The 2015 20 HR – 20 SB Club

by Bill Chuck on February 16, 2016

Mays Bonds and BondsThree members of the 20-20 club: Mays, B*nds, & Bonds

For those of you who are new to reading my work, you might notice that I use an asterisk when writing Barry B*nds‘ name.

I started this practice over a dozen years ago (and was proudly written up in Newsweek) to express my disdain both for Barry in particular and as the representative of those ballplayers who chose to desecrate baseball’s rich history by rendering some of its most precious records meaningless. While I also view Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa with much “dis” and “dain,” there needed to be a representative for this group and “personable” Barry seemed just so very perfect for that role.

So, if you see the full spelling of “Barry B*nds” in one of my columns here or elsewhere, please be assured that it was an oversight on my part or the decision of my editor or a direct quote from another writer.

Bobby Bonds and his son, Barry

I mention this practice of mine as a preface to this column about ballplayers who have had seasons with 20 homers and 20 steals because no players have had more 20 homer-20 steal seasons than Bobby Bonds and his son Barry, who each had 10.

National League Baseball All-StarsHank and Willie each had six 20-20 seasons

Nine to Know: Players with the most 20-20 seasons

Rk Name Yrs From To Age
1 Barry B*nds 10 1987 1998 22-33
2 Bobby Bonds 10 1969 1979 23-33
3 Bobby Abreu 9 1999 2010 25-36
4 Carlos Beltran 7 1999 2008 22-31
5 Eric Davis 7 1986 1996 24-34
6 Alex Rodriguez 6 1997 2007 21-31
7 Raul Mondesi 6 1995 2003 24-32
8 Hank Aaron 6 1961 1968 27-34
9 Willie Mays 6 1955 1960 24-29
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2016.

Bobby’s 20-20 seasons

Year Age Tm G HR SB
1973 ★ 27 SFG 160 39 43
1977 31 CAL 158 37 41
1971 ★ 25 SFG 155 33 26
1969 23 SFG 158 32 45
1975 ★ 29 NYY 145 32 30
1978 32 TOT 156 31 43
1970 24 SFG 157 26 48
1972 26 SFG 153 26 44
1979 33 CLE 146 25 34
1974 28 SFG 150 21 41
1976 30 CAL 99 10 30
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/4/2016.

Barry’s 20-20 seasons

Year Age Tm Lg HR SB
1993 ★ 28 SFG NL 46 29
1996 ★ 31 SFG NL 42 40
1997 ★ 32 SFG NL 40 37
1994 ★ 29 SFG NL 37 29
1998 ★ 33 SFG NL 37 28
1992 ★ 27 PIT NL 34 39
1990 ★ 25 PIT NL 33 52
1995 ★ 30 SFG NL 33 31
1987 22 PIT NL 25 32
1991 26 PIT NL 25 43
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/4/2016.

Notice the year of Barry’s last 20-20 season

A number of outstanding writers have chronicled B*nds descent into PEDs including Gwen Knapp who wrote an outstanding column for SportsonEarth.com in 2013. In each of these articles and books, they track his beginning to 1998, as Knapp wrote in her article:

Sept. 8, 1998: Sitting in a muggy press box at old Busch Stadium, watching Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa swing for Roger Maris’ record in front of a breathless audience, and imagining I could read Barry Bonds’ mind:

What a farce. If nobody is going to say what these guys are really doing, I’m shooting up next year.

May 30, 2001: Watching Bonds in batting practice, preparing to finish the first two months of the season with 28 homers, well on his way to a new single-season record of 73, and quietly asking the big question around the dugout.

He’s juicing, isn’t he?

No one said yes. One person said, “Where he’s hitting them, steroids can’t help you.’’ And I thought: “Where he’s hitting them, only steroids can help you.’’

1998 was the last of Barry’s 20-20 seasons. 1979 was the last of Bobby’s seasons. They were both 33, an age where traditionally ballplayers slow down either in their legs or with their bats. After 1998, Barry legs slowed as other body parts expanded or shrunk.

Before those of you choose to grab this data and say that “before B*nds started cheating he was a Hall of Famer,” I might point out that there is a good chance when he was in elementary school, a teacher might have said, “Look at little Ted Cruz, he sure plays well with others.” You have to look at the complete picture.

Last season, five players reached the 20-20 mark

In 2014, there were five members of the club: Michael BrantleyIan DesmondBrian DozierTodd Frazier, and Carlos Gomez

In 1999, sadly there were 19.

The 2015 club

Rk Player HR SB Age Tm Lg
1 Manny Machado 35 20 22 BAL AL
2 Paul Goldschmidt 33 21 27 ARI NL
3 Ryan Braun 25 24 31 MIL NL
4 A.J. Pollock 20 39 27 ARI NL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2016.

Seven active players have had at least four 20-20 seasons

Rk Name Yrs From To Age
1 Carlos Beltran 7 1999 2008 22-31
2 Alex Rodriguez 6 1997 2007 21-31
3 Hanley Ramirez 5 2007 2012 23-28
4 Carlos Gonzalez 4 2010 2013 24-27
5 Ryan Braun 4 2009 2015 25-31
6 Jimmy Rollins 4 2006 2012 27-33
7 Grady Sizemore 4 2005 2008 22-25
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2016.

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