How is your favorite veteran ballplayer doing? He may have passed a notable career milestone and you missed it. To find out, or if you just have a fascination for round numbers, here’s a review of this year’s milestone moments and a look ahead to those still to come.
Let’s go player by player and see what we get.
Alfonso has been a smash hit in his return engagement in the Bronx, passing two significant career milestones this season. Soriano collected his 2000th hit on August 11th with a homer off Justin Verlander, then connected for home run number 400 on August 27th off J.A. Happ. Soriano has recorded his 13th consecutive season of 25 doubles, the 6th player to do so for ages 25 to 37. Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon did the same in 2011. Prior to that, only Pete Rose, Stan Musial and Tris Speaker had managed the feat.
Cabrera passed 50 WAR this season, becoming the 47th position player since 1901 to reach that plateau in his age 30 season or younger. Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle were the youngest to reach 50 WAR, both doing so in their age 25 seasons. Miggy’s other big milestones were 1000 runs (May 23) and 400 doubles (May 30). Cabrera reached 350 HR (Jul 9) with another 30 HR season, his 9th. Only Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx had 10 such seasons by age 30. Still to come for Cabrera is hit number 2000, expected sometime in mid-September.
Rau-oool has had a memorable season, among the best ever for a 41 year-old. But, he also reached a bunch of career milestones, including 400 doubles (May 24), 1000 runs (Jun 11) , and 2000 games (Jun 20). And, he may not be done as, with a month to go, he needs just 4 home runs for 300, and 21 hits for 2000. Should Ibanez reach 300 HR, he will also match or pass the record of 29 HR in an age 41 season, set by Ted Williams in his final year in 1960.
Ramirez reached 2000 hits (Jun 26) and 350 home runs (Aug 27), and is likely to pass 1000 runs by season’s end. It went largely unnoticed, but Ramirez’s league-leading 50 doubles last year marked only the 8th time a player had reached that level aged 34 or older, and only the 3rd time since 1927.
Hunter reached 50 WAR this season, the 12th active position player at that level. Hunter passed 2000 hits (Apr 9), 300 home runs (Jun 16), 1200 RBI (Aug 10) and 1500 strikeouts (Jul 21), the 30th player since 1901 with those four marks. There are 54 others with the first 3 marks and fewer than 1500 whiffs, including 7 other active players.
Ortiz notched double number 500 on July 2nd, just the 58th player to reach that milestone. This is also the 12th straight season for Ortiz with 25 doubles and 20 HR, an achievement matched this year by Alfonso Soriano. Those two are the only players to record that feat, aged 26 to 37. Watch for Ortiz to reach 2000 hits any day now (just two more to go).
Ichiro played game number 2000 on July 14th and passed Pete Rose as the all-time leader in games played in the first 13 seasons of a career. Suzuki also reached 3500 total bases (Jul 9), just the 33rd player to do so in his first 13 seasons. In a milestone of another sort, Ichiro, together with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, were in the starting lineup for the Yankees on August 26th against Toronto, the first game ever with the top 3 active leaders in career hits all starting for the same team.
Beltre passed the 70 WAR mark this season, part of his 4th straight 5 WAR season, the 17th batter to do that aged 31 to 34. Fourteen of the other 16 are HOFers. Of retired players with 70 WAR, 55 are in the HOF or currently on the HOF ballot, while only four (Dahlen, Rose, Whitaker, Grich) are not. Beltre also notched his 4000th base on July 23rd with a double off Phil Hughes, just the 82nd player to reach that mark, and only the 20th to do so by his age 34 season.
Beltre this year became just the 4th player since 1901 with 15 consecutive 20 double seasons aged 34 or younger. He needs 10 more for 500, so will need a hot September if he is to do it this year. If he does get it, he will be just the 6th player to do so in his age 34 season or younger.
Albert is the youngest to hit his 500th double or, to be precise, tied for the youngest with Joe Medwick, each reaching that milestone aged exactly 32 years, 250 days (I kid you not). Albert is now officially out for the season. Look for him to reach 1500 RBI early next year (he needs just two more) and 500 home runs not long afterwards (8 more to go).
Other milestones of note.
- Watch for Derek Jeter to pass 12000 PA in September. just the 18th player to reach that mark.
- Todd Helton collected his 2500th hit today (Sep 1)
- Carlos Beltran played his 2000th game (Jul 11), and collected his 350th HR and 75th triple in the same game (Jun 15)
- Soon to reach 2000 hits is Jason Giambi (needs one more)
- Placido Polanco (Jun 29) and Adam Dunn (May 10) joined Miggy and Raul Ibanez in reaching 1000 runs
- Mark Teixeira has played just 15 games this season, but still managed to reach 1500 games (Jun 3) and 750 walks (Jun 11)