Who holds the career record for home runs by a pitcher?

While Babe Ruth is the consensus pick for best slugging pitcher of all time (in 1915 he fell just three dingers short of the league leader, in almost 300 fewer at-bats), he should perhaps be considered a hitter trapped in a pitcher’s body. Considering only players who pitched their entire careers, the all-time home run leader is Wes Ferrell. Ferrell had a total of 36 jacks over a 13-year career with the Indians, Red Sox, Senators, Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves. From 1931-36 he went on quite a tear, belting 34 homers while hitting over .280.

In 1931 he matched his opponents’ stroke for stroke. Batters hit nine home runs off of him that year, but he also smacked nine of his own. Those nine set the single-season mark for a pitcher, which still stands today. There is a chance that it could be surpassed this season, as Rockies’ hurler Mike Hampton has five as of June 22, with three months to go. Of course, Ferrell never had the luxury of hitting in the thin air of Coors Field.