Albert Pujols Passes Mickey Mantle With 537th HR, What Are Baseballs Real Milestones?

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With Albert Pujols hitting his 537th home run last night, passing Mickey Mantle for 16th on the all-time list, it sheds some light on the real records in baseball. There is no denying the acheivement for Pujols, he has had a Hall of Fame career and is continuing to vault himself as one of the best ever. At 35 years old, he is still about 200 homers short of Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds, depending on what you think about the steroid era, of first place on the all-time list. It would be safe to say that Pujols won’t reach either of the two. If he were to hit at least 30 home runs for the next 5 seasons, which is asking a lot from an aging player, it would put him at 687 HR’s as of right now. Personally, I think he will end up somewhere around the 630-650 area. But considering his career and the fact that he hasn’t had a blemish to his name, it may be a more impressive feat than any of the hitters above him in this era.

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 500 Home Run Club used to be a historic milestone that was essentially enough to vault a player into the HOF. Due to the steroid era, this has become an accomplishment that is surrounded by more disgust than praise. It is basically a new daily feature on Sportscenter where fans wake up to find out some veteran has entered the club. Just looking at the list of players currently in this club from recent eras brings up more controversy. Since 2000, the 500 HR Club has added a handful of players with steroid implications such as: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro, Jim Thome, and Gary Sheffield. In the next few years there are sure to be more names. But as of right now, this record just doesn’t hold the significance or historical aspect it once did.

This is just one of the milestones in baseball that are and were once deemed significant. But its time to push the home run club to the back burner and let all the uptight baseball writers deal with it. These are the real historic milestones in baseball:

– 56 Game Hit Streak

Joe Dimaggio is the only player to reach this feat, and it hasn’t been touched since. 56 straight games with a hit is NUTS, honestly I don’t think it will ever be reached or broken.

– 653 Career Saves

Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time, and it would be hard to see anyone duplicate his career to reach this milestone. For the better part of 19 seasons, Rivera averaged 40 saves a year. Good luck.

– .400 Batting Average For A Season

Ted Williams is the only player to do this, and the only one who came close was Tony Gwynn in 1994, where he hit .394 before the labor strike ended the season.

– Career Strikeouts Record

Nolan Ryan finished with 5,714 punchiest for his career. The closest we have seen was Randy Johnson with 4,875 during his tenure. With health, and tommy john issues, it is difficult to imagine a pitcher duplicating Ryan’s milestone.

– Career Hits Record

Get Pete Rose to the Hall of Fame. 4,256 hits in his career will not be touched, unless you’re one of those people who like to argue that about players stats in Japan.

– Career Wins

Cy Young is the leader with 511 wins for his career, which is crazy to think about today. Getting into the 300 win club is a milestone in itself, but 500, no chance.

– Consecutive Games Played

Cal Ripken Jr. set the record with 2,632 straight games played and this accomplishment will never be touched. Players in this era go on the DL for sneezing, or pulling a muscle putting on their socks. No current player is even close.