Hitting 500

500Today.  Right here.

In honor of my 500th blog post, I thought to check out the number 500 in the world around us.  Some interesting things shake out about this fantastic, yet often ignored, milestone.

It appears that the number 500 is not beloved by the movie, TV or music fields.  To wit:

– Only two movies use the number 500:  Fireball 500 and (500) Days of Summer

– Only one music group ever had 500 in its name (Galaxie 500)

– TV is the worst offender:  No TV programs ever used 500

This is not well thought out.  For instance. if they 200 more bare-chested guys, I’ll bet those Spartans could have beat back the Persians.  And Hawaii couldn’t use an extra zero?  Why didn’t Paul Simon have a long-play version with 450 more ways to leave your lover?

Oddly, cars have a contradictory relationship with the number 500:

– Only two cars have ever used the number in its name (Chrysler and Fiat)

– Yet, two of the most famous car races use the number (Indy 500, Daytona 500)

Sure, you’re not going to find 500 HP engines in cars, but only two having such a powerful number?  Especially with the cachet of those big races?

In the financial world, the number 500 gets a lot more love:

– The S&P 500 is one of the three big stock indexes used as barometers for the overall market

– Fortune publishes an annual ranking of the biggest corporations called the Fortune 500

On the other hand, you sure don’t want a 500 credit score!

Sports seems to make the most use of the number, but even they are confused:

Baseball:

– a .500 batting average appears to be impossible (in 1894, Hugh Duffy hit .440)

– 500 home runs are generally considered likely to get a player into the Hall of Fame (though the current juiced era is putting that in some doubt)

– if someone hits a 500-foot home run, it is considered extraordinary

Basketball:

– When someone other than a center shoots 50% (.500) or better, they are considered elite (if they do it from 3-point range, they are considered an alien)

Golf:

– Only two tee-shots have ever exceeded 500 yards in regulation play

– In an unrelated note, 500 yards used to be the “given” for a golf hole to move from a par four to a par five

Conversely, when a team is playing “.500 ball”, it means they are even in the won-lost record and considered “average”.  Also, in case you haven’t tried it, you have to stop at 300 in bowling.

 

There seems to be a lot less love for the number 500 than I expected (I used to enjoy playing Rummy 500 with my Grandma).  No problem, I’m still jazzed about hitting blog post #500.  I’m looking forward to researching the number 1,000 for you in a few years!

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