As a New York Yankees fan, one of my biggest fears was that at some point, former Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez would pass the great Lou Gehrig for the most grand slams. While Manny may make a comeback soon with the Oakland Athletics, Gehrig has been tied, but at least by a current Yankee, and not a member of the rival Sox. Alex Rodriguez's latest home run with the bases full gave him 23 over his career, knotting Gehrig for top honors.
However, Gehrig's grand slam number is just one of several statistics that Rodriguez is making great advances on, as he can overtake the legendary Iron Horse in a variety of hitting categories. Remember, though, that Gehrig played only 17 seasons, while Alex is in the midst of his 19th.
1. Times on Base
Gehrig now stands at 30th place all-time on this list, having reached base some 4,274 times. Rodriguez is 80 times on base behind Lou, having gotten on 4,194 times. This is a category that Alex should pass Gehrig in at some point during the latter portion of this season.
2. Runs Scored
Only nine players scored more runs than Lou Gehrig, a player who tallied 1,888 times. But Rodriguez, who now has scored 1,859 runs, needs to cross the plate 30 more times to knock Gehrig out of the top 10. This is another statistic that Alex should easily be able to move on by Gehrig sometime during this year, as long as he stays healthy.
Gehrig is not near the very top in total doubles by a major league batter, but he did hit enough -- 534 -- to rank him at 33rd all time. Rodriguez recently hit his 500th double and he now has 501. While it may not be realistic to think A-Rod can hit 34 more this season, by next spring he should have eased past Gehrig.
4. Extra Base Hits
Rodriguez is already in the top 10 for most extra-base hits, having eclipsed greats such as Ty Cobb and Carl Yastrzemski of late. Alex has banged out 1,169 hits of this variety, with Gehrig in eighth at 1,190. After he passes Gehrig this year, Alex will quickly fly by Ken Griffey Jr. and Rafael Palmeiro, who both have 1,192.
5. Runs Batted In
With his 1,995 runs batted in, Gehrig trails only Henry Aaron, Babe Ruth, Cap Anson and Barry Bonds in this department. Rodriguez's slam tied him with Jimmie Foxx at 1,922, so it is inevitable that Alex will drop Gehrig one spot on this list. The 73 runs batted in needed to tie Gehrig probably will not come this campaign, but should be in the books by next summer at the latest.
I have been a fan of the New York Yankees since the middle of the 1960s.