Manny Ramirez took another giant step in his storied career toward his inevitable inclusion one day with the baseball immortals at Cooperstown with a 7th inning home run off of the Orioles' Chad Bradford for his career home run number 500 in the Red Sox 6-3 win at Camden Yards on Saturday night.
And I missed the whole thing, as I picked last night as the evening to check out the new Indiana Jones movie with a dear friend of mine in Brooklyn. (BTW, it's a good movie. Rather hokey in parts, but still quite enjoyable.) After the film I got a text message from my sister, who was there with her husband and my two nephews. That's how I found out about Manny making history.
Manny now becomes the 24th player in baseball history to accomplish that incredible milestone. He became the third player to hit number 500 in a Red Sox uniform, joining Jimmie Foxx (1940) and Ted Williams (1960). There are also only three players to have a higher lifetime average than Manny who also has 500 dingers: Williams, Babe Ruth and Foxx (all former Red Sox). This was also his 264th home run in a Red Sox uniform. (And I'm glad Manny's put the 500 chase behind him, as Ken Griffey hit number 599 in Cincinnati today. I'd hate to have seen Manny get upstaged should he and Griffey both reach their milestones on the same day.)
David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia also hit homers, and Papi left the game after injuring his hand on a swing in the ninth. X-rays were negative and he has a sprained wrist. Papi is listed as day-to-day. But the night belonged to Manny, who received a standing ovation from the majority of fans at "Fenway South" at Camden Yards after he returned to his position in the bottom of the seventh.
Congratulations Manny. May you have many more other milestones to shoot for and reach.