DENVER – On Friday night at Coors Field in the first of a three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers that has the Colorado Rockies fighting for a postseason spot, centerfielder Charlie Blackmon made some history of his own.
He is the best leadoff hitter there is, the best there was, and quite possibly the best there ever will be.
In the bottom of the second inning, with a runner at first, Blackmon turned on an inside fastball from Hyun-Jin Ryu and crushed it 454 feet into the second deck for his 37th home run of the season. The two runs that scored counted for RBI 100 and 101 out of the leadoff spot; a new MLB record.
Blackmon had long since claimed the National League record but had been chasing Darin Erstad of the Los Angeles Angels until the big home run. Now, Blackmon can say that no player in the 148-year history of the game has done a better job of driving in runs out of the leadoff spot than he has.
His phenomenal, MVP-caliber season just continues right along. In addition to being the best run producer ever for the spot he plays, he is leading MLB in hits with 209. That ties him with Todd Helton for the fifth most in a single season in franchise history. Blackmon, of course, leads the league in runs scored with a whopping 137. That’s 26 more than Jose Altuve who is in second place. He has tied Dante Bichette for the franchise mark with 66 multi-hit games.
His 383 total bases are the most for any leadoff hitter in MLB history.
He is one of just nine players in MLB history with at least 130 runs, 35 doubles, 14 triples, and 35 home runs. The last was Stan Musial in 1948. All of the other eight players on that list are in the Hall of Fame.
Not bad company.