Cody Bellinger slugged a go-ahead, three-run home run off Jeff Samardzija in the third inning of Friday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants, running his season total to 39. In the process, Bellinger broke the National League rookie record for most home runs in a single season.
It was previously held by Wally Berger of the Boston Braves (1930) and Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds (1956), who each hit 38 homers. Bellinger tied their mark with a home run last Saturday against the Washington Nationals.
Mark McGwire slugged 49 home runs for the Oakland Athletics in 1987, the most by any rookie all-time. That may fall this season, not necessarily at the hands of Bellinger, but New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge who has 46 home runs.
Bellinger’s six multi-home run games within his first career 57 games shattered McGwire’s MLB record (97 games) for fastest to accomplish the feat. Bellinger also became the fastest player in MLB history to 21 home runs and five multi-homer games.
What’s more, his 24 home runs hit during the first half of the season were most by an NL rookie since 1933 and the most by a Dodgers player since Shawn Green hit 26 in 2002.
Bellinger previously broke Mike Piazza’s Dodgers rookie record, with his 36th home run of the year coming against the San Diego Padres on Sept. 3. The most home runs by any Dodgers player are Green’s 49 that came in 2001.
Adrian Beltre is the franchise’s last player to reach 40 home runs, clubbing 48 in 2004.