Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. added yet another accomplishment to what was already a historic season on Friday night.
Acuña came into Friday’s game against the Washington Nationals just one home run short of becoming the fifth member of Major League Baseball’s 40-40 club. He wasted no time getting there.
Acuña led the game off against Washington’s Patrick Corbin. He lined a 3-2 pitch from Corbin over the left field wall. In doing so, Acuña joined Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Alfonso Soriano (2006) as the only members of MLB’s 40-40 club.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 22, 2023
Rodriguez was among several people in the baseball world to extend his congratulations to Acuña.
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) September 22, 2023
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! Wow. What. A. Season. https://t.co/dVkfDUQqe6
— House That Hank Built (@HouseHankBuilt) September 22, 2023
WE ARE WITNESSES TO GREATNESS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING https://t.co/f1Et0dHnnA
— Nothing Compared to the Glory of Ronald Acuña Jr (@BlooperBraves) September 22, 2023
— Lauren Jbara (@laurenjbara) September 23, 2023
— kelvim escobar (@kelvimescobar) September 22, 2023
While Acuña is the fifth member of the 40-40 club, none of the previous four got there like he did. Bonds and Canseco both hit 42 home runs and stole an even 40 bases. Rodriguez also hit 42 home runs but stole 46 bases. Soriano, meanwhile, had 46 home runs and 41 steals.
But Acuña’s season has been different. While none of the other 40-40 players had more than 46 home runs or steals, Acuña has blown by that total. In fact, Acuña is the only member of MLB’s 40-50 club and 40-60 club, as Acuña had 68 steals at the time of his 40th home run. Atlanta also has eight games remaining on the schedule after Friday’s contest. So, Acuña has a realistic chance at 40-70.
Being one of five players to join the 40-40 club is incredibly impressive, as is being the first player to join in 17 years. But Acuña is joining the highly exclusive club in unprecedented fashion.