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March 26, 2012

Ten National League Milestones to Watch For

With the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season just around the corner, it’s time to check out some upcoming milestones. And unlike past years when The Hall has broken down the season division by division…we’re going league-by-league.

Up first…the National League!

With 604 career home runs, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Jim Thome is going to continue to move up the all-time home run list with every mighty swing of the bat. Almost more impressive is what he’s on the cusp of doing with every swing…and miss. The veteran enters 2012 second all-time in strikeouts with 2487. With increased playing time, Thome has an outside chance to pass Reggie Jackson on the all-time list. He would need 111 Ks.

After just seven seasons in the Majors, Ryan Howard is quickly climbing the active home run list. The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman is looking to return from injury and reach the 300 career home runs. The perennial MVP candidate is 14 long flies away from the milestone.

And speaking of the Philadelphis Phillies…ace Roy Halladay is a dozen wins away from reaching the 200. This past season, the big righty got his 12th victory shortly after the All-Star break. Also chasing down 200 career victories is Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. Dude enters the season at 181.

Quietly, Dusty Baker is second in wins among all active managers and, should the Cincinnati Reds reach 88 wins…dude will leap frog a couple of Hall of Famers on the all-time list. Baker currently sits at 1484 wins…right behind Clark Griffith (1491) and Dick Williams (1571).

The 2012 season will also mark the 50th anniversary for the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. To celebrate their golden anniversary, the Mets will don 50th anniversary patches in place of the Mets skyline logo on their left sleeves. The Astros’ anniversary, on the other hand, looks to be a bittersweet one. Season number 51 will open with them in the American League.

49 years, 4 months and 18 days
If Jamie Moyer makes the Opening Day roster for the Colorado Rockies, he’ll start the season just north of 49 years of age. If/when he wins a game…he will become the oldest player ever to win a Major League game. Jack Quinn was 49 years, two months and 12 days old when he won his last game in 1932. On another note…15 members of the Rockies 40-man roster were born after Moyer’s big league debut.

More Roy Halladay? Yup. With an Opening Day start, Halladay will have started ten straight season openers. How has he fared you ask? Dude is 4-3 with a 3.75 ERA and 46 strikeouts in his previous nine Opening Day appearances between the Toronto Blue Jays and his current team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Being the setup man to Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford will certainly hinder Francisco Rodriguez from getting any saves, but should “K-Rod” get a few opportunities here and there, he’ll become the 23rd reliever in baseball history with 300 saves.

Here’s a fun one. Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has hit five career home runs on his birthday. Should he go deep on August 20 he’ll get his sixth and break a tie with Al Simmons and Derrek Lee in that category.

Miami Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco is just four wins away from becoming the team’s all-time franchise leader with 68. Coincidentally, he’s also four losses away from becoming the franchise leader in that category with 55.

Tomorrow...we'll take a look at the American League!

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