Just a week after Sammy Sosa hit home run number 600, two other players have reached important milestones on the same day. Yesterday, Craig Biggio nailed his 3000th hit, and Frank Thomas nailed his 500th home run.
You can’t but feel happiness for both of these players and their milestone achievements. There doesn’t seem to be more of a class act that Craig Biggio, who not only made it to 3000 hits, but did it all with the Astros. Even more amazing is the fact that on the night he made it into the 3000 hit club, he also went 5 for 6. But what’s even more incredible is the dude got thrown out on number 3000. Instead of settling for first base, which he clearly had, he tried to stretch that single into a double, in which he wasn’t fortunate enough to make happen. Who gets thrown out going to second on their 3000th hit? The answer is: the guy who holds the most doubles from the right side of the plate. You got to hand it to the dude, he’s a baller, and he wasn’t going to settle for an easy celebration.
And then there is Frank Thomas, my childhood hero, who’s career seemed to be over after a few injury riddled seasons. Even then, I stood by him and he made his comeback last year with the A’s and now is continuing to hit the longball with the Blue Jays. The interesting note about his 500th home run is not just that it came on the same day as Biggio’s 3000th hit (which has never happened before in baseball history), but that he too also got thrown out…of the game. Thomas ripped his home run in the first and then was tossed by the home plate umpire for arguing balls and strikes in the 9th. Once again, that’s just straight baller. In a game in which most players would have been already celebrating and floating on cloud 9, Thomas was doing everything he could to help his team win.
The question now is whether both of these players will be Hall of Famers. The answer for both should be yes, but I have a feeling Thomas is going to have a little more of a difficult time finding his way into the Hall. I cross my fingers that by the time Thomas makes his way onto the ballot, voters will be able to recognize that Thomas is in the top 25 all-time in several major statistical categories (HR, OPS, OBP, RBI, BB), not to mention a two time MVP. If that doesn’t warrant a bid, I’m not sure what does.