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Carlos Beltran nears exclusive 300-300-2,000 ClubPosted Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at 8:17 AM
By COREY NOLES
One St. Louis Cardinal is rapidly making his way toward a rather exclusive club this season. Carlos Beltran is within hitting distance, no pun intended, of the 300-300-2000 club.
This status is reserved for players who have hit 300 home runs, stolen 300 bases and amassed 2,000 hits over their career. Lots of talk has floated about Beltran hitting 300-300, but the 2,000 hasn't gotten much attention.
As of Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Beltran has 320 home runs, 299 stolen bases and 1,977 hits. Barring a major injury, he will make the club in 2012 without breaking a sweat.
Following are the few players who have made the club, including a few near-misses.
* Barry Bonds, whose career ended under a dark cloud, put up some very impressive numbers, which make him the highest ranked player in the club.
Over his 22-year career split between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants, he amassed a whopping 762 home runs, 514 stolen bases and 2,935 hits. An additional 65 hits would have put him in the lead of a much more exclusive club - 300-300-3,000.
* Willie Mays needs little introduction. What his numbers don't say, his legend does. In 22 major league seasons, the Say Hey Kid hit 660 home runs, stole 338 bases and piled up 3,283 hits.
The only player even close to hitting Mays numbers is...
* Alex Rodriguez is the only remaining active player on the list and will likely still work his way up another notch before calling it quits.
Rodriguez' career spans a course of 19 years split between the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees. Over his career A-Rod has 638 home runs, 311 stolen bases and 2,836 hits. That's not bad at all for a 36-year-old.
* Over a 21-year career, this Hall of Famer built up numbers strong enough to land in fourth place on the list. Andre Dawson split most of his career between the Montreal Expos and the Chicago Cubs before retiring in 1996.
He also sports an impressive line with 438 home runs, 314 stolen bases and 2,774 hits.
* Steve Finley falls in at the bottom of the list, but don't let that fool you. A player who makes it to the 300-300-2000 Club has had a profound impact on the game, regardless of where he ranks on the list.
Finley, who played for eight different teams in his career, hit 304 home runs, stole 320 bases and put together 2,548 hits.
The near misses
* Bobby Bonds had a fantastic career and is a member of the 300-300 Club, but fell a bit short in hits with 1,886 over his rather short 14- year career.
* In 17 seasons with numerous teams, Reggie Sanders also made the 300-300 Club, but didn't quite make it to the truly elite bunch. He fell 334 hits shy of 2,000 with 1,666 in his MLB career.
* Also making the near-miss list is longtime Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio. Biggio, one of the premiere leadoff men in the league, had the hits (3,060) and stolen bases (414), but fell just 10 home runs shy (290) of this list.
One of the most interesting things about this list is that simply getting near puts you in, at bare minimum, serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. Other guys will make the list over the years, but as you can see, they will be very few and far between.
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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.
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