Acuña joins elite club of power and speed
Ronald Acuña Jr., the star outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, has achieved a rare feat in baseball history. He has become the fifth player ever to join the 40-40 club, which consists of players who have hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season. He accomplished this milestone on Friday night, when he hit his 40th home run of the year in the first inning against the Washington Nationals.
Acuña, who is only 25 years old, has shown a remarkable combination of power and speed throughout the season. He leads the major leagues with 68 stolen bases, and ranks second in home runs behind Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. He is also hitting .338 with 101 RBIs, making him a strong candidate for the National League Most Valuable Player award.
Acuña’s 40-40 season is even more impressive considering that he missed some games due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols. He also had to deal with the pressure of playing for the best team in baseball, as the Braves have clinched the top seed in the postseason with a 98-55 record.
Acuña follows the footsteps of four legends
The 40-40 club is one of the most exclusive groups in baseball history, as only four players have achieved it before Acuña. The first one was Jose Canseco, who hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases for the Oakland Athletics in 1988. He was followed by Barry Bonds, who matched those numbers for the San Francisco Giants in 1996. Alex Rodriguez was the third member, who hit 42 home runs and stole 46 bases for the Seattle Mariners in 1998. The last one was Alfonso Soriano, who hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases for the Washington Nationals in 2006.
All four of them were superstars in their prime, and three of them (Canseco, Bonds, and Rodriguez) have won the MVP award at least once in their careers. Soriano was a seven-time All-Star and a four-time Silver Slugger. Acuña has already established himself as one of the best players in the game, and has a bright future ahead of him.
Acuña celebrates with his teammates and fans
Acuña’s 40th home run was a solo shot to left field off Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin. As he rounded the bases, he pointed to the sky and pumped his fist. He was greeted by his teammates at the dugout, who gave him hugs and high-fives. He also received a standing ovation from the Braves fans at Nationals Park, who chanted his name and cheered for him.
Acuña acknowledged the crowd and tipped his cap to them. He later said that he was grateful for the support and the opportunity to make history. He also thanked his family, his coaches, and his teammates for helping him achieve his goal. He said that he was proud to represent his country of Venezuela, and to inspire other young players to follow their dreams.
Acuña’s 40-40 season is a remarkable achievement that deserves recognition and celebration. He has shown that he is one of the most talented and exciting players in baseball, and that he can do it all on the field. He has also helped his team reach the postseason, where they will try to win their first World Series title since 1995. Acuña has made history, and he is not done yet.