In George We Trust
A(nother) blog about the most storied franchise in sports
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Milestones on the horizon
Baseball is a team sport, or at least most of us would like to think it is. The Yankee teams of the mid-to-late 1990's personified the team concept; whether it was Andy Pettitte bearing down for a strikeout after Tino Martinez muffed a catch, or Bernie Williams putting together a productive at bat after Paul O'Neill struck out with a man in scoring position, the players on those teams acted as one unit, working together to achieve a common goal. In light of this, it's also appropriate to acknowledge individual milestones in baseball, as long as it's done with class and selflessness. The 2006 baseball campaign should bring some Yankee players their share of milestones, like Shawn Chacon making his 100th career start (he's a 95), or Bernie Williams driving in his 1,200th run (he's at 1,196 RBIs), but here's a look at some of the more impressive milestones that should be eclipsed within the next few months:

Jason Giambi
Milestone: 1,000 career runs
He needs: 75 runs
ETA: mid-to-late August

Derek Jeter
Milestone: 2,000 career hits
He needs: 64 hits
ETA: mid-to-late May

Randy Johnson
Milestone: 4,500 career K's
He needs: 128 K's
ETA: mid-to-late July

Mariano Rivera
Milestone: 400 career saves
He needs: 21 saves
ETA: late June, early July

Gary Sheffield
Milestone: 1,500 RBIs
He needs: 24 RBIs
ETA: mid May

Sheffield (cont'd)
Milestone: 1,500 runs
He needs: 89 runs
ETA: early-to-mid September

Sheffield both scoring and driving in 1,500 runs is especially impressive as he'll become only the 30th man in MLB history to accomplish that feat, joining Hank Aaron, Cap Anson, Jeff Bagwell, Jake Beckley, George Brett, Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Nap Lajoie, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Rafael Palmeiro, Cal Ripken, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth, Michael Jack Schmidt, Al Simmons, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, Dave Winfield, and Carl Yastrzemski. How prestigious is that list? Everyone except Bagwell, Bonds, Palmeiro and Ripken are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and 3 of those guys are expected to become HOFers within a few years (maybe 4 depending on how you feel about Raffy Palmeiro).

Sheffield certainly has had his unprofessional moments throughout his career, such as purposefully throwing the ball into the stands in Milwaukee, or whining his way out of Chavez Ravine, or even saying he'd dog it if the Yankees dealt him. Say what you want about his attitude, but the man has produced like a Hall of Famer, and he deserves credit for it.

Here's a question: if Sheff does make into the Hall, what cap does he wear? He has the most service time with the Marlins (4+ yrs), but his most productive seasons have come with the Dodgers (3+ years), Braves (2 yrs) and Yankees (at least 2 years). Hmmm....
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