Sports Illustrated’s commitment to featuring baseball’s greatest sluggers was made abundantly clear when it spotlighted 500 Home Run Club member Eddie Mathews hitting a titanic blast out of Milwaukee’s cavernous County Stadium on the cover of its inaugural issue on August 16, 1954.
Since then SI has featured 500 HR Club members more than 50 times, including seven times for the most popular slugger Ted Williams; followed by six times each by Reggie Jackson and Mark McGwire, and multiple cover-story appearances for many other club members who shined as the greatest stars in baseball’s constellation.
SI’s December 21, 1998 was the first to feature two members of The 500 Home Run Club together, when it’s Sportsman of the Year issue featured Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa wearing togas and Roman headpieces. On March 16, 2000, Sports Illustrated upped the ante by featuring three 500 HRC members Sosa, McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. with the headline “Power Pack.”
Since then, Manny Ramirez has blasted his way onto Sports Illustrated’s cover and other 500 Home Run Club members, including Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth have been graced retrospective covers saluting their lifelong achievements and impact on America’s game.
The newest slugger to join the club, Gary Sheffield was shown in the center of the melee as his (then) team, The Florida Marlins, celebrated the franchise’s first World Series Championship in 1997.
List of 500 Home Run Club members featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Sosa (5, including the cover of SI en Espanol)
Mathews (1st cover)