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Potential 2007 Milestones
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
March 30, 2007
We all know about Barry Bonds and his chase for 755. But here are some other potential milestones which may be reached this season.
1400 extra-base hits/3,000 Games/10,000 AB/3,000 hits/600 doubles/2000 RBI – Barry Bonds - If Barry can play 140 games this season – by no means impossible but certainly an “if” for Barry these days – he will become the ninth player to amass 3,000 games, a list which includes Pete Rose, Yaz, Aaron, Rickey Henderson, Ty Cobb, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, and Cal Ripken.
Barry seems to be a lock to become the 14th player ever to hit 600 doubles; he is 13 away. Barry also needs only 493 at-bats to reach 10,000, which would make him the 25th player to accomplish the feat. Given how often Barry walks, he could easily get the 140 games but miss the 493 at-bats.
Barry is currently 7th all time in RBI, but with 70 this season would become only the fourth player ever to reach 2000, joining Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cap Anson.
Perhaps the most unheralded of Bonds’ accomplishments would be his extra-base hits tally. With his next two extra-base hits, he will become the second player ever to pass 1400, and he needs only 80 to pass Aaron for the top spot.
Surprisingly, Barry is only 159 hits away from 3,000. It is incredibly unlikely that he will reach 3,000 this season, due to his limited playing time and the number of times he walks each season. To put this in perspective, Bonds has gathered 159 hits or more only three times in his career, and not since 1998.
3,000 Hits/1800 runs/650 doubles/300 homeruns/287 HBP – Craig Biggio - Biggio is a virtual lock for the hits (70 away) and the runs (24 away). He would become the 26th player to reach 3,000 hits, and only the 16th player with 1800 runs.
We all know that Biggio is generally considered the all-time leader in being hit by pitches, having passed Don Baylor two seasons ago. But if he gets six more HBP this season, he will become the intergalactic leader, passing 19th Century stallion Hughie Jennings, who once got hit 46 or more times three straight years.
Biggio needs 13 doubles to become the 7th player ever to hit 650 doubles. Considering the fact that he has hit 30 or more doubles in all but two seasons since 1992, it would seem his chances would be good. If he does hit 30, he will be fifth all time in doubles, behind only Tris Speaker (792), Pete Rose (746), Stan Musial (725), and Ty Cobb (724).
The homerun mark is an interesting one. At the beginning of 2004, Biggio was 38 years old and had hit 210 homeruns in his career. He looked like a solid shot for 250 homers. Biggio subsequently set a career high in homeruns in both 2004 (24) and 2005 (26) before hitting 21 in 2006, and is now only 18 dingers away from the 300 mark. More importantly, Biggio would become only the seventh player ever to hit 300 homeruns and steal 300 bases.
600 Homeruns – Sammy Sosa - Sosa would join Aaron, Bonds, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays as the only members of the 600 homer club.
500 Homeruns – Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield - These five superstars of the 1990s will be looking to reach what was once an automatic ticket to the Hall of Fame before Mark McGwire was denied this past year. Thomas is essentially locked in, needing only 13, while Thome (28) and Ramirez (30) will make it in if they have even average seasons by their standards. A-Rod needs 36 homeruns to join the club, which would be one more than he hit last season, much as many or more than he hit in each of the eight seasons before. Sheffield is 45 away, and will probably have to wait until 2008.
1600 RBI – Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield - Ken Griffey, Jr. became only the 25th player to reach this milestone last season, and the club could have four more members this season. Thomas and Sosa are both within 25 RBI of the mark, while Ramirez is 84 away and Sheffield needs 99 to join the club.
1600 bases on balls – Frank Thomas - Would be only the 11th player to reach the mark, and 68 walks would make him 9th on the all time list.
2000 strikeouts – Jim Thome - If Thome is healthy all year, he will not be capable of avoiding becoming the fourth player ever to strike out 2,000 times as he is only 92 away, and he has never struck out less than 139 times in a full season. At 35, Thome has an excellent chance of becoming the all time leader in strikeouts, surpassing Reggie Jackson’s 2,597.
600 stolen bases – Kenny Lofton - Lofton would become only the 17th player ever to accomplish this feat.
350 wins – Roger Clemens - Clemens needs two wins to reach an astonishing milestone. Only seven players have won 350 games in their career, and of those, three (Cy Young, Pud Galvin, and Kid Nichols) played all or a significant part of their career in the 19th Century, and three others (Pete Alexander, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson) finished their career before 1931. Only Warren Spahn played on this side of 1950. The era of the 300 game winner may be over, but there never was an era of the 350 game winner. This is a rare accomplishment which ranks second only to what Barry Bonds is doing.
340 wins – Greg Maddux - I guess it is unfair to exclude Maddux from the 350 wins talk, as he currently has 333 and could potentially win 17 games for the Padres this year. I think he is more likely to win about 10 games, and will likely retire after the season. That said, only nine players have won 340 games, including those mentioned above, Clemens, and Tim Keefe, who pitched in the 1880s and twice won 40 games in a season.
300 Wins – Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson - Glavine needs 10 wins to join former teammate Maddux on the 300 win club. Johnson is more of an outside shot – he would need to 20 games for the fourth time in his career at the age of 43 coming off of his worst season. Probably will need to wait until 2008.
250 wins – Mike Mussina - Mussina is 11 wins away from 250, which many would have us believe will be the new standard for greatness as the 300 game winner dies out. Mussina will be 38 this year, but plays for the Yankees and looked very sharp last season. If he can average between 15 and 16 wins for four more seasons, or 12 to 13 for five more seasons, he will join the 300 wins club. And, impressively, he would be the first to do it without ever winning 20 games in a season.
1000 games pitched – Jose Mesa, Mike Timlin, Roberto Hernandez - All three of these guys are within 40 games of 1000, a club which has only ten members. Is anyone else shocked by how long Mike Timlin’s career has been. I think I heard about Timlin for what I thought was the first time five or six times over the last 17 years.
500 Saves/700 Games Finished – Trevor Hoffman - Hoffman needs only 18 saves to reach 500. Hoffman will be the first to reach a once unthinkable pinnacle, but he certainly won’t be the last, as Mariano Rivera is only 87 saves away. Hoffman also needs 18 games finished to become the 4th player ever to finish 700 games, which means he might reach both milestones at the same time.
300 Saves – Armando Benitez - Benitez needs 20 saves to become the 21st player to reach what was once the ultimate closer milestone only 25 years ago.
4000 innings pitched – Randy Johnson - Johnson needs only 201.1 innings to reach 4000, and then we can finally start considering him to have had a full career.
1400 walks/200 losses – Tom Glavine - In the dubious distinction category, Tom Glavine’s next base on balls will make him the 17th player ever to reach this milestone, and a repeat of last year’s 62 would make him 12th all time. Tom also needs nine losses to become the 44th player ever to lose 200 games. Remarkably, though, if Tom can win 10 games before losing 9 games, he would be (for a time at least) only the seventh player with more than 300 wins but less than 200 losses, joining Mathewson, Clemens, John Clarkson, Eddie Plank, Charley “Old Hoss” Radbourn, and Lefty Grove.
3,000 strikeouts – Pedro Martinez - Speaking of once hallowed pitching marks, Pedro needs two strikeouts to become the 15th player ever to do what had only been done by Bob Gibson and Walter Johnson as of 1980.
20000 batters faced – Roger Clemens - Holy unheralded accomplishments, Batman! Clemens needs to face 180 batters to become the 14th player ever to reach the mark. For those who are wondering, he faced 451 batters in his 113.1 innings of limited action last season.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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