It's only been a couple of days since Albert Pujols joined Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron and Barry Bonds in Major League Baseball's hallowed 700 home run club. You can expect the wait for the next new member to last not days, weeks, months or even years, but decades.
Is this stating the obvious? Yeah, this is probably stating the obvious.
Decades is the typical waiting period for new 700 home run club members, after all. Ruth was the founding member in 1934. It then took about 40 years for Aaron to gain his membership in 1973, followed by 31 for Bonds in 2004 and then 18 for Pujols this year.
An optimist could look at this and see that the wait times are getting smaller. Yet we'd advise not to read too much into that, as neither the general conditions in MLB right now nor the league's list of active home run leaders points to anyone getting to 700 any time soon.
How the 700 HR Club Came to Be
As the four members of the club can attest, there's no one way for a hitter to reach 700 career home runs.
The stories are in the trendlines, which display similar trajectories for Ruth and Bonds and different ones for Aaron and Pujols.
The first two mostly backloaded their home runs after the age of 30, with Ruth hitting 430 of his 714 and Bonds hitting 503 of his 762. By contrast, Pujols front-loaded his best homer-hitting years by clubbing 366 of his 700 as a 20-something in the first nine seasons of his 22-year career.