With a sixth-inning blast to the bullpen in right-center on Sunday at Rogers Centre against the Toronto Blue Jays, Miguel Cabrera entered hallowed territory. He became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to join the 500 home run club. The homer tied the game at 1-1 and to put the cherry on top, the Tigers won 5-3 in eleven innings.
Besides entering the prestigious homer club, he became the first player to join the club since David Ortiz in 2015 while also becoming the first player to reach the mark as a Detroit Tiger.
He is also the first Venezuelan-born player to reach 500 homers, which is an impressive feat for a country that has produced sluggers such as Bobby Abreu, Andres Galarraga and Cabrera’s former Motown teammate Magglio Ordonez.
Cabrera is also just the sixth foreign-born player to reach the milestone, joining Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez.
Miguel Cabrera, while late in a career that has spanned almost two decades, will go down as one of the best pure hitters in MLB history. He made his debut with the Florida Marlins on June 20, 2003 and became one of only four players to homer in their debut when he hit an extra innings walk-off against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He hasn’t looked back since.
His resume, besides the 500 home runs, is Hall of Fame worthy and then some. He is an 11-time All-Star, two-time American League MVP, four-time AL batting champ and a Triple Crown winner.
Coming into the game, Cabrera had a career .311 batting average and stood 46 hits shy of 3,000 (which will be another milestone checked off soon). While his career will most likely span another 2-4 years, odds are he’ll still end his career with a batting average north of .300. If that’s the case, he will retire with a .300-plus average, 500-plus doubles, 500-plus homers and 3,000-plus hits, joining only Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. That’s quite the company to join.
Once he reaches the prestigious 3,000 hit club, he will also join an elite group of hitters to be in both of baseball’s elusive benchmark clubs of 3,000 hits and 500 homers, joining Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, Palmeiro, Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.
While I could go on and on about Cabrera’s career achievements and place in baseball history, one thing is clear. He is one of the most feared hitters in the history of America’s pastime and has joined a club that only 28 others have entered in the long, rich history of MLB.
Miguel Cabrera will go down as not only one of the best players in the rich history of the Detroit Tigers, but as one of the best players in baseball history.
Congratulations and a job well done over a long, illustrious career, Miggy. Detroit is proud to call you one of their own.