Cheers to Palmeiro

On Tuesday, the Yankees blew their lead to the Orioles on a Brian Roberts’ walk-off homerun.  If you read ESPN’s article, you would have to read at least 3 paragraphs down before any mention of Rafael Palmeiro’s two record achievements that game. 

Such has been the career of Palmeiro the most unheralded player in this era.

Tuesday, Raffy’s 563 career homerun tied him with Reggie Jackson for 9th on the all-time list.  In addition, his two rbis passed Frank Robinson and he is now 15th all-time.  He now has 1813 rbis.

His stats are quite handsome yet how many people outside of us baseball fanatics know who he is?  He has remained pretty much unknown throughout his career.  Unless he is recognized from his Viagra ads.  And I won’t even go there.

But think of it.  He is only 37 homeruns away from the very coveted mark of 600.  As it is now, he has more homeruns than notable sluggers Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle and will most likely pass Harmon Killebrew this year (he needs 10 more).  He has more rbis than the aforementioned FRobbie, Cal Ripken, and Reggie Jackson.

As with most record holders, Raffy has done what he has done by virtue of his consistent play.  With the exception of the strike year 1994 and 1995 (143 games), he has played no less than 152 games every year since 1988.  Year in, year out, he has put out solid seasons yet never led the league in homers, slugging, or rbis.  In addition, he not won any MVP awards.  Yet, because of his consistent play, he leads all active players in hits, doubles, games and at-bats.  He was also second in total bases and third in homeruns.

Kudos to Rafael Palmeiro, the quiet superstar.

 

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