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Same Game Milestones
September 24, 2010 - Al Stephenson
One of the things I love about baseball is the chance to see something special in any given game. Occasionally you can get real lucky and see two achievements in the same game.
Such was the case in Toronto as Jose Bautista and Ichiro Suzuki reached plateaus not seen by many - or any in the case of Ichiro. Let's start with Bautista.
Jose Bautista became only the 26th player in major league history and the first since 2007 to hit 50 home runs in a single season. The (unlikely?) Blue Jay slugger accounted for the only run of the game when he smacked #50 in the first inning. A 1-0 shutout is usually a game that only a baseball purist can appreciate, but I bet there were few in the crowd that complained about the lack of offense after getting to see two milestones.
The fact that Bautista hit something like 57 homers in the previous four seasons combined, has led some to question if the steroid era is indeed entirely over. I'd like to think that a guy can have that once in a lifetime year where all the stars in the heavens just happen to align. I'd also like to think that players would not do anything so foolish as to shoot up, given the hell that guys like McGwire, Clemens, Sosa, A-Rod and Palmeiro have gone through. Then again we have Tiger, "Heismanless" Reggie and most recently Braylon Edwards to make us shake our collective heads and say, "what the heck were they thinking!"
For now anyway, let's congratulate Jose Bautista on a great accomplishment.
As for Ichiro, what can you say. The man is a hitting machine. In the same game that Bautista hit his record blast, Suzuki got his 200th hit of the season. That makes 10 consecutive seasons of getting 200 or more knocks and that is a record that is his alone. Pete Rose is the only other player to have ten 200 hit seasons in his career. Incredible, Ichiro!
In 1985 I was in Yankee Stadium when Tom Seaver recorded his 300th career win. On the same day Rod Carew struck his 3,000 career hit in Anaheim. I couldn't see both in person, but I can, and certainly do, let people know that I witnessed one treasured baseball moment.
The view from my seat would suggest that the people that sat in the Rogers Centre this week will start many a conversation with, "I was there the day that Jose Bautista and Ichiro Suzuki..."
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