On Sunday, Miguel Cabrera added to his elite, Hall of Fame resume by becoming the 28th player in MLB history to smack 500 career homeruns.
Miguel Cabrera has joined yet another illustrious club in baseball history. After 19 seasons in MLB, Cabrera accomplished something few have ever done before. While the 500th homer is quite the milestone, Miggy joins some more elite company in doing so. He became just the 5th player ever to have 500 HRs while hitting over .310, as well as being the 5th to ever hit 500 HRs with 2 batting titles also. His success on the diamond goes well beyond his 500th dinger. But before we get into that, here is the video of Miguel Cabrera reaching 500 after an eight-game homerun drought.
The 28th player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2021
Miguel Cabrera’s Career Milestones
Back in May of this year, Miggy surpassed Omar Vizquel for the most hits by a Venezuelan-born player. However, Cabrera accomplished said feat in almost 2,000 fewer plate appearances. His dominance at the plate is much more than simply generational, it is historical. Despite his old age, Miggy has continued to produce at the plate and rise in the all-time great ranks.
To begin the year, Miggy was tied with Harold Baines for 47th place in career hits. Since then, he now sits in 35th with a total of 2,955 base knocks. While he may not quite reach 3,000 this season, next year he will certainly do so. These hits have been much more than seeing-eye singles too. Moreover, Cabrera is just 10 extra-base hits away from having the 19th most in MLB history.
With so many homeruns and extra-base hits, Miguel Cabrera has been flying up the total bases list. Another huge moment this season for Miggy was when he passed Lou Gehrig’s 5,060 bases. And doing so landed him at 19th all-time.
How Miggy Became Miggy
Back in June of 2003, a baby-faced Cabrera arrived in the big leagues. This unknown kid arrived in the bigs with promise, but nobody quite knew how much. However, he showed them rather quickly by hitting a walk-off homerun in his very first game, setting the stage for a tremendous career. In just 87 games in 2003, Cabrera finished with an MVP vote. Sharing just 1% less of the award with the 2000 MVP Chipper Jones. Therefore, this just goes to show how ready this young gun was for the big show.
A big reason for his vote was his impact on that Florida Marlins ballclub. Just 10 years after the Marlins’ inaugural season, Miggy was able to help them acquire their franchise’s second World Series title. Additionally, Cabrera joined the great Ty Cobb as the only 20 year-olds to hit cleanup in a World Series game. So, before he even completed a full season, he was showing the world his incredible talent.
In his first five seasons, Miggy was a 4-time all-star and 2-time silver slugger. However, his career was made and forever will be remembered in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform. Since he was traded in 2008, Cabrera has had 7 more all-star appearances, 4 additional silver sluggers, and 2 MVP trophies. Not to mention him winning the highly-coveted triple crown in 2012. Such an achievement had not occurred in baseball since Carl Yastrzemski’s 1967 season, 45 years prior.
How Much More Does Miguel Cabrera Have in Him?
Cabrera is already a no-doubter for Cooperstown, his career appears far from over. Yes, his production and speed have certainly been on a rapid decline since 2016. But, that same year, Miggy signed an 8-year, $248,000,000 contract extension with Detroit. He is still owed half of that deal and will be under contract until the end of the 2025 MLB season. While it is unlikely he’ll finish this contract, he has the full power to do so.
Similar to Albert Pujols and the Angels, Miggy may end up working out a deal to ultimately depart Detroit. And although he may not have a phenomenal season left in him, he will continue to play the game he loves. In doing so, Miggy will continue rising up the ranks as one of the greatest hitters to ever step foot in an MLB batter’s box. Whenever he does step away, his name will forever live on in the record books as an all-time great.
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