The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak and having dropped five of their last 10 games, but Cody Bellinger nonetheless made franchise history along the way.
Bellinger put himself into the record books with a walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday. He gave the Dodgers a two-game series sweep of the Diamondbacks and broke a tie with Gil Hodges (1951) and Duke Snider (1955) for most home runs in franchise history before the All-Star break.
Hodges and Snider each slugged 28, while Gary Sheffield held the L.A. record with 27 home runs prior to the Midsummer Classic in 2000.
Bellinger padded his total the following night and finished with a new Dodgers record of 30 home runs before the All-Star break. He joined Willie Mays (31 in 1954) as the only National Leagues players under 25 years old to hit at least 30 homers before the break.
Furthermore, Bellinger is among just 38 players in MLB history with at least 30 home runs by the All-Star break. Of those to accomplish the feat, only 19 are from the NL, and Bellinger is the lone Dodgers player to do so.
Reggie Jackson (37), Mark McGwire (33) and Mays (31) are players under the age of 24 who have hit the most homers before the break. Bellinger will turn 24 years old on Saturday, July 13.
Thus far, Bellinger’s best month in terms of power was May, when he clubbed 10 home runs in 89 at-bats. That came after he was named NL Player of the Month for games played in March and April.
While Bellinger leads the Dodgers and is second only to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich (31), he is not participating in the Home Run Derby at Progressive Field. Bellinger made a decision to pass on the event but left the door open to potentially do so next year when the Dodgers host the 2020 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
Bellinger is participating in this year’s Midsummer Classic, as he earned a second career selection. He’s among the three starting NL outfielders for the first time.
Overall this season, Bellinger is batting .341/.437/.701 with 19 doubles, two home runs, the aforementioned 30 homers, and 71 RBI. He endured a bit of a slump and slipped from leading the Majors in nearly every hitting category.
While he can lay claim to owning the franchise record for most home runs before the All-Star break, Bellinger remains on pace to shatter the season-long mark of 49, set by Shawn Green in 2001.