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LEEInks list: Upcoming sports milestones

08.17.10 at 6:38 am ET
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Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez recently hit his 600th home run and joined an elite group of players to have reached this significant mark. The list includes Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630) and Samy Sosa (609).

Last Sunday against the Red Sox, Derek Jeter passed Babe Ruth to become the Yankees’ all-time leader in career hits.

That got us thinking about other sports milestones on the horizon. Here are 10 athletes — some in Boston and some national — primed to make news for a career accomplishment in the next year or so.

10. Terry Francona, second-most games managed for the Red Sox

When, in mid-September, Francona manages the 1,120th game of his Red Sox career, he will pass Pinky Higgins and trail only Joe Cronin in that category. Francona already has passed Higgins for No. 2 in career wins. He’s got a long way to go to catch Cronin in either games (2,007 to Francona’s 1,091 through Monday) and wins (1,071 to 632).

9. Billy Wagner, most strikeouts and saves by a left-handed reliever

Wagner, now with the Braves after finishing last season with the Red Sox, began play on Monday only five strikeouts behind Jesse Orosco‘s record of 1,179 K’s by a lefty reliever. And he’s 10 saves behind John Franco‘s mark of 424. Wagner has said he will retire at the end of this season whether or not he breaks the records.

8. Randy Moss, 1,000 career receptions, and No. 1 in touchdown passes with the Patriots

Moss, ranks 10th in NFL history with 926 receptions. Seven players have 1,000. Moss, who has caught 47 touchdown passes with the Patriots, needs 21 more to be the all-time franchise leader. Currently, he ranks third behind Stanley Morgan (67) and Ben Coates (50). He would need another monster season to catch Morgan this year, but only four will push him past Coates and into second.

7. Mark Recchi, 1,500 career points

The active leader in points, Recchi sits at 1,485 and in 13th place on the all-time list. He should pass 1,500 with ease and has a shot at passing Paul Coffey (1,531) for No. 12, which would put him directly behind Bruins legends Ray Bourque (11th at 1,579) and Phil Esposito (10th at 1,590).

6. Tom Brady, 3,000 completions and No. 10 in career passing touchdowns

Brady enters the season with 2,697 passes completed, ranking him 23rd all-time and putting him within reach of 3,000. He also could move into the top 10 all-time list for passing touchdowns. He begins the season at No. 21 with 225 passing TDs, 36 away from jumping 11 spots.

5. Kevin Garnett, No. 20 all-time scoring leader

Garnett begins the 2010-11 season with 22,267 points, good for 22nd place on the all-time list. If he duplicates last season point total of 990, he would move past No. 21 Elgin Baylor and No. 20 Adrian Dantley, with No. 19 Robert Parish (23,334) within reach. Another Celtic looking to move up the list is Ray Allen, whose 20,965 points puts him at No. 28. Allen should crack the top 25 this season.

4. Ray Allen, No. 1 all-time in 3-pointers

Allen needs 116 3-pointers to pass Pacers guard Reggie Miller to be the all-time league leader in 3-point field goals made. Allen has attempted 6,176 3-pointers over 14 seasons in the NBA and successfully sank 145 of them last season.

3. Brett Favre, 500 touchdown passes

If Favre were to return for his 20th NFL season, he would need three touchdown passes to reach the 500 mark. He already ranks No. 1 in NFL history in this category. Last season, Favre threw 33 touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is 34 short of 400.

2. Jim Thome, 600 home runs

Thome doesn’t get the same publicity as other home run greats, but he has 580 home runs in his career, ranking him 10th all-time and leaving him 20 away from the 600 plateau. Thome hit 334 home runs in an Indians uniform and tallied 243 more during his time with the Phillies and White Sox. He did not record a home run with the Dodgers, but he has 16 home runs in Minnesota this season.

1. Derek Jeter, 3,000 hits

Jeter should close in on 3,000 hits a couple of months into the 2011 season. Entering Monday’s action, he had 2,884 hits, leaving him 116 away from joining the 27 players who have accomplished the feat. Jeter, in his 16th season with the Yankees, has recorded 137 hits in 115 games this year.

Read More: brett favre, Derek Jeter, Ray Allen, Tom Brady