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Tigers' Miguel Cabrera Becomes 33rd Member of MLB's 3,000-hit Club

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 23, 2022

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera reacts to hitting a double against the Boston Red Sox in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Monday, April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The 3,000-hit club has a new member. 

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera became the 33rd player in MLB history to accomplish the feat with his first-inning single on the Colorado Rockies' Antonio Senzatela at home in Comerica Park on Saturday afternoon.

Detroit Tigers @tigers

The 7th player in Major League history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. <a href="https://t.co/7RtGWyl3Xv">pic.twitter.com/7RtGWyl3Xv</a>

Detroit Tigers @tigers

Welcome to history, <a href="https://twitter.com/MiguelCabrera?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiguelCabrera</a>. <a href="https://t.co/0KzQkjMO4p">pic.twitter.com/0KzQkjMO4p</a>

The 39-year-old also joined an even more exclusive club, becoming the seventh player in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. The only other players on that list are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. 

Paring that down even further, Cabrera is just one of three players with a career .300 batting average, 3,000 hit and 500 home runs, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

Miguel Cabera joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players who have 3,000 hits, 500 homers and a career batting average of at least .300

Add them to the list of accomplishments in the future Hall of Famer's career. Cabrera is an 11-time All-Star, two-time MVP four-time batting champion, seven-time Silver Slugger and a 2003 MLB champion. 

His 2012 season (.330 with 44 homers and 139 RBI) was one of the most impressive offensive displays in recent memory, after he became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to hit for the triple crown. Not surprisingly he was named MVP that season, his first of two in a row. 

Between the 2004-16 seasons, Cabrera hit 30 or more home runs 10 times, 40 or more twice, knocked in 100 RBI 12 times and hit .300 or better 11 times. 

His career fell off a bit from there, as injuries and the natural decline that comes with age affected his availability and production. In 130 games last year, he hit just .256 with 15 homers and 75 RBI. Hardly shabby numbers but not comparable to the heights he hit in his prime, when he was consistently one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the sport. 

Any conversation about the best hitter from the first two decades of the 21st century had better include Cabrera and Pujols. 

Cabrera won't catch baseball's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, who registered an astonishing 4,256 in his career. And he would have been a Hall of Famer without this milestone.

But it sure will look good on that plaque in Cooperstown nonetheless.