There’s a nifty little tool on Major League Baseball’s website, in the statistics section, that projects milestones for the coming year based on the pace a player has accumulated any given statistic over the course of his career. If you’re an Albert Pujols fan or just an admirer of his career, you may want to plan to attend a few Los Angeles Angels games this year when they visit the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Albert Pujols Milestones
According to MLB.com, Pujols should drive in his 1836th run when the Angels visit Seattle in early May, with a specific projection date of Tuesday, May 2nd. The poignancy of Mr. Pujols’ accomplishment – if he indeed achieves the milestone then – won’t be lost on long-time Mariners fans. By climbing to 1836 RBI, Pujols will pass Ken Griffey, Jr. on the all-time list and move into sole possession of 15th.
But hold on. Pujols and the Angels return to Safeco in mid-August when he’ll be climbing up the hits list. In a little misleading “milestone,” MLB notes that Sir Albert will pass Adrian Beltre for 31st all-time with his 2942nd hit on or about August 11th. But, alas, while on the DL currently, Beltre will certainly have accumulated a few more hits by August. So, the really historic moment may come the next night on August 12th when Pujols smacks hit number 2843 and passes Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson. Mark your calendar. It’s a Saturday night game.
And just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore Pujols milestones, come back to the ballpark in September when he may surpass Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray on the RBI list by driving in his 1917th run. That would move the sure thing first ballot HOFer into 9th place all-time. September 8th is the projection date for that little milestone.
Other Milestones for Visitors
For visiting players not named Albert, there are a few notable milestones. Just next week in the opening series against the Houston Astros, second baseman Jose Altuve is on pace to swipe his 200th base, and, in that very same series, Carlos Beltran should drive in his 1540th run to tie him with Willie Stargell for 47th all-time.
Another fella you may have heard of, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, will be in town from June 19th through the 22nd and that series should see two milestones fall for the Venezuelan slugger. On June 19th, Miggy is on pace to pass turn-of-the-century, Hall-of-Fame legend Nap Lajoie for sole possession of the number 35 slot on the RBI list. Then over the next two nights, Cabrera should collect RBI number 1600 and hit number 2600. Capping off the series, Cabrera could hit HR number 462 to tie him with Adam Dunn and Jose Canseco for 35th all-time.
What About the Mariners?
So, while maybe not historic, there are some personal milestones on the menu for Seattle Mariners’ players this season. On June 6th, in the opener against the Minnesota Twins, Robinson Cano is due to score his 1100th run – we sure love round numbers. Then on July 21st, ironically against the New York Yankees, Cano’s original team, he is on pace to gather his 500th double.
While a few years younger, not to be outdone, Kyle Seager should get his 200th double in that same series against the Yankees. Another milestone for the elder Seager – his little brother in LA is very good also, by the way – should come as a mild counter to Mr. Pujols and the Angels when he drives in his 500th run, to leave him only 1400 behind the LA first baseman.
But the milestone most casual fans tend to remember is when a player creeps up the HR list. Safeco Field has that on the calendar for one of its own players also. Nelson Cruz should launch his 300th career HR into the stands in the Emerald City on or about June 20th in the Tigers series.
Take Me out to the Ballpark
So, not only should the Mariners’ season be exciting in terms of the pennant race, but there are lots of historical milestones to look forward to. It cannot be over emphasized that between Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Beltran, not to mention Mariners’ own Robbie Cano, Seattle fans will be watching future Hall-of-Famers play live and in person in 2017 and setting some personal and historical milestones.
The opening series kicks off Monday, April 10th against the Houston Astros when the milestones start falling with Altuve and a swiped bag. Watch it.