Last night (September 12th, 2015) at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox became the newest member of a club that only boasts 27 members. This club is the exclusive 500 Career HR Club. Big Papi accomplished his feat in a most spectacular fashion. He entered last nights’ contest with the Tampa Bay Rays with 498 HR’s, meaning that he would need 2 more to get to #500. Well, he did exactly that. He hit #’s 499 and 500 in the same game (a VERY rare feat, only accomplished by one other player, Albert Pujols). I had a few friends and one daughter and her boyfriend at this game, so I was glad that they got to witness some baseball history being made. It is no secret that my baseball loyalties belong to the Boston Red Sox, so this was all that much better. My daughter is a Rays fan, but she also likes David Ortiz. So she had to sit through the Rays losing and getting to see something amazing. Glass half full?
There are now 9 MLB players who have hit 500 home runs that are not in the MLB Hall of Fame. Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Ortiz are still active. Ken Griffey Jr. will be on the HOF ballot for the first time this year, and should get in without barely a second thought. Many Ramirez may have a more difficult path due to his PED issues. Jim Thome will not be eligible until 2018. Gary Sheffield has not gotten a lot of love from the HOF voters. And there is still Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and all-time HR King Barry Bonds. I know, let the HOF debate begin. This was not my intent. I was only calling attention to the simple fact that 500 career HR’s does not guarantee HOF induction.
Ortiz joins a short list of players with at least 500 HR’s AND 3 World Series Rings (Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and now Ortiz). Ortiz is the fourth player to hit HR #500 in a Red Sox uniform, joining Jimmy Foxx, Ted Williams, and Manny Ramirez. Ortiz has had 9 seasons with 30 or more HR’s. He has had an amazing career, and is beloved in Red Sox Nation. Ortiz expects to keep on playing for quite some time. Congratulations, David Ortiz!
In other baseball news…Did anybody see the monster game that Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals had last night against the Baltimore Orioles? 9 RBI’s! 2 HR’s, one of which was a Grand Slam, and the other a three-run shot. Moustatkas’ 9-RBI is a Royals record. Heck of a game, Moose!
See ya’ next time!