Unless you were lost while spelunking yesterday, you have no doubt heard that Alex Rodriguez smashed his 600th home run. I'd be a bit more excited about it if he had reached this milestone with the assistance of beer and hot dogs, like the great Babe Ruth, rather than performance enhancing drugs. But whatever, this post is not about that, or that there should be a separate column of records reserved for the three other asterisks who hold rank among the top ten home run leaders. Instead, this post is inspired by the astonishing coincidence that Rodriguez reached this mark exactly three years after having reached the 500 home run mark (and being the youngest player to do so). This parallelism, coupled with the fact that today marks the 11th anniversary of Mark McGwire's 500th home run, got me wondering about what other feats were reached in the balmy opening days of August.
1945 - Hall of Fame outfielder Mel Ott becomes the first National League player to hit 500 home runs. Ott spent his entire 22 year career with the New York Giants, and reached this goal during a night game at the Polo Grounds. Boston Braves' pitcher Johnny Hutchings delivered the history making pitch.
1972 - Padres All Star Nate Colbert ties a Major League home run record by hitting 5 during a double header against the Atlanta Braves. The earlier record was set by Stan Musial, and oddly enough, Colbert was in the bleachers at St. Louis when Musial broke the original record. Colbert also established a new record of 13 rbi's during the double header.
1982 - Rickey Henderson steals his 100th base of the season, becoming the first player ever to steal 100 bases twice. He would go on to break the record of steals in a single season, 118, by stealing his 119th on August 27 of the same year.
2004 - Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols becomes the first player in Major League history to hit more than 30 home runs in each of his first four seasons. So far, he has had a phenomenal nine consecutive 'over 30' home run seasons, and he is very close to a tenth.
1985 - Rod Carew joins the elite few who have 3000 hits after hitting a single passed Twins' pitcher Frank Viola. Interestingly enough, White Sox pitcher, Tom Seaver wins his 300th against the Yankees.
2007 - Alex Rodriguez becomes the youngest player to hit 500 home runs.
2010 - Alex Rodriguez hits his 600th career homer.
1999 - Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire slams his 500th home run off of Padres' Alan Ashby. McGwire also set the fastest record in reaching this goal, having hit his 400th career home run in May the season before.
1999 - Padres' slugger Tony Gwynn earns his 3,000th hit, singling off Expos' pitcher Dan Smith.
1999 - Three weeks before retiring from baseball at age 41, Wade Boggs, playing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, crushes his 3,000th hit, becoming the first batter to reach this illustrious mark with a home run.
2007 - Mike Bacsik Jr. will only be remembered for delivering Barry Bonds his record breaking 756th home run.