Donaldson scores MLB's 2 millionth run

May 29th, 2021

There have been many, many runs scored in Major League history, and now we have a large, round number to cite: Twins third baseman scored the 2 millionth run in the sport’s storied history. Donaldson scored the historic tally on Nelson Cruz's ground-rule double off Royals right-hander Ervin Santana in the first inning on Saturday. The Elias Sports Bureau, the official statisticians of MLB, recently verified the total number of runs scored in anticipation of this milestone.

Official MLB history dates to 1876, when the National League began play. According to research by MLB’s official historian, John Thorn, the first run came on April 22 of that year -- in the first game of the season, between the Boston Red Stockings, now the Braves, and the Philadelphia Athletics. That Athletics squad is not related to today’s A’s or Phillies -- that franchise existed for just the 1876 season. The first run was scored by the Red Stockings’ catcher, Tim McGinley.

Without timestamps, it’s difficult to pin down the specific milestone runs in between the first and today’s 2 millionth.

Back in 1975, Bob Watson was celebrated for scoring the 1 millionth run in MLB history, but subsequent research suggests it may not have actually been the milestone it was believed to be at the time. This stems from the 1969 addition of leagues beyond the NL and AL to the historical record, when MLB officially recognized the Federal League, Union Association and others.

To that point, while Saturday's milestone run is the 2 millionth on record right now, in some sense that number has already been reached. With the pending inclusion of Negro Leagues stats as part of Major League records, announced last year, there will have already been a 2 millionth run when those are factored in.