I always found it interesting that there are only three significant milestones in a sport that trumpets a stockpile of readily available statistics. In fact, with the introduction of sabermetrics and more complex measures, it seems like baseball statistics are infinitely expanding like the universe. With such a sheer volume of statistics, I would think that MLB could find more than three milestones to celebrate. The only thing making the aforementioned milestones so much more important than other milestones is the attention they receive. For instance, I don’t think anyone would argue that "500 home runs" is any more important than "1,700 RBIs." Yet, based on the level of excitement generated by each accomplishment, it would seem like there is a huge difference. Other milestones don’t exist because MLB hasn’t made a big deal out of them. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t unofficial milestones for every other statistic in which every player above that mark is in the Hall of Fame. There is a specific number in each statistic that has historically guaranteed induction into the MLB Hall of Fame. In the interest of indiscriminate behavior, I have identified these previously neglected marks. I doubt these new “milestones” will ever be celebrated but they do provide a pretty good way of identifying Hall of Fame distinguishing accomplishments beyond the big three.
Note: All statistics are for players since 1901. This list does not include active players, players who aren't yet eligible and players who are ineligible for other reasons (i.e. Pete Rose and Joe Jackson). All statistics that involve "average" (i.e. Batting Avg, OPS, OPS+, Slug%, OBP, ERA+, and Win%) have a min. of 2,000 hits for hitters and 200 wins for pitchers.
|Statistic||HOF Milestone||Player with highest mark not in HOF|
|Batting Avg.||.311||Bobby Veach|
|Home Runs||475||Jose Canseco|
|Runs Created||1,700||Tim Raines|
Some of these “milestones” won’t last long. There is a pretty good chance that Fred McGriff, Kevin Brown and Larry Walker won’t get into the Hall of Fame. Larry Walker’s omission alone would eliminate the above milestones for batting average, OPS, OPS+, Slug%, and OBP. Kevin Brown’s omission would remove the markers for ERA+ and Win%. Fred McGriff would have the same impact on Runs Created and Home Runs. Nonetheless, I'd like to see some of these invisible milestones celebrated. For instance, players who reach 1,700 RBIs and Runs should probably be given the same fanfare as a 500th home run. Having just three milestone statistics is getting boring.