Detroit Tigers star Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera has batted his way into MLB history with 3,000 hits.
Cabrera became the 33rd player in the league to reach the mark during the first inning in a game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. After the 39-year-old hit the milestone on his home turf at Comerica Park, Rockies shortstop José Iglesias ran over to hug his former teammate.
The Tigers hitter is the first Major Leaguer from Venezuela — and only the seventh player — in the league’s history to grab 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez.
If his 20-season MLB resume didn’t cut it, his latest feat almost certainly makes him Hall of Fame material. He’s already a Triple Crown winner, World Series champion, two-time MVP and 11-time All-Star. Of the 33 players who’ve hit 3,000, only six have not been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, with the slugger one hit away from No. 3,000, Cabrera joked that he would probably bunt his next hit — which he has done only once in his MLB career.
But he was sincere about one thing.
Asked about his choice of music to accompany the milestone, he requested to hear “Alma Llanera,” an unofficial anthem for Venezuela.
“I want people to know where I come from,” he said.
And so it was: Following Cabrera’s 3,000th hit, the lyrics of “Alma Llanera” (“Soul of the Plains”) were heard, as fireworks launched in celebration and crowds of fans rose in standing ovation.