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Palmeiro joins 500-homer club

DurableTear

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Credit: CBS SportsLine.com/Associated Press



Palmeiro joins 500-homer club with 3-run shot vs. Indians
May 11, 2003
SportsLine.com wire reports





ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rafael Palmeiro wanted to hit his 500th career home run at home. He waited until the last chance to do it.

Palmeiro hit a three-run homer in the seventh off Cleveland right-hander David Elder to become the second player to reach the milestone this season as the Rangers beat the Indians 17-10 Sunday to end a three-game losing streak.

"It's a big relief," Palmeiro said. "I tried really not to think about it too much when I went up to the plate, but it's kind of hard not to when you have a sign that is about 600 feet long staring at your from behind the release point of the pitcher."

With the crowd standing in anticipation, knowing Palmeiro wasn't likely to get another at-bat, the left-hander hit a full-count fastball 370 feet over the right field fence. The Rangers play their next six games on the road.

"I tried to get a fastball in and just didn't get it there," said Elder, the 328th pitcher Palmeiro has homered against. "He has 500 reasons why pitchers shouldn't make mistakes. That's not what I wanted to happen."

Fireworks exploded in the daylight sky and the crowd broke out into a loud and extended ovation as Palmeiro rounded the bases. Like all of his previous homers, there was no posing and no strutting after the ball left the bat.

That 10-foot by 20-foot banner that has been hanging high in center field, and updated for every homer since No. 495, was flipped over to 500. A specially designed logo commemorating Palmeiro's feat was unveiled on the right field wall, the tarp that had covered it removed by his two sons.

Palmeiro became just the 19th player ever to join the 500-homer club, following Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, who did it April 4.

His teammates mobbed him at the plate, and as the crowd chanted "Raffy!" he came out of the dugout for a curtain call.

"It's pretty emotional for all of us with Raffy hitting 500 and us getting the win," All-Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez said. "This is the way we all wanted it to happen."

Palmeiro returned to the field to start the seventh inning, but only so that the crowd of 23,407 would have another chance to cheer the first baseman. Before the inning started, Herbert Perry replaced Palmeiro.

"It felt like a big giant gorilla just jumped off my back," he said. "I wanted to do it here. It almost feels like it would have been a big letdown not to."

This marked the third time two players have hit the historic homer in the same season. Mickey Mantle and Eddie Mathews did it in 1967, and Harmon Killebrew and Frank Robinson in 1971.

Los Angeles' Fred McGriff could make it three with 17 more homers this season.

Among those at the game were Palmeiro's mother, Maria, and his brother Rick, who had arrived from Miami on Wednesday.

"I talked to my mom last night, and right before she went to bed, she goes, all that I want for Mother's Day is for you to hit the home run," Palmeiro said. "I said thanks for adding a little bit more pressure."

The historic ball was caught by a priest, who returned the ball to Palmeiro in return for several autographed items.

Hank Blalock went 4-for-5 with four RBI and Texas denying the Indians their first sweep in Texas in 30 years.

Blalock's second four-hit game of the season upped his major league-leading average to .387. His two-run single in the fifth tied the score before he scored on an error that put the Rangers ahead to stay.

Michael Young had three hits and scored three times for Texas. Ryan Christenson, after coming in as a pinch-runner in the sixth, had a double and a solo homer to break an 0-for-17 slump.

The first five Texas batters reached in the fifth against Indians rookie Ricardo Rodriguez (2-4), including Blalock's liner that tied the game at 5.

Alex Rodriguez then reached a throwing error by third baseman Bill Selby. That allowed Carl Everett and Blalock to score, putting the Rangers ahead to stay.

Billy Traber then got Palmeiro to ground into a double play before Juan Gonzalez struck out.

Palmeiro led off the Texas second with a double and scored on a single by Gonzalez. Everett hit a two-run homer in third, tying him with Gonzalez and others for the major league lead with 12 and putting Texas ahead 3-2.

Cleveland got the lead right back and chased Rangers rookie starter Colby Lewis with a three-run fourth. Brandon Phillips had an RBI single and Omar Vizquel a two-run single.

Joaquin Benoit (1-0), who had been the scheduled starter at Boston, then retired six straight batters before hitting Phillips in the sixth.

Phillips had a two-run double in the second. Matt Lawton hit a solo homer and Tim Laker added a two-run shot in the ninth for Cleveland.


Notes
  • The last Cleveland sweep in Texas was Aug. 10-12, 1973. The last time the Indians swept the Rangers was Aug. 12-14, 1980 in Cleveland.




  • Lewis, who had lost three consecutive starts after starting 3-0 his first four starts, gave up five runs on five hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings. In his three May starts, he has given up 18 runs on 17 hits in 7 2/3 innings.
AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved




:arms
 

Rune

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Meh

500 is nothing special anymore
 

Ramp

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Meh

500 is nothing special anymore
yes it is....

only 19 members....

pretty exclusive...

in 10 or so years it may be 'meh' but i dont think it deserves one now
 

Rune

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Meh

500 is nothing special anymore
yes it is....

only 19 members....

pretty exclusive...

in 10 or so years it may be 'meh' but i dont think it deserves one now Reasons for Meh:

He plays in Arlington

He played in that glorious hitter's era

So many people will hit or could have before injury this season

All though this has nothing to do with his home run hitting is but The Reason I don't really care much about him is...

He was alway's Second or sometimes third best on that team.

Never was #1 that's why he will not make it till The HOF till he qualifies for Old Timers.
 

DurableTear

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Career: 2665 hits, 500 HRs, 1600 RBIs. He's a HOF, no doubt..


When he retires he can have 3000 hits, 550+ HRs, 1850 RBIs+...
 

AJBurnett34

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Im Glad for Palmeiro...he really deserves them. He and A-Rod are the only players in Arlington Producing. Das, were you there??? :plain
 

yankeefan21

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The HOF is so watered down these days - Palmeiro is a shoe-in.

It's sad, really, when you think about it...

He has never really been one of the best players in the league [0 top 5 MVP finishes].
He has never started an All-Star game.
He has never been the best player at his position.
He has never been in the WS.

Bottom line, he has never been considered one of the best players of his OWN time - never mind of ALL time. Numbers are all well and good, but there is a certain intangible that Palmeiro lacks.

Oh well, let the case for Fred McGriff be made next... [sigh]
 

Rune

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He and A-Rod are the only players in Arlington Producing.
Are you kidding me!

Juan Gon and Mr. Cell Phone are among The Leaders in Homers!

Please at least know the information.
 

DurableTear

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Mr. Cell Phone
"can you hear me now? Good!"




:lol :lol :lol
 

Wild Card

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He and A-Rod are the only players in Arlington Producing.
Are you kidding me!

Juan Gon and Mr. Cell Phone are among The Leaders in Homers!

Please at least know the information. I swear the Mr. Cell Phone thing had me LMFAO fr about 10 minutes...

But you're right... The offense is there.... But, where oh where could the pitching be?
 

Das Texan

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The HOF is so watered down these days - Palmeiro is a shoe-in.

It's sad, really, when you think about it...

He has never really been one of the best players in the league [0 top 5 MVP finishes].
He has never started an All-Star game.
He has never been the best player at his position.
He has never been in the WS.

Bottom line, he has never been considered one of the best players of his OWN time - never mind of ALL time. Numbers are all well and good, but there is a certain intangible that Palmeiro lacks.

Oh well, let the case for Fred McGriff be made next... [sigh]
I would agree with all of that Yankeefan except for the part on World Series team....



That depends much more on the players around you....



Many greats never got to the World Series....



But the rest of it holds true....



I think one school of thought now is that if a player achieves a number...they are in...no matter what else they did, how good they were in relation to others etc...



Eddie Murray should not be in...as case in point.


But if he is in, Rafael is a sure fire first ballot HOF.
 

Rune

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Eddie Murray should not be in...as case in point.
Yes that can be true but there are so many people ahead of him in his class and down the road when he get's to his last year's of eligibility, There are so many better player's than him if he get's in do you let

Juan Gone in? He was better in Arlington when they played together?

Too add insult that there are tons of better hitters than him you also have two of The Best of all time in Bonds and Henderson too boot.
 

Wild Card

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Many greats never got to the World Series....
Like Marino and the Super Bowl... He got there but never won... For some reason he isn't concidered the greatest QB of all time because of that... I think he was much better than Montana and Elway and was more consistant throughout his entire career... He dominated the position year in and year out, but just never got there...
 

Das Texan

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here is a question.....



is tony gwynn a hall of famer?

what about ken griffey jr?


cal ripken is, he redefined his position.


mark mcgwire is...he has the highest number of homeruns per at bat...


barry bonds is...he had that rare combination of power and speed and is in very exclusive company.


rickey henderson without a doubt is a hall of famer...best leadoff man in history.


roger clemens will be


greg maddux most likely will be.


who am i missing?
 

Rune

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Glavine

Possibly Smoltz

Curt Shilling deserves it more that Rafi IMO

Tons and Tons only adding that He will and should not get in.
 

Das Texan

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Glavine not yet. He can be looked at much like Raffy..he was in the shadow of Maddux, same with Smoltz....



Glavine will have to win 300 to get in I think....


If Jack Morris cannot get in, being the dominant pitcher of the 80s....Glavine will not get in without 300.


Smoltz...who knows.
 

AJBurnett34

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Are you kidding me!

Juan Gon and Mr. Cell Phone are among The Leaders in Homers!

Please at least know the information.
Yea but they are eventually going to go down the hill. They always do that and then fall back down under .280!
 

Das Texan

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In the mid 90s....



Juan Gone was the most prolific RBI man in baseball.....Juan Gone batting .275 and above is fine with the Rangers....


As long as the RBI numbers are there....that has always been his job. There are few others as good as Juan with driving men home in this era.
 

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