LOS ANGELES, February 26, 2013 — With the new season on the horizon, there are some wily veterans looking to reach certain career milestones. Nolan Ryan does not have to worry about his record 5,714 strikeouts anytime soon or probably ever. Cy Young will not be stirring in his grave worrying that his 511 wins will be surpassed.
Pete Rose can continue his fight to get into the Hall of Fame without worrying about his 4,256 record number of hits. There will, however, be legends of yesterday moving down on certain lists to make room for the superstars of today.
Derek Jeter needs 277 total bases to reach 5000 for his career. He also has Eddie Collins’ spot on the hits list in his sights. Captain Intangibles needs just 12 hits to pass the Hall of Famer for the #10 spot on the all-time hits list. If Jeter gets 211 hits in 2013, he will pass Tris Speaker for fifth place on the list. In 2012, Derek Jeter produced 216 hits.
Jeter, currently eleventh on the list, is also working on moving into the top 10 on the runs scored list. He needs to score 81 runs to pass the great Stan “The Man” Musial. If Jeter gets at least 81 hits and outpaces his teammate, Alex Rodriguez by 31 runs, Jeter will end the year in the ninth slot. Alex Rodriguez, currently tenth, needs 51 runs to pass Musial.
Speaking of Alex Rodriguez, he needs just 14 homeruns to pass “the greatest living baseball player,” Willie Mays, for the fourth spot on the homeruns list. A-Rod will need to knock in 47 runs to pass Barry Bonds and be ranked fourth all-time for RBIs. Should he do that, he will also jump over Stan Musial, with 2 RBIs, and Lou Gehrig, with 46 RBIs, in the process.
If free agent Jim Thome is able to sign on with another team in 2013, he will unfortunately not be knocking down Barry Bonds’ homerun record.
However, with 18 homeruns, he will surpass Ken Griffey Jr. and move into 6th place on the all-time list. Thome does have a chance to set a record in 2013, although not as glamorous as the homerun record. With 50 strikeouts, Jim Thome will move into first place on the all-time strikeouts list, passing Reggie Jackson.
There are also some pitchers who are looking to reach some milestones this season. Andy Pettitte will reach 500 games started in his career with his ninth start of the 2013 season. Pettitte can also smell his 250th win, as he needs just five wins to get there.
Not that you were wondering, but if you were, Stephen Strasburg needs just 5,402 more strikeouts to break Nolan Ryan’s record. Mike Trout needs a paltry 4,048 more hits to break Pete Rose’s mark. And Clayton Kershaw is only 451 wins away from surpassing the great Cy Young’s win total.
Some of these milestones will be reached with the aid of banned substances, while some of them will be through natural means. Until we know, for sure, who did what drugs and for how long, one should appreciate the achievement for what it is and celebrate it as such. Not all steroid users reach these milestones. Just ask Larry Bigbie, Chad Allen and Marvin Benard, none of whom ever really accomplished much with the banned substances they admitted taking.
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