When Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night, it brought him to the 400 career mark and placed him at number 51 on the all-time home run list. So who is on Soriano’s radar to surpass in the near future and how high can he get on the list before he is done? More importantly, what place could it earn him in New York Yankees history?
“It’s great for me,” Soriano said. “When I left here, I wasn’t sad because it’s part of the game, but I thought about how I had something to prove to myself, to my teammates, to the fans.”
At his current torrid pace, it is not inconceivable that he could pass Duke Snider to move into the top 50 by season’s end. (The Duke, who finished with 407, was the pride of the Brooklyn Dodgers and often compared to Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle).
So let’s say that Soriano gets that done. Then if he picks up next year where he left off this year, he certainly could knock out 40 more, right? So where would that get him on the list?
It would leap him over Dave Kingman’s 442 into 38th place. (Those who saw Kingman play remember that his homers were often towering shots that threatened to break the bulbs in the stadium lights). Passing Kingman would be a great feat for Soriano.
At 38, would he have enough left to reach 500? Two more years of just 26 homers per year would get him there. That would move him to 26th place behind Eddie Murray.
With his success at Yankee Stadium that is very realistic. Of course, there are some other active players who might have a say about that.
So we are likely looking at a Hall of Famer here. And the best part is that he is making his run right before our eyes. So Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Soriano-that’s four players for the Hall on this team. Of course, there are a couple of others who might have a chance depending on how their careers finish out.
Andy Pettitte is deserving, but will he get there after his performance enhancing admission? Sorry, but Alex Rodriguez should never make it regardless of how his stats end up. The cloud that hangs over him is too dark. My heart is with CC, but I would settle for him to just turn it around. Tex, after he gets healthy we’ll see.
Now, I know the Core Four all began in 1995 and Soriano didn’t get started until 1999. But had Soriano played his entire career with the Yankees, wouldn’t we now be speaking of the big four as the big five from the late 1990s -Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, Posada and Soriano? So if he continues at this pace and finishes as a Hall of Fame Yankee, why shouldn’t we?