Sometime in the next week or so, Alex Rodriguez will join Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa as the only men in history with 600 or more home runs.
However, it wasn’t until I was listening to the radio this morning (Mike and Mike *sigh*) that I learned Rodriguez is approaching another milestone: career stolen bases.
To date, only 122 of A-Rod’s 299 steals have been in pinstripes, and he did most of his running in Seattle (including a 40-40 season in 1998), so its easy to not think of him as a running threat despite his better than 80% success rate.
When A-Rod swipes that last bag, he’ll be just the fourth man ever with more than 400 homers and 300 steals joining Bonds, Mays and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, who Kenny Singleton might call “brand name ballplayers.” When he gets to 600 dingers, that puts Alex in the club with just Bonds and Mays.
With all the hoopla and hatchet jobs, its easy to forget that regardless of outside circumstances, its a real treat to watch an historically great player ply his trade 140+ times a year.