Today marks the 40th anniversary of Frank Robinson's 500th home run. It was hit at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 13, 1971, against the Detroit Tigers.
I know this because the guy who caught the ball, Leo Resop, emailed me. I figured I'd pass it on to you since Leo incorrectly assumed I wasn't born at the time. And anyone who thinks I am under 40 is a friend of mine.
Anyway, Frank went on to hit 586, which is now ninth all time. At one point, before you know what happened to baseball, Robinson was fourth on that list, behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
I once asked Frank about hitting 600 homers, and he said it just wasn't a goal or recognized milestone back then. Five-hundred was, but 600 wasn't.
He said he easily could have hit 14 more homers but his jerk of a manager at the end of his career in Cleveland didn't play him enough.
That manager, of course, was named Frank Robinson.
By the way, Leo Resop wrote about catching that 500th homer. Here's a link.