Eight years ago today, Rafael Palmeiro became the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs. Palmeiro, as a Texas Ranger, vaulted himself into the 500 home run club against the Cleveland Indians’ David Elder. His 500th came in the 7th inning with two on and two out and the Rangers already winning 9-5. Palmeiro’s home run knocked in the game deciding run as the Rangers would go on to win the game 17-10. Palmeiro would go on to hit a total of 569 home runs in his career and play in the majors for 20 years.
In bringing Palmeiro’s accomplishment up around the office, we found that there are some mixed reviews on his feat. Because Palmeiro was indicated in Jose Canseco 2005 tell all steroid book and the 2007 Mitchell Report, a lot of people write off his hitting accomplishments (Palmeiro is also only one of four players to have at least 500 homeruns and 3,000 hits for his career). How do you feel about Palmeiro being a member of the 500 home run club?
Ferguson Arthur Jenkins, commonly referred to as Fergie, was born on December 13, 1942 in Chatham, Ontario. During his 19 year baseball career, Jenkins pitched for 4 different teams - the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox. He spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs from 1966-1973.
Jenkins had his best season in 1971, playing in the All-Star Game, finishing seventh in MVP voting and winning the National League Cy Young Award. Jenkins led the league in wins twice, fewest walks per 9 innings five times, complete games nine times, and home runs allowed seven times. His streak of six straight seasons with 20 or more wins (1967-1972) is the longest streak in the major leagues since Warren Spahn performed this feat between 1956-1961. Fergie was known for his incredible durability and control. He struck out more than 3,000 batters and is the only man to do so while also allowing 1,000 walks.
In 1974 Jenkins, then with the Texas Rangers, became the first baseball player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy, an award given annually to Canada's top athlete. After Jenkins retired from Major League Baseball in 1983, he pitched for two seasons for the London Majors of the Intercounty Major Baseball League in London, Ontario. Jenkins was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1991, he became the first Canadian ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.