Saturday had one of the greatest moments in the history of Major League Baseball. Long-time White Sox rival Miguel Cabrera became the 33rd player in league history to record 3000 hits. It was a single to right field in the bottom of the first inning for hit number 3000.
It is an incredible moment as he is now just the second active player over that 3000 hit milestone (Albert Pujols). Even some of the Colorado Rockies players on the other side took time to congratulate him and even give him a celebratory hug. It was a great moment for the league.
Cabrera spent the first five years of his career with the Florida Marlins where he was part of a World Series champion team in 2003. He has then spent the last 15 years with the Detroit Tigers organization where he became one of the best baseball players ever.
For a long time, Cabrera was the best active hitter in the league. That stretch included a triple crown and coming close to another one in the middle of his prime. There is no doubt that he will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame player.
Miguel Cabrera has been an amazing Chicago White Sox rival for a long time.
234 of Cabrera’s 3000 hits have come against our Chicago White Sox. That is the least of any team in the American League Central which is honestly remarkable because he absolutely owned the Sox in his career. 40 of them went over the fence for home runs.
Cabrera is really in elite company with this milestone. He joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to have 3000 hits, 500 home runs, and a career batting average of .300 or better. It is one of the best offensive careers in the history of the sport. Only seven players, in general, have 3000 hits and 500 home runs which is remarkable in its own right.
As mentioned before, not long after his retirement, he will walk into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The next closest player to 3000 hits is Robinson Cano who is 39 years old and needs over 300 more hits. That is not going to happen.
When you look at the list of active players near the top of the list, their age, and how many they need, it is hard to see anyone reaching 3000 hits. That’s not to say that a day like today will never happen again but it is going to be a really long time if ever. Miguel Cabrera really was one of a kind, even if he was a bitter rival for so long. That is the ultimate compliment.