One of the rarest feats in Major League Baseball history is the 40-40 season. Players who have managed to accomplish the feat have proven to be incredible threats both on the base paths and at the plate. But, how many athletes have done this in MLB history? Here’s what you need to know.
40-40 Seasons in MLB History
Five players in MLB history have achieved a “40-40” season, a term used to describe players that have accrued at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season.
Those players are as follows (h/t Baseball-Reference):
|Player||Year||Home Runs||Stolen Bases|
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||2023||41||73|
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is the most recent to have accomplished the feat. The Braves outfielder launched his 40th home run of the 2023 season on September 22, his tenth of the month at that time, to complete the feat.
No player in the league has managed to steal as many bases in a 40-40 campaign as Acuna. In fact. Acuna Jr. became the first member of the 40-50, 40-60, and 40-70 club in that incredible 2023 season.
Athletics outfielder Jose Canseco was the first player in MLB history to perform the feat, doing so in a season that saw Oakland win the AL pennant before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series.
Three more would follow suit after Canseco’s historic feat in 1988. Barry Bonds did so with the Giants in 1996, although, unlike Canseco, the Giants outfielder did not win the NL MVP that season. Bonds finished fifth in the voting for the award that ultimately went to Padres third baseman Ken Caminiti.
Alex Rodriguez completed the feat two years later, but he too also didn’t win the AL MVP award that season. Rodriguez actually finished ninth in the 1998 AL MVP voting, an award that was won by Rangers outfielder Juan Gonzalez.
Alfonso Soriano was the last to complete the feat before Acuna Jr. The ex-Yankee notched a 40-40 campaign in 2006, his lone season as a National. While he didn’t win the 2006 NL MVP — an award won by Ryan Howard — he did parlay that magnificent season into an eight-year, $136 million deal with the Cubs after that campaign.
Thus, the only two players to have a 40-40 campaign and win the MVP after that season were Canseco and Acuna Jr.
Aside from Acuna Jr. — who is still active as of 2023 — none of the players on this list are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, much of that has to do with Bonds and Rodriguez’s links to performance-enhancing drugs.
All stats as of October 1, 2023.