05/11/2003 7:31 PM ET
Props to Palmeiro
Players and managers hail Raffy on his 500th homer
The family that is Major League Baseball takes time to comment on and congratulate Rafael Palmeiro on the occasion of his 500th career home run.
Palmeiro became the 19th player in Major League history to reach the plateau when he homered off Cleveland's Dave Elder in the seventh inning of the Rangers' May 11, 2003 game at The Ballpark in Arlington.
"I'm happy for him. The guy's had a tremendous career. And he's going to the Hall of Fame and he's a fellow countryman." -- Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca, a countryman of Palmeiro's from Cuba
"He's an incredible player. He has hit all types of pitching for a long time and plays every day. He's a Hall of Famer, no doubt about it. And he's got some baseball left -- he doesn't seem to be slowing down much." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia
"I'm happy for him. He's had a great career. He's one of the top hitters in the game and has been for a long time. I'm just glad he didn't do it off of me." -- Angels pitcher Jarrod Washburn
"He's got my vote (for the Hall of Fame). There's no
question in my mind (he's a Hall of Famer)." -- Yankees pitcher David Wells
"The huge word is consistency. He's just been tremendously consistent. I know that means alot to him, going out there, and putting up the numbers. It's important to him and he's very good at doing that." -- A's bench coach and former Rangers bench coach Terry Francona:
"He's shown what you can do when you take care of yourself. He's a great hitter and can hit anybody. I am happy for him. He is the model of consistency. He is one of my contemporaries who is putting up Hall of Fame numbers." -- Orioles outfielder B.J. Surhoff
"Five hundred home runs -- that's unbelieveable. It couldn't have happened to a better guy. He's one of the nicest guys in the league and I'm happy for him." -- Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells
"He's been doing it for about 800 years." -- Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
"I saw him when he first came up with the Cubs, and he wasn’t that kind of hitter. But as soon as he went to Texas, he just ... in some ways he's a lot like McGwire. He really doesn’t swing hard, but he has terrific timing. Just puts it right at the right point over and over again. He's had a great career." -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
"He's always the left-handed swing you want to copy. ... I just like watching him hit. He's got such a nice, pretty
swing, he's fun to watch." --Yankees catcher Jorge Posada
"I'm good friends with him. He's one of my best friends in the game. I've watched him over the years be as good and as consistent as a player can be.He doesn't get nearly the credit he should for what he does. His power numbers might surprise some people but his swing is so good. He just makes
consistent contact. A lot of guys should emulate that. If he wanted to hit.320, he could go out and do that right now.
"He could hit .320 or hit 45 homers. He's chosen the latter right now. He wants 45 homers a year and nobody can complain. He does it year in and year out. He's a quality guy, a quality player. Over his whole career, people
have missed out on him because he's one of the top players in the game." -- Twins pitcher and former Rangers teammate Kenny Rogers
"That's definitely a great milestone. He has such a pretty swing and is a really good player." -- Angels shortstop David Eckstein
"He's been a good model for consistency and not a guy a lot of people talk about, but he goes out there and gives you 40--45 home runs every year driving in 130. And he's been able to stay healthy so it's just great." --Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado
"Rafael's a great hitter, great player and a true Hall
of Famer. He really does it all.
He's one of those guys that keeps on going. He has a
short, sweet stroke--actually, one of the best strokes
I've ever seen.He makes a lot of good contact and doesn't miss that much. He's not a big guy, but he really just uses that sweet swing." --White Sox designated hitter/first baseman Frank Thomas