DETROIT — Tigers star Miguel Cabrera delivered the 3,000th hit of his decorated career Saturday, becoming the 33rd major leaguer to reach the mark and the first player from Venezuela to accomplish the feat.
Still an imposing presence at 39, Cabrera made history by grounding an opposite-field single to right in the first inning of Detroit's game against Colorado.
Cabrera immediately raised his right arm as he headed toward first base. The crowd at Comerica Park gave him a rousing ovation and fireworks were shot out of the scoreboard.
The milestone hit came off Antonio Senzatela, a fellow Venezuelan, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
A two-time AL MVP, a Triple Crown winner and an 11-time All-Star with four batting titles, Miggy's place among the Major League Baseball greats already was assured long before this afternoon in Detroit.
As a 20-year-old rookie, Cabrera helped the Florida Marlins win the 2003 World Series championship. All these years later, stamping his name onto the 3,000-hit list had a nice ring, too.
And it'll certainly look good on a plaque in Cooperstown someday.
"Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on his 3,000th career hit! Like Tigers fans, I've been proud to witness Miggy's amazing and historic 3,000 hit and 500 home run milestones, putting him among a select few MLB legends," said Christopher Ilitch, the Chairman and CEO of the Detroit Tigers in a statement. "I thank Miguel for a career of exciting, Hall of Fame caliber play towards our objective of championship baseball for Tigers fans. Miggy has and continues to build his status as one of the greatest Tigers of all-time."
Al Avila, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers, shared a similar sentiment.
"Seeing Miguel grow from a teenager taking batting practice on neighborhood fields in Venezuela to becoming one of the best players in baseball history has been one of the great joys of my life. His humility, passion for having fun and genuine love of the city of Detroit are completely unmatched and joining the 3,000 hit club only strengthens his standing as one of the game's all-time greats. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we know there are many more exciting times on the horizon," Avila wrote.
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