Prior to the Steroid Era, 500 home runs was considered the milestone a slugger could reach to ensure that one day he would be immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. From 1936 to 2003, all 15 eligible sluggers who hit 500 or more home runs were voted into the Hall of Fame. In addition, from 1939 to 2001, nine sluggers who finished their careers with 407 to 493 home runs appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot, seven of those nine were elected to the Hall of Fame, with five--Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Willie Stargell, Carl Yastrzemski, and Dave Winfield--gaining election in their first year on the ballot and the other two--Billy Williams and Duke Snider--being voted in on their sixth and eleventh ballot, respectively. It was clear that a slugger who reached the 400 home run milestone had almost as good a chance of being elected to the Hall of Fame as a slugger who reached 500. However, like everything else, the Steroid Era has complicated Hall of Fame voting. Since 2002, six sluggers who hit between 431 to 493 home runs have appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot but only two of those six, Andre Dawson and Cal Ripken Jr., have been voted in. Two others, Jose Canseco and Juan Gonzalez, fell off the ballot after failing to collect 5% of the vote, while Jeff Bagwell and Fred McGriff remain on the ballot but are currently on the outside looking in.
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