With a singles on the opposite court in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers puncher Miguel Cabrera, 39, became the 33rd player in MLB history to score 3,000 hits. and is the first player born in Venezuela to achieve this feat.
Immediately, Cabrera knew what he had done. As he stepped forward, Cabrera raised his arm in glee to resounding applause. The game, the first of a day-night doubles game, was stopped after Cabrera finished first. Even some of the Rockies, namely short-fielder José Iglesias, who was Cabrera’s teammate in the Tigers from 2013 to 2018, came to congratulate Miggy on his big milestone.
There’s a lot of accumulation to Miggy’s 3,000th shot and a bit of controversy as well. See, in Thursday’s game against the Yankees, Cabrera had 2,999 hits. Heading into the 1/8 round, the Tigers are leading 1-0. Miggy came in second and second in second and third. This was the perfect opportunity for Cabrera to get his 3,000th shot. Just visualize it. Two outside, two men in scoring positions have a chance to fix the game for his team against the Yankees. It’s a story within a story. It was something the kids dreamed of in their backyard, but Cabrera never got that chance. He was intentionally walking to load the bases, a decision that would wreak havoc on the Yankees’ chances as Austin Meadows would double left and drive in two, but still, the Yankees manager, Aaron Boone should give Miggy a chance to hit his 3,000th hit record.
Obviously, we here at Deadspin are not big fans of baseball’s unwritten rules, but this is one of the rare exceptions. No one called out to Boone’s head, as is often the case when an unwritten rule is broken, but Boone’s decision still made the baseball world roll its eyes and sigh in disappointment. Hurry up, Boone. Thankfully, Cabrera didn’t have to wait long for his next shot.
This milestone makes Cabrera one of only two active players to hit 3,000 career hits (Albert Pujols) and one of only seven players of all time to hit a career record 3,000 and 500 home runs. career (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Álex Rodríguez, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro and Pujols). The next closest active player with 3,000 hits is the second New York Mets player Robinson Canó, who is also 39 and now has 370 hits. After Canó, the leader of active visits was the captor of St. Louis Yadier Molina with a score of 2,116. He didn’t go there. It is difficult to determine the next hitter most likely to hit 3,000 hits. Jose Altuve and Freddie Freeman are 31 and 32 respectively, but each has more than 1,250 shots. Mike Trout is 30 years old, but he’s over 1,500, and he’s always hurt. In fact, only two players out of the 35 leading the most active hits were younger than 30 (Bryce Harper and Xander Bogaerts). Maybe they can, but it’s too early to tell. That shortened COVID 2020 season certainly doesn’t benefit them.
The absence of active players joining Miggy in the club of 3,000 appearances is testament to Cabrera’s tenacity and staying power in an era when older players are often cast aside. There’s no doubt he’ll be enshrined in Cooperstown on the first ballot he’s eligible for. He’s a two-time MVP, 11-time All-Star, three-time crown and World Champion. If that’s not enough to be the second Hall of Famer (or third as Pujols will likely retire at the end of this season) ever unanimously approved by the Hall of Famer, I don’t know what is.