Gary Sheffield became the 25th member of the 500 home run club last night, and his blast helped win the game with his new team at Citi Field. After the game, Sheff held one of his children and spoke about destiny and how there was a reason that he ended up sitting on 499 home runs as last season ended, being released by the Tigers and signed by the Mets to achieve his milestone.
You know, we remember well when we first heard about Gary Sheffield. It was 1992 and as a 23 year old kid he spent the summer in San Diego (batting in front of Freddy Mcgriff) chasing down a triple crown. He won the batting title that year but fell short in the other categories. Guy has always been an unbelievable hitter and it is hard to believe he’s been playing this game since being a 19 year old shortstop that broke into the big leagues with Milwaukee.
Say what you want about the guy. He’s surly, he’s been mentioned in steroid talks. If you look at Sheffield’s numbers over his career, they’re impressive. They don’t feel as false as some other guys who have carved out their own legend status. Sheffield wasn’t on anything in 1992 when he showed the league he could put up huge numbers (we don’t think). The guy has always had it and in all likelihood he should be a Hall of Famer now that he’s joined this exclusive club.