Let's expand the answer to last week's bit of trivia.
In 1961, Roger Maris became only the second member of the 60+ HR club, now "puffed up" to eight players, including two in the 70 HR club. Because he and Mickey Mantle both broke 50 in the same season, it is semantics as to which player did it for which umpteenth time. The record will show that in 1961, Roger Maris hit #50 on Aug. 22 (at Wrigley Field - figure THAT out!), and Mickey hit his #50 on Sept. 3rd.
Since Mickey had already reached the club in 1956, Roger became the 9th player to reach the club. Roger's was the 14th occurrence and Mickey's was the 15th occurrence, counting all the players up to that date who had multiple seasons over 50. (Ruth 4, Wilson, Foxx 2, Greenberg, Kiner 2, Mize, Mays (he would reach the club again in 1965),Maris, & Mantle 2.
The chart below shows the number of strikeouts in the season in which these players reached the various clubs. Ironically, Gehrig hit 49 homers twice, so one more HR in his triple crown year would have given Gehrig the record (by FAR) as he only K'd 31 times! in-effing-credible!
If you don't want to scan it, Roger's K total was only 67. Only Johnny Mize (42), Ralph Kiner (61), and Willie Mays (60) reached 50 with fewer. I stand corrected - my original question claimed there were only two. But Roger still has the two records I mentioned: AL fewest in the 50 Hr club and MLB fewest in the 60 HR club. I would have guessed the most K's from Big Mac or Sosa, but Cecil Fielder (182) has that distinction, closely followed by Ryan Howard's 181. But the Fielder's are the only daddy-son duo, or any family duo, to accomplish the feat each.
And of course, thanks to steroids and the plethora of players who suddenly had bursts of power unheard of in baseball history (by volume) without a bandbox home field or the benefit of expansion-aided dilution in pitching, every single occurrence after 1986 or 1987 becomes suspect in the minds of many. Note all those occurrences by players who were EXPOSED as having used the juice! It used to happen once or twice per decade. Now the club is no longer and handful of elite, but 42 occurrences by 26 players ... and counting.
Willie Mays in 1965 had what could be said to be the first pure 50 homer season without the benefit of a bandbox home park or a short porch of some sort to shoot bombs. That Joe DiMaggio (a dead pull hitter) could hit 46 homers in 1937 when his power alley was a mind boggling 457 feet is nothing short of monumental! (And when Mantle batted righty in both his 50+ seasons, he had the SAME power alley!