Jim Thome hit his 600th home run on August 15.
You may remember that Derek Jeter recorded his 3000th hit in July. It was easy to miss as there was little in the way of press coverage. As a side note, I now own Jeter 3000 coasters, flip flops, shampoo, bicycle streamers, elastics, luggage, wine, toothbrush, dehumidifier, mattress, pajamas (with feet), cigars, mango, balm, pasta, tea set, washing machine, binoculars, nose ring, belt buckle, tap dance shoes, toaster, parachute and robot.
What is more impressive - 600 home runs or 3000 hits?
Maybe it's 3000 hits. There seems to be something more intellectual about 3000 hits - right?
However, when you take a closer look at the numbers, 600 home runs seems a little more impressive than 3000 hits. Why? So few have done it, and fewer without the help of A-Rod's cousin.
The 600 home run club is comprised of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez.
If you remove A-Rod, Bonds and Sosa, Thome only becomes the 5th player ever to hit 600 home runs. By way of comparison, Jeter was number 28 to enter the 3000 hit club. Knock off Rafael Palmeiro, who made it clear he never took steroids, then the club has 27 members.
However, it does seem like you need to be pretty consistent to get 3000 hits. Same, though, goes with 600 home runs. Thome hit 20 plus home runs in 17 seasons. That's slightly absurd. And by the way, he's got 2265 hits.
Home runs also pay an immediate dividend for a team as it obviously drives in at least 1 run. A hit, however, may not be a homerun and may need further assistance from another player to get the run safely home.
I'm not saying that 3000 hits is not remarkable - it is. It just seems like it's a lot tougher to hit 600 home runs, and home runs have an immediate impact on the score.
So for me, 600 is more impressive than 3000. Indeed, 600 is the new 40 (and I don't know what that means).