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.