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In a historic 2014 campaign, Cuban slugger Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox set yet another rookie record by going deep against 17 separate teams, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via GammonsDaily.com). 

Abreu edged out an old record set by Mark Teixeira with the Texas Rangers back in 2003, when the first baseman homered off 16 different opposing squads on his way to collecting 26 long balls on the season. 

The Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians were the bulky Cuban's favorite opponents this season, as he hit five long balls off each of those squads. Abreu's three homers at Detroit's Comerica Park were his most at any location, with the obvious exception of U.S. Cellular Field. He slashed .333/.381/.667 in 10 games at Comerica, proving to be rather unintimidated by the four-time defending American League Central Division champions.

Abreu hit multiple home runs off three different pitchers in 2014, getting the best of Detroit's Justin Verlander in addition to Danny Salazar of the Indians and R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays. Both homers against Dickey came during a 5-4 victory over the Jays back on June 27.

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At the conclusion of the 2014 MLB season, Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles was the only MLB player with 40 home runs. That number was the fewest to lead the majors since Jesse Barfield of the Toronto Blue Jays also hit exactly 40 in 1986, per ESPN Stats & Info.

To put that figure into perspective, fellow Oriole Chris Davis led the majors with 53 long balls in 2013 while Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was one of five players to eclipse 40 homers in 2012, leading both circuits with 44 in his Triple Crown season.

Inked to a one-year deal prior to the start of the season, Cruz helped lead the Orioles to their first American League East title since 1997 and has now surged them to the American League Championship Series, where they face a 2-0 deficit entering Monday's Game 3 in Kansas City.

Serving primarily as an outfielder and designated hitter, Cruz recorded three more four-baggers than Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and Chris Carter of the Houston Astros, both of whom gathered 37 in their 2014 campaigns. Rookie Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels were next in line, having each tallied 36 long balls this season.

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Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson reached 13,000 career receiving yards in Thursday's 33-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, hitting the milestone with a nine-yard catch in the second quarter, per the Texans' official website.

Just the 15th player and 14th wide receiver to join the 13K club, Johnson finished his night with seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown, but he also lost a crucial fumble late in the fourth quarter.

His fantastic four-yard touchdown snag in the second quarter sparked an impressive near-comeback, after the Colts outscored the Texans 24-0 in the game's first 15 minutes. Johnson's subsequent catch, which came on the second play of the next drive, put him over the 13,000-yard mark for his career.

The Texans eventually clawed the deficit down to 33-28, only to see their final two drives end on fumbles by Johnson and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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It was a magical season for the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, who tallied a career-best 225 hits and swiped 56 bases. He capped off an incredible year with his 69th multi-hit game of the season on September 28 against the New York Mets, extending his lead on the franchise record, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Not only did he cement is name in Astros record books, but Altuve recorded the most multi-hit performances by a right-handed batter since Michael Young with the Texas Rangers in 2006.

Additionally, Altuve's 225 base knocks are the most by a second baseman since Charlie Gehringer collected 227 with the Detroit Tigers in 1936, according to MLB Stat of the Day. To put that total in perspective, the next closest second baseman to Altuve in 2014 was another Tiger—Ian Kinsler—who had 188 hits this season. 

With the historic year, Altuve joins Ty Cobb as the only players to reach or surpass 225 hits, 47 doubles and 56 steals in a single season, per MLB Stat of the Day. During his MVP-winning 1911 campaign, Cobb recorded 248 hits, smacked 47 doubles and swiped 83 bags.

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After bringing the city of Boston a World Series championship in 2013, the Boston Red Sox took a turn in the wrong direction, falling to the cellar of the AL East by the conclusion of the 2014 season. Their 91 losses this year represented the second-most ever by a defending champion, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info). 

Only the 1998 Florida Marlins lost more games following a championship season, posting a dreadful record of 54-108 after bringing home a title in 1997.

One cannot begin to explain the turnaround without first turning to the decline of the Boston bats. The team lost productive hitters Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins, respectively, but their losses alone hardly explains the drop-off in offensive numbers. 

The 2013 team collectively posted a .277 batting average and 178 home runs, scoring 853 runs along the way. In comparison, the 2014 squad produced just a .244 batting average while hitting just 123 four-baggers and scoring 219 fewer runs.

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Although the Cincinnati Reds had what was largely a season to forget in 2014, pitcher Johnny Cueto was able to record arguably the best season of his career. The 28-year-old right-hander posted a 20-9 record—for a Reds team that only won 76 games—to go along with a 2.25 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.

Per MLB Stat of the Day, Cueto is the first 20-game winner for the Reds since Danny Jackson posted a 23-8 record in the 1988 season. Additionally, Cueto's 2.25 ERA is the lowest for a Reds' 20-game winner since Dolf Luque's posted a 27-8 record and 1.93 ERA during the 1923 campaign.

Cueto flirted with 20 wins back in 2012 when he posted a 19-9 record, but he took a step back in an injury-plagued 2013, only managing 60.2 regular-season innings last year.

The Dominican Republic native bounced back in a big way this season, leading Reds starting pitchers in nearly every statistical category, including an impressive 242 strikeouts. Per Fangraphs, Cueto's 8.94 K/9 rate in 2014 was the best he has ever posted.

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The 2014 MLB Postseason is already well underway, but a familiar face in baseball is missing from this season's playoffs. Former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter is typically a regular in the month of October, as he never played for a team with a losing record in his 20 big-league seasons from 1995 to 2014.

Per Elias Sports Bureau, Jeter is the only player in Major League Baseball history to play 20 or more years without experiencing a single losing season.

During Jeter's time with the Yankees, the team never finished below third place in the AL East and was only that far down the standings twice. The Captain's tenure featured 13 division titles, including a streak of nine straight from 1998 to 2006.

The Yankees have appeared in the World Series six times with Jeter as their shortstop, emerging victorious on five separate occasions, most recently in 2009 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Needing just one touchdown pass to reach 500 for his career, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning reached that milestone and more in Sunday's 41-20 drubbing of the Arizona Cardinals.

The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer completed 31 of his 47 pass attempts for a career-high 479 yards in the victory, tossing four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Manning's 500th scoring pass came in the first quarter on a seven-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas, who would later catch his NFL-leading seventh touchdown of the season. Manning's other two touchdowns went to wideout Demaryius Thomas, who broke out of his early-season slump with an eight-catch, 226-yard performance.

In addition to surpassing 500 touchdowns and setting a personal single-game best for yardage, Manning also tied Dan Marino's all-time record of 13 career 400-yard passing games, per ESPN Stats & Info.

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Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had a career-high 226 receiving yards in Sunday's 41-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals, setting a franchise single-game record for receiving yards, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Thomas, who struggled through the first three weeks of the season, turned in his historic performance against a secondary that's viewed as one of the league's best, led by cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie.

No matter, the imposing 6'3" veteran ran circles around the Cardinals, finishing with eight catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 16 targets.

Thomas almost produced an even bigger game, as he had an easy 77-yard touchdown wiped out by a chop block penalty against tight end Julius Thomas, who became the subject of criticism for his illegal hit that resulted in a serious knee injury for superstar Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell.

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Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten reached 10,000 career receiving yards during Sunday's 20-17 win over the Houston Texans, becoming just the third player at his position to hit the milestone, per NFL.com's Gil Brandt.

Witten, who entered the game with 9,955 yards, had just two receptions for 13 yards at halftime before turning it on after the break.

His third reception of the afternoon, which came in the third quarter, went for a 34-yard gain to bring his career total to 10,002 receiving yards. The Cowboys took a 10-7 lead two plays later on a 43-yard scoring strike from quarterback Tony Romo to wide receiver Terrance Williams.

Witten's fourth and final catch of the afternoon went for 12 yards, converting a 2nd-and-11 on the final play of the third quarter to push Dallas into the red zone. Romo threw an interception two plays later, and while the Cowboys would take a 17-7 lead shortly thereafter, they still ended up needing overtime to defeat their in-state rivals.