Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp joined Major League Baseball's 30-30 Club over the weekend, and a handful of players on contenders have a chance to do the same.
As we wait to see whether Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Curtis Granderson of the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers can join Kemp, just talking about the subject makes one realize how much a once-rare achievement became taken for granted.
There was no 30-30 member in 2010, the first time that happened since 1986 (excluding the shortened 1994 season). Add that as yet another legacy of 2010's "Year of the Pitcher."
Multiple 30-30 seasons
The most 30-30 members in a season was four, accomplished in the 1996-97 and 1987 seasons. There were three in 2007 -- Brandon Phillips, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright. Could 2011 go down as one of those years? Will playing for contenders mean less opportunity because of possible resting of regulars if clubs involved clinch postseason berths early?
And don't forget that this regular season ends on Sept. 28, so you don't have those final three days on that calendar month to include, thanks to the season's early start.
Here is a look at the remaining 30-30 possibles, with stats entering the week:
Braun: 25 home runs, 30 stolen bases
He stole four bases last week to take care of that category -- Braun's first time reaching that plateau -- but has gone six games without a homer. Braun had four homers in June, five in July and has four so far in August, so he's on pace to get there. The big question is how much Braun will play in September, with Milwaukee running away with the National League Central.
Granderson: 38 home runs, 24 stolen bases
Like Braun, Granderson never had stolen 30 bases entering this season. That's the only question now that he is contending for a home run title. The center fielder stole six bags in May and six in June, then five in July and another five so far in August. Granderson may be likelier than Braun, because a Red Sox-Yankees race to the finish would mean little chance of Granderson resting.
Ellsbury: 23 home runs, 36 stolen bases
Does he have enough time left to hit seven homers? Lest you count him out, remember that Ellsbury hit eight homers in July and another six so far in this month. A last-week push for a division title could keep him firmly in the lineup.
Kinsler: 21 home runs, 22 stolen bases
Probably the least likely of these four candidates to join Kemp, because he not only has to show power and speed, but also has to exceed any previous month in 2011. Kinsler's top splits are five homers (April, July and August) and six steals in May. If the Rangers can pull away from the Angels, his chances could deteriorate.
"This is something I worked hard for in the offseason," Kemp said after joining the club on Friday, joining Raul Mondesi (1997 and '99) as the only Dodgers to do it. "Raul Mondesi was a great Dodger, and that is a big part of this. It's pretty special. To do it here at home, that makes it more special."
The 30-30 Club was "founded" by Ken Williams, who slugged 39 homers and stole 37 bases for the St. Louis Browns over 153 games in 1922. It would not happen again until 1956, when Willie Mays of the Giants became the first National Leaguer to reach the plateau (also in '57).
The 30-30 Club by decade:
2000-09: 17 times. That included the 2004 combined effort of Carlos Beltran, who had 38 homers (15 with Kansas City and 23 with Houston) and 42 steals (14 and 28, respectively).
1990-99: 20. Again, with no chance in 1994 due to labor issues. Not surprising that the record was set in this decade, when offensive production soared to extremes.
1980-89: 7. Joe Carter was 29-29 in 1986, the last year there were no 30-30 members until 2010.
1970-79: 5. Four of those were by Bobby Bonds (1973, '75, '77-78), who would pave the way for son Barry, who would do it five times. Bobby Bonds also did it in 1969.
1960-69: 2. In addition to Bobby Bonds, Hank Aaron got there in 1963 with 44 homers and 31 steals. It was the only time The Hammer stole at least 30 bases. With Maury Wills and then Lou Brock leading the way, stolen bases were just coming into real vogue.
What about Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who stole more bases and hit more leadoff homers than anyone? His single-season high for homers was 28, with the Yankees in 1986 and the A's in '90.