Wednesday, July 6, 2011
When the switch hitting Mark Teixeira connected for the 300th homer of his career against the Brewers, a milestone he grasped faster than any switch hitter in major league history, my initial thought alongside so many other fans was whether or not he would be considered in the same company of other sluggers in the 500 Home Run Club associated with New York.
500 Home Runs is a Milestone Tex considers “very cool.” "I'd love to get (to 500), I really would," Teixeira said. "But that is so far in the future." In December 2008, Teixeira agreed to a deal with the New York Yankees worth $180 million over 8 years, giving him another five plus years in pinstripes to attain the goal.
Mark who turned 31 on 4/11/2011, is currently tied with teammate Curtis Granderson for second place with 25 homers and is also tied for second in the AL with 65 RBI (Of his 77 hits - 32.5% have been home runs). He may be setting the stage for a prodigious year: On pace for 50 plus Homers and 120 plus RBI, which would be a career best and make him the first Yankee to hit 50HR since Alex Rodriguez Smashed 54 in 2007.
In 2005, Teixeira became the third switch-hitter in MLB history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons, after Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones. He is also one of just five players in Major League history to hit at least 100 home runs in his first three seasons, joining Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, and Eddie Mathews as well as current first base star, Albert Pujols. His 2005 total of 144 RBI is a Major League record for a switch-hitter. He also has passed Mickey Mantle for the most home runs by a switch- hitter through his first nine major league seasons. Mantle had been the fastest to 300, but Mickey had 280 homers at the end of his ninth season. (elias)
At the threshold of almost nine seasons, Teixeira has amassed 834R, 971RBI, 300HR, 3162B, and a .283 career BA. He also has a career .911OPS and .375OBP.
Considering Teixeira needed six seasons to move from 100 to 300 homers, and he’s 60% of the way there, it's safe to assume that in another six years avoiding any unforeseen injury, 500 homers is not just a possibility but very much a reality. Teixeira will be 36 when his contract with the Yankees expires (2016) and Playing first base gives Mark the longevity needed to reach the Hall of Fame benchmark along with hitting third in a monstrous lineup and playing in Yankee Stadium, a ballpark that’s tailor made for his swing. There are only two switch-hitters with 500 or more home runs: Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray.
“The pipe dream would be in reality to get to 500,” Mark Teixeira.
Other players in the 500 Home Run Club associated with New York:
Babe Ruth: New York Yankees (1920-1934)
Mickey Mantle: New York Yankees (1951-1968)
Reggie Jackson: New York Yankees (1977-1981)
Alex Rodriguez: New York Yankees (2004-Present)
Mel Ott : New York Giants (1926-1947)
Willie Mays: New York Giants (1951-1957)
Gary Sheffield: New York Yankees (2004-2006), New York Mets (2009)