LEADING OFF: Major League Baseball nears 20,000 players

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New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, right, celebrates with Gary Sanchez after hitting a first-inning home run against Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dean Kremer during a baseball game on Friday, May 14, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:



Major League Baseball is full of huge numbers — 4,256 hits by Pete Rose, 511 wins for Cy Young, 2,632 consecutive games played by Cal Ripken Jr.

Real soon, the sport will reach a big, round number: 20,000 total players.

There had been 19,989 players in MLB history going into the weekend, according to baseballreference.com, boosted by Seattle rookies Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert making their debuts Thursday night.

The list that began in 1871 ranges from A to Z.

First on the alphabetical chart is pitcher David Aardsma, who moved into the top spot ahead of Hank Aaron when he started out in 2004 for San Francisco. Aardsma’s last season was 2015 — that was the same year the player last on the list, pitcher Tony Zych, made his debut with the Mariners.