Sammy Sosa just became the 18th man to hit 500 HRs. He lined a 1-2 pitch from Scott Sullivan into the rightfield seats with one out in the seventh and the Cubs trailing 8-6 to the Reds in the Great American Ball Park.
It is 29 years to the day of Hank Aaron's record-tying 714th home run also in Cincinnati.
There are also three men within 31 home runs of 500 for their careers: Rafael Palmeiro (9 short), Fred McGriff (22) and Ken Griffey (31). That would bring the total for the 2000s to five with Sosa and Barry Bons. There has only been one other decade in which 5 men have reached the 500-homer milestone, the light-hitting Sixties when Hank aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Eddie Mattews all did it. Of course, this decade is only starting its fourth year, so more 500-HR men may be on the way.
Here are the number of men with 500 home runs at the start of each decade since the Fifties: