Adam Dunn launched a monster 479 foot home run Tuesday night against the Braves. That shot went far enough to be the third longest homer launched in 2010 behind homers from Josh Hamilton and Colby Rasmus. The homer was also his 351st of his career and 35th of the season, which means he has now hit 35 homers or more in seven straight seasons and counting.
ESPN.com points out that Dunn is only the seventh player in MLB history to accomplish such a feat. Here's the list:
Take a look at those names again:
While the jury is still out on the overall effects steroids have had on guys like A-Rod, Sosa, and Palmeiro, the fact is that their overall performances were not "clean." Dunn, as far as we know, is "clean." When you take the users off that list, that puts Dunn even with Kiner and Ruth, and only behind Jimmie Foxx.
So is Dunn one of the best home run hitters of all time?
With 351 home runs at the age of 30, he will easily reach the 500 home run plateau by the time he is 35 if he stays on his current pace. In the past 20 years 11 players have reached the plateau, however only three of them were never linked to steroids. If Dunn joins that elusive club, he will be only one of 15 (16 assuming Pujols gets there too) to ever get to that number without the aid of performance enhancing drugs.
Dunn also ranks sixth all time on the at bat per home run list, hitting a bomb once every 14.03 at bats for his career. He ranks only behind McGwire, Ruth, Bonds, Howard, and Thome, and is in a dead tie with Albert Pujols, which means he has hit home runs at one of the highest rates ever recorded.
When it is all said and done, he isn't likely to break any major all-time records, but he may go down as one of the top 10 most prolific home run hitters of all time. The real question is, with Dunn's penchant for being under-appreciated, will anyone notice?