Organized baseball has been around for over a century, so at this point it’s really hard for players to do things that have never been done before. In fact, most good players spend their entire careers hoping to match some milestone or other. But Thursday night, August 31st, 2023, Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. achieved the almost impossible task of doing something that has never been done in MLB before.
With his second-inning Grand Slam, Acuña Jr. reached 30 home runs in a season. Pretty good numbers, particularly for a leadoff hitter. But that’s not where the story ends. When you combine that with Acuña’s MLB-leading 61 steals, you get the kind of numbers no one has ever put up before. That’s right, no player in history has ever hit over 30 HRS in a season while also racking up over 60 stolen bases.
Two other players – Barry Bonds and Eric Davis – had hit over 30 HRs while amassing at least 50 stolen bases. But 30-50 is not the standard any longer. Now players will be chasing Ronald Acuña’s 30-60.
The home run was also Acuña’s 150th home run in his career. That makes him only the second player in MLB history to record 150 home runs and 150 steals at the age of 25 or younger. Mike Trout was the first one. Not a bad comparison considering what Trout has done in his career so far.
It was an eventful day for Acuña Jr. who also got married to his longtime girlfriend Maria Laborde in a small ceremony earlier in the day. The couple have two sons together.
Ronald Acuña still has 29 more games to add to his total. Ten more home runs, not an impossible feat, would make him only the fourth player in history with a 40 HR and 40 steal season, joining Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano. But that’s him chasing a mark that has already been done before. 30-60 and what that means is all his, and if and when someone does it next, they will be chasing his record and not the other way around.