Congratulations Raffy

This weekend, DirecTV was having a free preview weekend of the MLB Extra Innings Package. I was taking advantage of that in flipping around some channels, as my wife was working, and my baby was asleep. Stopped on the Mariners Orioles game, and it was right as Raffy was coming up to bat. It was some fortuitious timing on my part, as a few pitches after I landed on the channel, the pitch to Raffy landed in left field near the line for a double – Raffy’s 3000th career hit.
I was there in person that Mother’s Day a couple of years ago when Raffy hit his 500th home run. I rather liked the fact I managed to see his home run live, and not on Baseball Tonight or some other clip show. I saved it to DVD.
As much as Raffy didn’t fit the situation here when he left, I still very much like him, and hope he can stick around long enough to get to home run #600, which is probably the only real plateau left for him I think. As of right now, he needs 34 more home runs to achieve that. A couple of years ago, that was a no brainer, but as his production declines, I would think he’d need all the way through the end of the 2006 season, and possibly into early 2007 to achieve that. I’d be surprised if he’s still playing in 2007.
But tonight is about his achievement. He’s only the fourth player to have 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. He joins Eddie Murray, Willie Mays, & Hank Aaron in this club. Bonds could probably do it, he needs another 270 hits to get to 3,000 though.
Congratulations Raffy!