Cedric Mullins has been one of the few good things about the Baltimore Orioles, and Saturday afternoon he once again showed you why he remains a lone bright spot in their season.
The Orioles lost 9-3 to the Boston Red Sox, But after going 2-for-4 with two stolen bases, the young star crept closer to joining the exclusive “30/30 Club”.
Now entrance into the 30-30 club would be cause for celebration any year, but with the Orioles in the midst of another 100 loss season, such an accomplishment gives the ballclub hope for the future.
“When you have a season like this, you are looking for bright spots and things to build on for the future,” manager Brandon Hyde told MLB.com. “Looking for cornerstone guys that, when the team does get competitive and does get good, that you can surround them with. The right kind of players, veteran players, the right pitching staff. Cedric Mullins is playing like that, there’s not a doubt about it. Playing like an All-Star.”
Indeed Mullins has flashed all the tools you would want your cornerstone franchise player to possess, but the exclusivity of the 30-30 club signifies just how high his ceiling is.
Once he connects on his 30th bomb of the season, Mullins will be the 41st player to join the 30-30 club, and the 18th Black player to join this illustrious group.
First accomplished in 1922 by Ken Williams, once Willie Mays cracked the club in 1956, the brothers dominated with Mays (two), Hank Aaron, Bobby Bonds (five) and Tommy Harper recording the next nine 30-30 seasons.
1987 was a special season for the MLBbro’s on the base paths and at the plate, as Black legends Joe Carter, Eric Davis and Darryl Strawberry compiled three of the four 30-30 seasons recorded that year.
Willie Mays and Bobby Bonds were the only two players in MLB history to accomplish the feat in back-to-back seasons, that was until his son, Home Run King Barry Bonds went on to do it three straight times from 95-97, which helped him match his fathers all time total of five.
Of the 17 Black ballplayers to join this elite group, there are five who have gone on to win League MVP Awards as well as carry their teams to a World Series Championship.
If Cedric Mullins has his way, the Baltimore Orioles will return to their winning ways of the past sooner than people expect. And If the O’s keep him around he’s sure to be a cornerstone of their rebirth.
The MLB All-Star Game will finally return next week after a one–year hiatus.
As anticipation builds for the first MLB All-Star since COVID flipped the sports world upside down, I thought it would be a good idea to kick the week off with a few dope All-Star moments from some legendary MLBbros.
The Last Black All-Star MVP
Before Vladdy Jr. captured the hearts of Americans (and Canadians), there was another former clubhouse kid who set the baseball world on fire.
Prince Fielder, son of slugger Cecil Fielder, stepped onto Chase Field in Arizona for his third All-Star appearance (and first of three straight).
Fielder made sure his presence was felt, going 1-for-2 with a three-run bomb in the fourth inning that put the National League up for good.
The young slugger finished the season batting .299 with 38 bombs, 120 RBI and 107 walks. He would go on to make the All-Star team three more times before his retirement.
Torii Robs Barry
In one of the most iconic moments in recent All-Star Game history, Home Run King Barry Bonds stepped into the box at Miller Park looking to put the National League up early.
Unfortunately for Bonds, nine-time Gold Glove winner and fellow MLBbro Torii Hunter was manning center field .
As Bonds unloaded on the 1-1 pitch from Derek Lowe, Hunter made a beeline for the right-center field fence. Breaking his dead sprint, Torii begins to time his jump perfectly before leaping to rob Bonds.
The play turned out to be the deciding factor in the game, as the game ended in a 7-7 tie.
I’m sure you’ve seen the clip 1000 times, but you can’t speak about All-Star weekend without talking about Junior.
The 13-time All-Star has given us countless memories over the years, but arguably his most iconic came in Camden Yards.
During the 1993 Home Run Derby, Ken Griffey Jr. came into his fourth straight All-Star appearance on the verge of his first 40-homer season and the beginning of his Seattle prime.
But it was the Derby where Griffey made his mark. With his trademark backwards hat and million–dollar swing, he crushed a baseball out of Camden and off of the warehouse next door. Just look at that swing, truly a work of art.
Back-to-Back-to-Back Black Champs
MLB history is full of Black sluggers, and the Home Run Derby has been the perfect place to display the pop.
But from 1994 to 1996, the MLBbros exclusively held down the Derby crown. As a matter of fact, two of those three seasons, the final round was on full display with Black power.
In 1994 we saw Griffey Jr. defeat Atlanta Braves legend Fred McGriff at Three Rivers Stadium (thank God the cookie–cutter stadium era ended.)
In 1995, the Black power surge continued, with Frank Thomas defeating his future teammate, then Cleveland Indians Albert Belle.
We saw the third straight Black champ in 1996 when Bonds defeated Mark McGwire.
We haven’t gotten a full All-Star Weekend since 2019.
So with all eyes on the baseball world, let’s hope our MLBbros can add to these moments.