Choo Shin-soo hit his 100th career homerun in Major League Baseball on Tuesday in an away game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder started as a leadoff hitter and center fielder. At two balls and two strikes in the top of the fifth inning when the team was trailing 2-0, Choo slammed a 137 km/h changeup from Cardinals' starter Joe Kelly and sent it over the fence. That was the only run the Reds scored in the game, which the Cardinals won by a convincing score of 6-1.
Just two days ago against the Milwaukee Brewers, Choo recorded the 100th stolen base of his career. Since 1901, only 223 MLB players have achieved at least 100 homeruns and 100 stolen bases, and 40 of them are currently active. The New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki is the only other Asian in the club.
Shane Victorino of the Boston Red Sox, who hit two homers on Tuesday, joined Choo in the 100-100 club on the same day. Victorino now has 101 homeruns and 218 career stolen bases.
It took nine years for Choo to achieve this feat after he debuted with the Seattle Mariners in 2005. He joined the Reds this season and has started in 127 out of 133 games, hitting 17 homeruns, stealing 16 bases, and earning 41 RBIs.
Choo's salary this year is US$7.37 million and he will become a free agent at the end of this season. As he has established himself as one of the finest leadoff hitters in the MLB, he is expected to be able to command a multiyear contract worth around US$15 million a year.