On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers powered up and hit two home run milestones as they faced the Oakland Athletics.
On September 19, 1998, the Rangers and the A's played to a 8-4 Oakland victory. But, the Rangers were on their way to a second American League West title in three years, and two players hit interesting career milestones.
One was Juan González. With a home run off Jimmy Haynes, González hit home run No. 300 of his career. 1998 was González’s second Most Valuable Player season, as he hit a career-high and AL-high 50 home runs, along with an AL-high 157 RBI. It was the zenith of his career. By the end of his career in 2005, González had hit 434 career home runs.
The other was Mike Simms, as he hit his 16th home run of 1998 in the game. With that home run, he tied a Major League record: most home runs with fewer than 200 at-bats in a season. Simms tied Eddie Robinson of the Yankees (1955) and Bob Thurman of the Cincinnati Redlegs (1957).
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Simms had a much different career. Simms squeezed out nine years in the Majors as a utility player, but that 1998 season was the best of his career. Along with his 16 home runs, he had a batting average of .296 and 46 RBI. He broke in with the Houston Astros and ended his career with the Rangers (1997-99). He played in just 330 career games and hit only 36 career home runs.
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