When you become the first player in Los Angeles Dodgers history to accomplish something, people usually take pause. There are not many chances to achieve firsts on one of baseball's most illustrious franchises. But for Mr. Milestone himself, it is just another day at the office.
Freddie Freeman went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in a 14-3 drubbing of the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field Thursday. The productive night at the plate put the first baseman over 50 RBIs on the season, which makes him the first Dodgers player to record 100 hits, 10 stolen bases and 50 RBIs before July since the stat started being tracked in 1920, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Let that sink in for a minute. Freeman is compiling numbers that could not be calculated since the franchise was still known as the Brooklyn Robins. While avid analytics people are not the most fond of RBI as a barometer for greatness, even they have to acknowledge the pure insanity of this feat.
This comes days after the 33-year-old logged the 2,000th hit of his potential Hall of Fame career. And yet, Freeman continues to fly under the national radar. His MVP-caliber 2023, which includes a .321 batting average, 14 home runs and near-400 on-base percentage, would likely be garnering more attention if not for Ronald Acuna Jr.'s quest for a 40-40 season and Luis Arraez's chase for .400. Instead, the 2020 National League MVP is quietly proving why he is one of the best hitters of his era.
Most importantly, it has translated to team success as well. After a rough stretch that put LA's bullpen issues firmly under the microscope, the Dodgers have won six of their last eight games and jumped back into second place in the NL West. With two of the game's most consistent forces joined together and operating at full strength, fans may see plenty of more individual and team milestones by the time this baseball season concludes.