In the last few weeks a number of Baseball milestones have been reached by various players throughout the league and I just wanted to highlight a few of them for you. Here goes:
- Dan Uggla
The Florida Marlins' second baseman for the became the first second baseman in the history of Major League Baseball to have four consecutive seasons of 30 homeruns. Uggla is also the first second baseman to have three consecutive 30 homerun seasons. I find that truly impressive since power hitting second basemen such as Jeff Kent, Chase Utley and Alfonso Soriano have put plenty of balls into the seats while playing second, through Kent and Soriano also played other positions. Michael Jong in his article named Dan Uggla Reaches Another Milestone HR on the MarlinManiac.com webpage compares Uggla to other players that have been homerun hitters at the second base position. Congrats to Dan Uggla on his continued success in Florida.
- Evan Longoria
Since I was in the sunshine state I decided to move north to Tampa-St. Petersburg to highlight the milestone of the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. On Sunday September 5th in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, Longoria hit his 20th homerun of the season. This achievement couples with his 30 doubles has made Longoria the fifth player to achieve this accomplishment within their first three seasons in the league. Who are the other four players: Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Orlando Cepeda and Albert Pujols. Longoria is definitely keep up with some impressive Major Leaguers and I doubt he'll let up in the least.
- Alex Rodriguez
In a truly off year for the New York Yankees third baseman, Rodriguez has become the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to have fourteen seasons of 100 or more runs batted in. Of these fourteen seasons of 100 or more RBI's, thirteen of them have come consecutively. In doing so, Rodriguez passed Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Babe Ruth, who each drove in at least 100 in 13 seasons. Rodriguez also tied Gehrig and Foxx with his thirteenth consecutive 100-RBI season. Even though A-Rod is at only 23 homers for this season, his RBI totals show that he has been able to adapt his hitting style from pure power to contact hitting. Tine will tell if this is truly an off year for Rodriguez or if his career is in a decline.
- Derek Jeter
Staying in New York City and profiling another Yankees player who is an off year, shortstop Derek Jeter continues his climb up the baseball hit list. During this past weekend's series against the Texas Rangers, Derek Jeter hit his 2,900th his. This places Jeter in thirty-sixth place behind Al Simmons (2,927 hits). Currently at 2,903 hits, Jeter's detractors (and some supporters) are starting to call this season as the beginning of the end. My thing is this, isn't someone allowed to have a bad year? Sure, Jeter is 36-years old and batting 50 points under his career batting average but damn, give them man credit for what he has done. Let's not send him out to pasture just yet. I still stand by my claim that Derek Jeter has the best chance to catch Pete Rose among current Major leaguers. Whether he does or not, only time will tell. But don't sleep on the Yankees captain. October is right around the corner.
- Albert Pujols
Pujols is currently in the thick of the NL Triple Crown and MVP races. While doing so, he's finding time to hit milestones. Pujols became the seventh player in Major League history with at least nine seasons of 30 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBIs. This is truly amazing since he has only been in the league for TEN years. Barring any major slump during the last two weeks of the season, Pujols will become the fifth player in history with nine seasons hitting .300 with 30 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBIs. Truly amazing.
So you folks don't think that I am biased toward batting, here are some pitching milestones.
Last week, Milwaukee Brewers reliever Trevor Hoffman reached the 600 save plateau. He is currently the only pitcher with 600 saves though Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera is right behind him with 556 saves. Though Mariano will go down as the best closer in the history of the game, I've always said that Trevor Hoffman was severly underrated. Had he played his career in such venues as Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston or New York instead of San Diego and Milwaukee he'd be seen in a better light. As it is he is almost an after thought when talking about the best closers in the game.
- Derek Lowe
With his victory over the Washington Nationals this past week, Derek Lowe struck out his 1,500th batter. This ties him Paul Derringer in 175th place on the career strikeout list. Congrats to Derek Lowe on this achievement.
Ok folks, I'm wiped out. Have fun watching the pennant races. I know I am.