneau, and Nick Martini.

Several of the A’s top sluggers have set career-highs this year, including Olson, Chapman, Semien, Canha, Laureano, and Phegley, with Profar tied with his personal best and Pinder just three back of his. Olson’s total is particularly impressive considering that he missed over a month to a broken hamate at the beginning of the season, limiting him to just 115 games so far out of the team’s 150 total.

Semien’s 30th also came on Sunday, tying the record a few innings before Chapman broke it. The combination of Semien, Olson, and Chapman each reaching 30 is the first time an A’s trio has done so since 2001, with Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, and Miguel Tejada. They hadn’t even had two in the same year since 2006, with Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher. If Canha could make his way to 30 in the next couple weeks, it would be the first time they’ve ever had four 30+ sluggers.

Of course, all of this comes with the huge asterisk of the juiced ball, which has helped lead to elevated homer levels all around the majors. The entirety of MLB already broke the league record of 6,105 homers a few days ago (Semien hit the record-tying blast in that case too), and they’ve moved up to 6,248 with more time to go. That previous record had been set in 2017, and before that it had been 5,693 in 2000.

The A’s are only one of several clubs that have broken their franchise marks during this Summer Of The Dinger. The all-time lead of 267 (by the 2018 Yankees) is long busted, as this year’s Twins (287) and Yankees (286) are duking it out for the new league-high. Before 2018, the record had been 264 by the 1997 Mariners.

But all of that context doesn’t change the fact that this A’s squad can mash. There’s some serious thump up and down Oakland’s lineup, and they’ve even embraced the old forearm bash celebration that many of us remember from glory days gone by. Congrats to the 2019 team on this latest achievement!