Ten years ago Ryan Howard became the quickest player to reach 250 Home Runs. On September 8th 2010 playing in his 855th game Howard homered to deep left field.
Topps commemorated the event with an insert in the 2011 Heritage set.
Highlight Sketches was a 25 card insert set with artwork by Southern California based artist Dave Hobrecht. The set also includes a card dedicated to Roy Halladay's 2011 No-Hitter.
Howard's Home Runs was part of a 10-6 Phillies victory over the Florida Marlns. It was the 28th of 31 Home Runs that Howard would hit in 2010 - good enough for 8th in the league.
The caption details Howard's Home Run pace and also mentions the record holder Ralph Kiner.
Kiner's 250th Home Run occurred in 1951 during a Pirates 5-4 loss versus the Boston Braves.
2010 Ryan Howard at the Crossroads
In 2010 was basically mid-career - the 7th of 13 seasons. He had 855 games in the books and 717 remaining. Unfortunately the bottom half of his career did not match the promise of Howard's start. After averaging 46 Home Runs a season from 2006-2010, Howard would hit 33 in 2011 and then never post more than 25 again. The downward turn due to a combination of a devastating injury that occurred at the end of 2011 NLDS and the rigors of age.
Ryan Howard's final 717 games would yield 132 Home Runs - Not terrible, but roughly half the pace of those record setting first 250 Home Runs.
Sources and Links
Ryan Howard Index