Miguel Cabrera is the 33rd member of the 3,000 hit club.
Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera etched his name into the record books once again on Thursday afternoon, picking up his 3,000th career hit with a single off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela.
Perhaps it was fitting Miguel Cabrera’s milestone came on a single. Once one of the most feared sluggers in baseball, Cabrera’s power has been sapped by age and injuries, but his hitting acumen has hardly waned at all. He has been a magician with the bat in his hands for 20 years.
Miguel Cabrera’s feat places him in truly elite company, as he becomes just the seventh player with 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs, joining Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez.
Only Aaron and Mays also finished their career with a batting average of .300 or better. Miguel Cabrera’s career batting average is .310, so he’s destined to join them unless he goes hitless for his next 350 at-bats.
And, as Jayson Stark pointed out in his article at The Athletic ($), Miguel Cabrera is now the lone occupant of a club. He’s the only player in MLB history with 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and a Triple Crown on his résumé.
His first hit was a walk-off home run to center field all the way back in 2003:
Miguel Cabrera by the Numbers
Miguel Cabrera becomes the third player to reach the 3,000 hit mark in a Detroit Tigers uniform, joining Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Al Kaline. Cobb achieved the feat when he was just 34, but Cabrera has bested Kaline, notching his 3,000th hit just five days after his 39th birthday, roughly nine months faster than Kaline.
Cabrera’s 3,000 hits have come against 997 different pitchers, with James Shields (27), Corey Kluber (25), and Phil Hughes (20) his most common victims. Senzatela is one of three Antonios to surrender hits to Cabrera, joining Alfonseca and Osuna. He’s recorded hits against 4 different Millers, 6 Johnsons, and 11 pitchers named Rodriguez.
Miguel Cabrera has hits against a Tom, a Tommy, and a Tomo. He owns knocks against 19 different Mikes, 9 Michaels, and 4 Miguels. And he’s reached base safely against a JA, a JC, a JD, a JJ, and a JR. And let’s not forget AJ, CJ, DJ, and PJ.
But the most relevant letters to Miguel Cabrera are HOF. That’s where he’ll be heading in about six years, but not before he gives Detroit Tigers fans a few more classic moments.