As 2 million runs approach, it all started with the Atlanta Braves

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Atlanta Braves

The Boston Red Stockings Base Ball Club of 1875… just a year early. Albert Spalding, far left, Jim O’Rourke, third from right, and George Wright, far right, are the stars of the team. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)

Baseball milestones are fun — especially when you don’t know how they’ll end.  However, in this case, it all started from an Atlanta Braves ancestor.

While we’ve been a lot more immersed into the trials and triumphs of our Atlanta Braves this season, there’s an interesting major league baseball milestone that’s going to happen within the next couple of weeks.

Baseball’s two millionth run scored.

Immediately, you might be thinking “really?” The next thought might be “how do they know that?”

Admittedly, there are some fairly sketchy records in the history of this game — particularly when you reach back before 1900.  That does lead to some differences of opinion on the subject.

  • Elias Sports – the “official” record on this subject – thinks that run #2,000,000 will likely happen on Wednesday or Thursday this week (May 26-27).
  • Baseball-reference.com has a few more runs tabulated — they are 97 higher.  Thus by their reckoning, Wednesday might be the day.

There is some history, though, that identifies the very first major league baseball run scored.

Here’s the account, as given by David Waldstein of the New York Times (emphasis added):

In baseball’s official accounting, the first run scored in the lineage of today’s Major League Baseball came on April 22, 1876. According to new research this month conducted by Thorn, the run was plated by Tim McGinley, a catcher for the Boston Red Stockings, the forebears of today’s Atlanta Braves. Historians are not certain whether he batted right- or left-handed, but we know he scored in the top of the second inning at Philadelphia, as Boston beat the Athletics (no relation to the current club), 6-5, in the first game of the first season (as recognized by M.L.B.).

Huh.  The Braves — then under the name Red Stockings — started it all.  There’s a fun bit of trivia to hand onto.

The wild part about this story, though, is about the different ways that MLB handled the millionth run vs. this new 2 million milestone — it’s like night and day.

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