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Everybody Must Get Milestoned
2007-08-06 22:24
by Mike Carminati

So A-Rod and Bonds couldn't wait for Glavine's next start, as I predicted, to complete a milestones trifecta, but they did get to within a day. Oh well.

So now there are two men at the career home run summit, 22 men over the 500-homer plateau and 23 men have reached the 300-win milestone. Bonds is hated for alleged steroid use, A-Rod is hated for his salary and for being A-Rod, and Glavine's achievement is marginalized as supposed pundits discuss and debate whether any other player will ever reach the milestone. And still baseball gets crammed in to the last fifteen minutes of SportsCenter while NFL training camp rumors dominate the broadcast. (And, of course, Leon is getting laaaaaarger!) Again, I say, oh well.

2007 becomes the third year in baseball history in which a player reaches the 500-homer mark and another reaches 300 wins (A-Rod, Frank Thomas, and Glavine). The other two were 2003 Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens) and 2004 (Ken Griffey and Greg Maddux).

It could also be the first year in baseball history in which 500-home run hitters outnumber 300-game winners. They trail by one with Jim Thome (490) and Manny Ramirez (489) within striking distance by the end of this season or the beginning of next.

Consider that in 1959 the number of 300-game winners outnumbered 500-homer guys four-to-one (12-3, actually). 500-homer-ians are leading 19-11 since 1960. Here are the totals for each as of the end of a decade and per each decade:

As of# 500 HRsper Decade# 300 Wper Decade

It certainly looks like the 500-HR guys are prepared to take over for good. Then again, the 300-game winners will probably have the last laugh: Glavine is pretty close to a lock for the Hall. The only other members not yet in Cooperstown are certain locks, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux. Meanwhile, Rafael Palmeiro (569) will most likely get very little support when he is eligible. Mark McGwire (583) was a dud in his first year of Hall eligibility. Frank Thomas (505) is still not a lock in many people's minds. Even Sammy Sosa (604) has his many detractors.

With Ken Griffey (589) and A-Rod apparent locks for the 600-home run club, there may be seven members of that once ultra-exclusive club in just a few years. Within a decade, that number could grow substantially.

The 500-home run plateau might lose its relevance. I mean, we don't celebrate the 400-home run club, do we? I don't remember Dave Kingman getting a ton of Hall support due to his 438 homers.

A-Rod might establish a new club before he's done, the 800-home run club (unless you count Sadaharu Oh and Josh Gibson).

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