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October 28, 2009

The season that was...September

Alright…let’s get right to it.

On September 11, Derek Jeter surpassed legend Lou Gehrig to become the Yankees all-time hits leader. With all the hype surrounding Jeter getting hit number 2722, you would think that he actually set some sort of real record.

He didn’t.

While the feat is impressive, the fact that it took him close to 1500 more plate appearances doesn’t make it AS impressive. Wake me up when he becomes the first Yankee to get 3000 hits…sometime in June of 2011.

And since we’re talking Yankees hits milestones (we were, right?)…let’s add another to the list.

Admitted steroid user (and yes, I will call him that until the media’s current man crush subsides) Alex Rodriguez finished the season tied for eighth all-time in home runs with 583.

Tied with who you ask? Mark McGwire.

No comment.

On September 2…Rodriguez collected career hit number 2500. But perhaps the most impressive “A-Rod” achievement this season was his ending the season with 100 RBI…for the 12th straight year!

Less than a week after Rodriguez got hit number 2500, Ichiro Suzuki sent the second pitch of the Mariners September 6 contest down the right field line for his 2000th hit in the Majors. With that case knock, he became the second-fastest player to reach the milestone.

Only Hall of Famer Al Simmons did it quicker.

A week later, Ichiro tallied his 200th hit of the season for the ninth consecutive year…setting an all-time Major League record. All-time hit king Pete Rose holds the non-consecutive record with ten.

On June 27, 2007, Phillies slugger Ryan Howard became the fastest player to hit 100 home runs when he bested Ralph Kiner by 60 games.

Earlier this season (on July 16), Howard again surpassed Kiner when he became the quickest to 200 home runs.

On September 18, the first baseman again joined some pretty exclusive company. With a sixth inning bomb off Atlanta's Tim Hudson, Howard joined Babe Ruth, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey, Jr. as the only four Major Leaguers with at least four consecutive 40 home run, 120 RBI seasons.

Almost as impressive as Howard’s consistency in sending balls deep into the Philadelphia night…is Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds’ consistent futility.

In 2008, Reynolds became the first Major Leaguer to strike out more than 200 times…he finished with 204. This season, he was sent back to the bench a new record 223 times!

If it means anything to anyone, I’d like to point out that only two National League pitchers (Tim Lincecum and Javier Vazquez) struck out more batters than Reynolds struck out.

Lastly…it is worth mentioning that Brian Roberts (yes, THAT Brian Roberts) secured his status as a doubles hitting machine.

With his league leading 56 doubles, Roberts not only became the fourth Major Leaguer ever to achieve three seasons with more than 50 or more doubles (Hall of Famers Tris Speaker, Paul Waner and Stan Musial are the others)…but he secured the top spot on the “most doubles hit by a switch hitter” list.

And to think, back in March when I
previewed the Baltimore Orioles…I suggested “Monument City” had nothing to celebrate.

I stand corrected.

BallHype: hype it up!

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