Sammy Sosa, 63, 1999; 64, 2001

It's one of the most incredible and overlooked statistics in baseball history: From 1998 to 2001, Sammy Sosa averaged 61 home runs per season. He's the only player to top 60 three times, having done so most famously in 1998, but he also reached that plateau in 1999 and 2001. Perhaps more incredibly, Sosa didn't lead his league—much less the majors—in any of those seasons, finishing behind Mark McGwire in '98 and '99 and behind Barry Bonds in '01.

After the joy of the Great Home Run Race of 1998, Sosa and McGwire delivered quite an encore in '99. Big Mac won again with 65, but Sosa finished with a mighty total of 63, as his slow start and cool finish—four homers in the season's first month, eight in the last—doomed him to runner-up status again.

In 2001 all the attention was on Bonds so few paid much attention when Sosa pounded 29 home runs in the final two months to finish with 64. 

Ted Keith

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