Baseball players have always been measured by numbers. Of course, statistics are a big part of any sport -- but none have the history of numbers like America's Favorite Pastime. A .300 batting average. A five-hit game. A nine-inning, complete-game shutout. 755 home runs. 511 wins. 56-game hitting streak. And,
Baseball players have always been measured by numbers. Of course, statistics are a big part of any sport -- but none have the history of numbers like America's Favorite Pastime. A .300 batting average. A five-hit game. A nine-inning, complete-game shutout. 755 home runs. 511 wins. 56-game hitting streak. And, much more.
Over the years, certain benchmarks have always been the goal for a player to be considered great -- or to gain induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For years, 300 wins for pitchers was the ultimate mark and 3,000 hits and 500 home runs for batters.
In Minor League Baseball, players rarely stay with one team long enough to accomplish mammoth numbers -- so their greatness is not always measured by numbers. But, for the Charlotte Knights, there are three players who have accomplished a significant feat that will stand the test of time.
Since the birth of the Charlotte Knights franchise in 1988, one number has reigned supreme – 400. With hundreds of players wearing the Charlotte Knights uniform over 32 seasons, only three players have accomplished the feat of 400 hits. In 2017, outfielder Jason Bourgeois joined the exclusive Charlotte Knights 400-Hit Club with Jordan Danks and Joe Borchard.
Bourgeois made Charlotte Knights history when he singled in the top of the seventh inning of the team’s 9-4 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday, August 13, 2017 from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA. That single was the 400th of his Charlotte Knights career, which moved him into the exclusive three-member club. Bourgeois, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and two walks on the day, joined Danks (449) and Borchard (439) as the only members of the Charlotte Knights 400-Hit Club.
Bourgeois, who played for the Knights over parts of four seasons (2007, 2008, 2016, and 2017), is among the franchise leaders in a number of offensive categories. He is third in hits (404), third in games played (368), third in at-bats (1,397), third in runs scored (191), second in stolen bases (71), and tied for first in triples (12).
Danks is the leader in nearly all offensive categories in Charlotte Knights franchise history. In a career that spanned five seasons with the Knights, Danks accomplished a lot. He earned awards, he set records, and he was a model player on and off the field. A member of the Knights Stadium Team, Danks recently added Charlotte Knights All-Decade Team (2010-19) to his list of achievements.
The 2014 season was the fifth and final season in a Knights uniform for Danks. He certainly went out with a bang as he batted .270 (94-for-348) with 51 runs scored, 18 doubles, 16 home runs and 57 RBIs in 93 games. Much like in previous seasons, Danks also spent time in Chicago – earning a promotion on three occasions throughout the year. Still, he provided the Knights with solid play throughout and was a fan-favorite every step of the way.
He holds the franchise record in hits (449), games played (463), at-bats (1,682), runs scored (250), and walks (215). He is also tied for first in triples (12), is second in doubles (95), second in RBIs (222), and fifth in home runs (52).
For four-straight seasons (2002-2005), Borchard was a staple in Charlotte's lineup. He hit 78 home runs with the Knights and added 227 RBIs over that four-year span. He nearly set all of Charlotte's offensive records during his remarkable run as the team's slugger for four campaigns during their time in Fort Mill, SC.
As a 23-year-old in 2002, he made his debut with the Knights and went on to hit .272 with 35 doubles, 20 home runs and 59 RBIs that year. Later that season, he made his major league debut on September 2, 2002 in Toronto with the White Sox and homered in his very first big league game.
A year later, he returned to the Knights and appeared in 114 games with the club. He compiled 110 hits that season with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs. Over the course of his next two seasons with the Knights, he swatted 16 home runs in 2004 and a career-best 29 in 2005. During the course of his four years with the Knights, he ranked as one of the best offensive players in franchise history.
Borchard was inducted into the Charlotte Baseball Round Table of Honor on Friday, May 17 at BB&T Ballpark before the 7:04 p.m. game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies).