With his 25th stolen base of the season in the books, Cedric Mullins stands just one home run away from Baltimore Orioles history
Although he was held hitless by Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen on Tuesday, Cedric Mullins impacted the game on the base paths, recording a stolen base in the first inning. The stolen base was his 25th on the season, an important one for Mullins as he attempts to become just the third player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit 25 home runs and steal 25 bases in a single season. The company Mullins would join as part of the franchise’s 25/25 club would be that of two MVP winners: Don Baylor and Reggie Jackson.
In his 1975 campaign with the O’s, Don Baylor knocked in 25 home runs and swiped 32 bases, becoming the first member of the 25/25 club in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. Much like Mullins, Baylor was 26 years old during his 25/25 club-joining season, never before having hit more than 11 home runs in any single season. Baylor would finish among the top 20 players in MVP voting that season as well, making his mark on the league before winning the award in 1979.
Oddly enough, the only other 25/25 season in franchise history came the following year in 1976, when Reggie Jackson made his one-year stop in Baltimore. Jackson crushed 27 home runs to go along with 28 stolen bases that season, the most he would ever steal in his prolific Major League career. Jackson finished 16th in MVP voting following that campaign, posting a league-best .502 slugging percentage.
As for Mullins, the 25/25 club stands just one home run away. With a slash line of .306/.370/.531 and the most hits of any player in the American League entering the month of September, Mullins has been nothing short of incredible in 2021. In fWAR among outfielders this season, Mullins trails only Bryce Harper, making it safe to say that Cedric Mullins has been the best outfielder in the American League this season.
In franchise history, no player has ever hit 30 home runs and stolen 30 bases. If Mullins can find a groove in September as baseball’s regular season comes to a close, O’s fans may get the chance to witness history.