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April 18, 2009

Ticket punched

His first hit in the Majors was a home run for the Milwaukee Brewers, so it is fitting that his latest home run was against them.

New York Mets slugger Gary Sheffield thrilled the 36,436 in attendance when he hit home run Number 500 and became the 25th player to accomplish the feat. I laid out his Hall of Fame candidacy
a few weeks back after the Tigers released need to repeat it.

That being are ten OTHER things that might interest you about Sheff's 500 dingers.

On September 8, 2008 (as a member of the Detroit Tigers), Sheffield’s grand slam against Oakland was determined to be the 250,000 home run in Major League history.

Sheffield went yard against 334 different pitchers. The first…Mark Langston. The latest…Mitch Stetter. Tom Glavine and Jamey Wright were victimized the most, giving up six long balls apiece.

Sheffield’s home run Friday night was his 51st game tying home run. Over his career, 203 of his 500 were go ahead shots, while another 4 were grand slams.

In 1996, Sheffield went deep 42 times for the Florida Marlins, setting a franchise record for the fish. In 6 seasons in Miami, Sheffield hit 122 home runs.

When Sheffield sent one out of Citi Field Friday night, it meant he had hit a home run in 41 different Major League ballparks.

Sheffield has hit a home run against all 30 Major League teams. If you count the Montreal Expos…he’s hit one against 31.

Sheffield hits a home run every 17.9 at bats, which nestles him right near Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (17.52) and Duke Snider (17.6) on the all-time list.

Sheffield has played for and gone deep for eight teams. Milwaukee (1988-1991), San Diego (1992-1993), Florida (1993-1998), Los Angeles (1998-2001), Atlanta (2002-2003), New York Yankees (2004-2006), Detroit (2007-2008) and New York Mets (2009).

In 28 pinch hit at bats, Sheffield has 10 hits…2 of them (Friday night’s included) have been home runs. The other was July 20, 1994 off Jeff Brantley.

Sheffield is 6 for 21 (.286 batting average) against his legendary uncle Dwight Gooden. The “0” stands for how many times he circled the bases against him.

BallHype: hype it up!


joelkirstein said...

Sheff deserves to get into the hall. He's not a first ballot inductee like some other guys, but his stats stack up plus he was more prolific offensively between the ages of 30 to 40, as opposed to the ages of 18 to 29. He helped the marlins win it all in 1997 and until this season, he was an everyday player. The voting BBWAA need to ignore his off-field side (tame compared to some) and just look at his consistency and he will get into Cooperstown eventually.

JB said...

Sheer numbers, he is in - no question. Top 5 all-time in bat speed. That being said, his problem(s) will be: being mentioned in the BALCO/steroids conversations and he was the most outspoken MLB'er during his service.
I appreciate that a helluva lot more than one cliche' after another when a player is interviewed. I remember an interview with him a few years ago when (in one of his many times) he spoke of racism in baseball, especially from owners and the media.
His point was how a guy like Len Dykstra who played balls-out defense, ran into walls and put his body on the line game in and game out was thought of as a gamer and earned the nickname, "Nails."
Yet another centerfielder who played balls-out defense, ran into walls and put his body on the line game in and game out was thought of as injury-prone. His name was Eric Davis.
Now I cannot tell you for certain if these distinctions were made due to race. But I can tell you I appreciate the opinion from someone who was on the inside and may have some merit in the comment.
That, in a nutshell (and potentially the BALCO/steroids mention) is what keeps him from first ballot and potentially the Hall itself. Ironically for voicing his opinion - which in America is a right. Whether you are black or white. The BBWAA doesn't take kindly to those who call their bluffs....