MLB Milestones 2011: Chipper, Ortiz and More Have Reached Big Marks This Year
Many big names are reaching pretty notable marks this year and yet, some of their accomplishments are hardly being mentioned.
For example, did you know David Ortiz hit his 350th career home run this year? Or that Roy Oswalt collected his 100th career sacrifice hit?
Indeed, multiple milestones have been met this season, often without a lot of fanfare. The following are 10 such unsung achievements. Enjoy!
April 1: David Ortiz Slugs 350th Home Run
In 2008, it seemed as if David Ortiz's career was slipping.
In 2009, it seemed as if he had entered a permanent decline.
In 2010, he rebounded a little, to the delight of Red Sox fans everywhere.
And now, in 2011, David Ortiz is back. This year has been the 35-year-old slugger's best season since 2007, when he hit .332 with 35 home runs and 117 RBI.
He hit his 350th home run at the beginning of the season and hasn't looked back—he is on pace for 37 dingers this year, his most since 2006.
April 8: Chipper Jones Collects 2,500th Hit
When considering all-time great third basemen, Chipper Jones should definitely be mentioned.
Think about it: Only six third basemen in the history of the game have at least 2,500 hits—they are Buddy Bell (2,514 hits), Lave Cross (2,651 hits), Brooks Robinson (2,848 hits), Wade Boggs (3,010 hits), George Brett (3,154 hits)...and Chipper Jones.
And only one third baseman has at least 2,500 hits and 400 home runs. I'll let you figure out who that is.
April 12: Jimmy Rollins Scores 1,000th Run
Runs scored is an often unheralded statistic. It just doesn't get the respect of other, more robust numbers like RBI, home runs and even stolen bases.
That's why, when Rollins scored his 1,000th run on April 12, nary a peep was spoken about it. Nevertheless, it is quite an impressive feat, as only five active shortstops, including Rollins, have scored at least 1,000 runs in their careers.
The others are Derek Jeter (1,719 runs), Omar Vizquel (1,421 runs), Miguel Tejada (1,203 runs) and Edgar Renteria (1,175 runs).
April 15: Jim Leyland Earns 1,500th Managerial Win
Jim Leyland is not often mentioned in Hall of Fame discussions, but perhaps he should be.
Only 19 managers have ever won at least 1,500 games at the helm, and of Hall of Fame-eligible skippers, only two have not eventually been elected to the Hall: Gene Mauch (1,902 wins) and Ralph Houk (1,619 wins).
Therefore, don't be too surprised if, one day down the line, Mr. Leyland gets the call to the Hall.
April 25: Chipper Jones Hits 500th Double
Wait, wait, wait. Didn't we just see this guy?
Just a couple weeks after collecting his 2,500th career hit, Chipper Jones slugged his 500th double, becoming one of only three third basemen all-time with that many (Wade Boggs [578 doubles] and George Brett [665 doubles] are the other two).
Yeah, this Chipper Jones guy—he's pretty good.
May 6: Derek Lowe Faces 10,000th Batter
This is a pretty obscure milestone, but it is indicative of just how durable Derek Lowe has been.
On May 6, Derek Lowe faced his 10,000th batter, making him one of only six active pitchers to have eclipsed that magic, five-digit mark.
Perhaps most impressive of all is that Lowe reached 10,000 batters faced, even though he spent the first five years of his career as a reliever.
May 8: Jose Valverde Earns 200th Save
Jose Valverde has been quite a solid closer throughout his career.
He has led the league in saves twice and games finished once, and in 2007 and 2010, he was selected to attend the All-Star Game.
Upon earning his 200th save, he became one of only six active closers to reach that mark.
May 14: Livan Hernandez Pitches 3,000th Inning
When one thinks Livan Hernandez, one must also think workhorse.
Not many pitchers within the past 20 seasons have been as durable and solid as Livan Hernandez—in fact, since 1990, only 10 pitchers have reached 3,000 innings, 10,000 batters faced and 450 games started, all marks accomplished by Hernandez.
Pitchers like him are especially rare these days. Only two have at least 3,000 innings under their belts, those being Hernandez and Tim Wakefield (3,114.2).
May 22: Roy Oswalt Collects 100th Sacrifice Hit
For good reason, Roy Oswalt is mostly known for his pitching acumen—he is a pitcher, after all.
However, he also has a little skill with the bat, as proven by his three-digit sacrifice hit total. Only one other pitcher has at least 100 sacrifice hits—Livan Hernandez, with 114.
May 26: David Ortiz Scores 1,000th Run
I started off with David Ortiz, so I thought I'd finish with him as well.
Ortiz became the second player to score run 1,000 this season, with the aforementioned Jimmy Rollins being the first.
Some other players are getting close to that mark as well, including Paul Konerko (998 runs) and Orlando Cabrera (969 runs).