That said…welcome to August!
Right out of the gate, on August 4th, “A-Rod” joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. as the one of the only players to slug 600 or more home runs for their career…and he did it exactly three years to the day after he slugged number 500.
Rodriguez also became the youngest player to hit 600, at 35 years and eight days old…a year and 188 days younger than “The Bambino” was when he swatted 600. “A-Rod” was also the fourth quickest to the mark in terms of at-bats, hitting number 600 in his 8,689th at-bat. Ruth did it in 6,921.
Less than a week later, Rodriguez made history again when he stole his 300th base. Only Barry (762-514) and Bobby Bonds (332-461), Willie Mays (660-338), Andre Dawson (438-314), Reggie Sanders (305-304) and Steve Finley (304-320) have achieved 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.
On August 25, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols extended his own streak by becoming the only player in Major League history to begin his career with ten straight seasons of 30 or more home runs. A few nights later, he became the youngest National Leaguer to reach 400 for his career.
The end of the month saw the Chicago White Sox ensure that no one would wear Frank Thomas’ number when they retired number 35. Thomas retired this past February after a 19-year career that saw the two-time American League MVP hit .301 with 521 homers and 1704 RBI.
And speaking of retirement…Chicago Cubs skipper Lou Piniella abruptly called it quits prior to his team’s August 22nd game against the Atlanta Braves. “Sweet Lou” exited the game 14th on all-time wins list.
But my two favorite milestones of the season happened on August 21 when San Diego Padres professional hitter Matt Stairs set a record with his 21st career pinch hit homer and the next night when Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz legged out his annual triple. And if you’re keeping score, Ortiz is one of only three Major Leaguers to have at least one triple a year since 2000.
So what else happened in August? Both Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee knocked in their 1000th runs, Chipper Jones scored his 1500th run, Carl Crawford became only the eigth Major Leaguer to compile 100 triples, 100 home runs and 400 stolen bases, C.C. Sabathia won his 150th game, Felix Hernandez became the fourth youngest pitcher to reach 1000 strikeouts and Juan Pierre swiped his 500th career base.