With an reverse subject single within the first inning of Saturday’s sport in opposition to the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera, 39, turned the thirty third participant in MLB historical past to report 3,000 hits and the primary Venezuelan-born participant to perform the feat.
Right off the bat, Cabrera knew what he’d achieved. As he headed towards first, Cabrera raised his arm in triumph to the sound of uproaring applause. The sport, the primary of a day-night doubleheader, got here to a halt after Cabrera reached first. Even a number of Rockies, particularly shortstop José Iglesias, who was a teammate of Cabrera’s on the Tigers from 2013 to 2018, came to visit to congratulate Miggy on his milestone.
There was a variety of buildup to Miggy’s 3,000th hit and a little bit little bit of controversy as nicely. See, throughout Thursday’s sport in opposition to the Yankees, Cabrera was sitting at 2,999 hits. Heading into the underside of the eighth, the Tigers had been main 1-0. Miggy got here to the plate with two outs and runners at second and third. This was the proper alternative for Cabrera to get his 3,000th hit. Just image it. Two outs, two males in scoring place with an opportunity to seal the sport for his staff in opposition to the Yankees. It’s a storybook story. It’s what children dream of of their backyards, however Cabrera by no means acquired that chance. He was deliberately walked to load the bases, a call that might wind up devastating the Yankees’ probabilities as Austin Meadows would wind up doubling to left and driving in two, however nonetheless, Yankees’ supervisor Aaron Boone ought to’ve given Miggy an opportunity to report his 3,000th hit.
Obviously, we right here at Deadspin aren’t monumental followers of baseball’s unwritten guidelines, however that is a type of uncommon exceptions. Nobody is looking for Boone’s head, as is normally the case when an unwritten rule is damaged, however Boone’s determination nonetheless made your complete baseball world collectively roll their eyes and sigh in disappointment. Dick transfer, Boone. Thankfully, Cabrera didn’t have to attend lengthy for his subsequent hit.
This milestone makes Cabrera one of just two active players to reach 3,000 career hits (Albert Pujols) and one of only seven players all-time to record both 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Álex Rodríguez, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, and Pujols). The next closest active player to 3,000 hits is New York Mets’ second baseman Robinson Canó, who is also 39 years old, and is currently 370 hits away. After Canó, the active hits leader is St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina at 2,116. He’s not getting there. The most likely next hitter to reach 3,000 hits is hard to determine. Jose Altuve and Freddie Freeman are 31 and 32 respectively, but they’re each more than 1,250 hits away. Mike Trout is 30, but he’s more than 1,500 away, and he’s always hurt. In fact, there are only two players among the top-35 active hits leaders who are younger than 30 (Bryce Harper and Xander Bogaerts). Maybe they can do it, but it’s still too early to tell. That COVID-shortened 2020 season certainly didn’t do them any favors.
The lack of active players on pace to join Miggy in the 3,000-hit club is a testament to Cabrera’s durability and staying power in a day and age where older players are often tossed to the side. There’s no doubt that he’ll be enshrined in Cooperstown on the first ballot he’s eligible for. He’s a two-time MVP, 11-time All-Star, triple crown winner, and World Series champ. If that’s not enough to be the second (or third because of Pujols’ likely retirement at the end of this season) ever unanimous Hall of Famer, then I don’t know what is.