The Greatest Storylines From the 2022 MLB Season

The Greatest Storylines From the 2022 MLB Season

The 2022 MLB season was one to remember. It is not often that so many major events, spanning from memorable to legendary, happen in just one year.

At the beginning of the season, Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera initiated this truly great season, recording his 3000th hit on April 23rd. Cabrera, an irrefutable first ballot hall of famer, is one of 33 players to ever reach such a mark. Not even the fabled Babe Ruth is in the exclusive “3000 Hit Club.”

In any normal year, this milestone would stand above all others, but it seemingly got lost in the mix by the time the regular season came to a close. 

Dazzling rookie campaigns, franchise records, stellar on-field performances, inspiring resilience, two-way anomaly Shohei Ohtani’s continued dominance, and tense playoff races characterized the epic year.

Yet, three stories stand above the rest. 

All Rise for the Judge

The American League home run record, set by Roger Maris in 1961, was 61 home runs. Many argue that Maris’ record is – or was, rather –  still the one to beat, as the steroid-tarnished records of the 90s and 2000s are deemed illegitimate by most. For 61 years, 61 was the ultimate number of myth, with many legends of the game coming close but failing to reach that apex. 

So, as you can imagine, Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run on October 4th sent shockwaves through the baseball community. A legendary record had been legendarily shattered. Judge’s chase of that legendary number had come to a close, and he instantly became an icon of the game. 

A Storybook Ending

Before the 2022 season began, baseball great and Cardinals legend Albert Pujols announced that this year would be his last. The 42 year old’s all-time great career had fallen off his unmatched trajectory in the late years of his career, but even before this year he was one of the greatest players to ever step on the field. Before this season, his career home run total sat at 679, fifth all time. When the season began, and even at the July All-Star break, it seemed more than unlikely that Pujols would reach the 700 home run threshold. 

Then, the unbelievable became reality. He returned to his early 2000’s dominance in the second half of the season, shattering the 700 mark, reaching 703. 

Pujols became one of four players to ever reach 700 career home runs. A titan of the game, Pujols finished his career in a uniquely legendary way.

The Phantastic Phillies

This season, there were 4 MLB teams with 100 or more wins. Only one of those teams, the Houston Astros, made it even past the divisional series of the playoffs. No underdog shined brighter than the 87-win, wildcard Phillies, who eventually won the NL pennant. They defeated the divisional champion Cardinals and Braves, and eventually the Padres en route to their first World Series berth since 2009. 

These Phillies in particular were special. Their run was characterized by amazing performances by their star players, with 2-time MVP Bryce Harper slugging a home run to send them to the World Series.

Unfortunately for Phillies fans, the Astros won the best-of-seven series in Game Six, but it was an incredible postseason run that will be remembered for years to come.