So Manny finally connected for his 500th career home run (and then his 501st, 502nd, and 503rd). Only 24 people in major league history have achieved this milestone. That’s one of the marvelous things about baseball — performance is so quantifiable. We KNOW that Manny Ramirez is one of the greatest 24 home run hitters of all-time. It’s simply not debatable.
So this got me thinking — what’s the equivalent of hitting 500 home runs in non-athletes’ careers? What’s a high level of accomplishment in your field that only 24 people in history have ever reached?
I was a teacher for eight years. Perhaps the equivalent to 500 home runs in teaching is having 500 former students credit YOU with having taught them an invaluable life lesson.
For a pediatrician, how about accurately diagnosing 500 difficult-to-diagnose cases, keeping the patient and parents calm, and prescribing proper follow-up care?
For a minister, priest, or rabbi, the equivalent might be delivering 500 truly superior sermons.
For a parent of five (like me), I’d say showing up for 500 little league games, soccer games, swim meets, karate tests, dance recitals, school plays, class art shows, teacher conferences, and graduations — without missing one — would be the equivalent of hitting 500 home runs.
Probably during the season of 2011 or 2012, Manny will hit his 600th home run. I don’t even want to think about what it would require to be a 600-homer parent…..