Twenty four years ago today, Michael Jack Schmidt launched a towering 3 run home run. It was only the 11th game of the 1987 season, but it was a historical home run on a few levels. First, it was a prime example of Schmidt’s clutch hitting. This particular blast came in the top of the ninth, there were 2 outs and 2 runners on with the Phillies down 5-6 against the Pirates. Schmidt’s home run would prove to be the game winning hit as the Phillies would go on to win 8-6. Secondly, and most importantly, this particular home run was Schmidt’s 500th career homer.
At the time, Schmidt became only the 14th player to hit 500 home runs (currently there are 25 members of the 500 HR club). Of the 14, Schmidt was only the second pure 3rd baseman to hit 500 along with Eddie Mathews (Harmon Killebrew played a little 3B but also played a few other positions). Schmidt was 1 of 13 right handers to hit 500 homeruns, and of the remaining 12 in the 500 HR club, 10 were left-handed and 2 were switcher hitters. Schmidt was 37 years, 203 days old and had played in 7,336 games across 15+ seasons when he hit his 500th homer. He currently sits 15th overall on the career homeruns list.