Baseball has its fair share of elite clubs.  For career accomplishments, there is the 3,000 hit club and the 500 home run club.  For season accomplishments, there is the 40-40 club (HR/SB) and the 20-20-20 club (HR/2B/3B).  But the rarest club of all is one that’s not talked about much, the 50-50 club.  That is 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season.  So rare, that it has only been accomplished once in baseball history.  

This season, Cleveland Indians’ third baseman Jose Ramirez is flirting to join this elite club.  Ramirez, who currently has 21 home runs and 20 doubles, is the only player in the MLB right now that has 20+ home runs and doubles.  The next closes being Aaron Judge with 18 home runs and 17 doubles.  Ramirez’s pace has been hovering above and below the 50-50 mark over the last month.  When he hit 18-18 over 56 games his pace was at 52-52, at 19-19 over 60 games his pace was at 51-51.  

As it stands now, his pace has dropped off.  Through 71 games he’s on pace for 47.9 home runs and 45.6 doubles.  Ramirez hitting the doubles mark looks to be manageable as he was the MLB leader in doubles last season with 56 and the only player above 50.  His career high in home runs is 29, so getting to 50 would be a tall task.  If he finishes the season with 45+ home runs and doubles, that would be a rare feat in itself.  The 45-45 mark has only been done 9 times by 7 different players.  Albert Belle and Albert Pujols being the only 2 to do it twice in their careers.  The others players being Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Lou Gehrig, Derrek Lee, and Juan Gonzalez.  Gehrig was the first player with 45-45 and his record stood for 68 years until Albert Belle accomplished it in 1995.  

So who is the only player to have 50+ home runs and 50+ doubles in a season?  It was Cleveland Indians’ Albert Belle in 1995.  Belle finished the season with 50 home runs and 52 doubles.  Remarkably, that was in a strike shortened season where Belle played in 143 of Cleveland’s 144 total games that year.  What’s even more remarkable and still baffling to this day, is how Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn managed to win the AL MVP over Belle that year.  The Indians finished with the league’s best record and Belle’s numbers were superior in every major category, including 11 more home runs, 23 more runs scored, and 7.0 WAR compared to a 4.3.  Although the WAR statistic was not a “thing” back then, there is nothing here indicating that Vaughn was more deserving of the MVP award.

The Cleveland Indians went on to sweep the Boston Red Sox that year in the Divisional Playoff.  So maybe Belle got the last laugh.  The Indians were AL Champs but lost out to the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.  

Jose Ramirez is in the running for MVP.  The Indians are leading their weak AL Central division with a 38-33 record, but as of now Ramirez’s MVP hopes sit behind Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, both of which are having incredible seasons.  At just 25, the Indians have a rising star and should rack up many MVP votes in his career.  

Here is a look at Jose Ramirez’s pace compared to Albert Belle in 1995