Miguel Cabrera after hitting 500 home runs: 'I'll always thank God for this moment'

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Detroit Free Press 22 August, 2021 - 06:59pm 34 views

How many players have 3000 hits?

Only six players have 3,000 hits and 500 homers: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Murray. His pursuit of these big numbers has become a bright spot for a Detroit team that finally seems to be emerging from a difficult rebuild, approaching a .500 record. Associated PressTigers slugger Miguel Cabrera hits 500th career home run

"Let's go," Cabrera screamed, pounding his chest upon crossing home plate. He hugged Jeimer Candelario and Jonathan Schoop, then received more hugs and high-fives from his teammates and coaches on the field and in the dugout. The fans in Toronto cheered like Cabrera was one of their own, even demanding a curtain call.

The home run made Cabrera one of 28 players in MLB history to reach 500 homers, a historic milestone added to his near-certain first-ballot Hall of Fame resume. It was also the most stress-relieving long ball he has belted in his distinguished career. 

"Last week in Detroit was tough," Cabrera said Sunday. "It was the first time in five or six years I've seen the crowd that excited and with that much energy. It was nice to see the energy back in Comerica Park. There was a lot going through my mind. I wanted to do it in Detroit. But it's tough to hit home runs there. I just have to thank God I hit it here and got it over with. Now I can try to keep playing baseball."

When Cabrera made contact with Matz's change-up, he urged the baseball to sneak over the wall. 

"C'mon, get up, get up," Cabrera said.

Cabrera nearly hit No. 500 at home during a six-game stand against Cleveland and the Los Angeles Angels. He just missed over the weekend, with a foul ball and then a deep flyout to the back of the warning track, finishing without a home run in 24 plate appearances.

"When he hit that ball, I knew something special was about to happen," third baseman Jeimer Candelario said. "History was about to happen. For me, being a part of that is a blessing. It's special for him, my teammates and for his family."

Bullpen catcher Tim Remes retrieved the ball, which landed near the visiting batting cage. The ball has been authenticated by MLB and given to Cabrera, who plans to put it somewhere special in his house. It represents a memory he will cherish forever.

And there should be more "Miggy Milestones" on the way.

Cabrera now has 2,955 hits, just 45 away from 3,000 hits. If he reaches that total, he would join Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez as one of seven players to accomplish both No. 500 and No. 3,000.

"He's a hitting machine," Candelario said. "The 3,000 will come sooner than later."

Following the Tigers' 5-3 win, Hinch held a team meeting in the clubhouse. Hinch said Cabrera addressed his teammates, but Cabrera wouldn't share what he told them, saying after the game, "It's our business. What I say to my teammates, it's our business. It's not public."

"He wants this for us as much as we wanted it for him," Hinch said. "He saw the stress around that was unspoken. It's a huge accomplishment for him and his country and what he's meant to baseball in Detroit and what he's meant to baseball in Miami, where he started his career, and obviously Team Venezuela. He's represented his country with extreme success on the field."

Cabrera offered up one final remark, after reaching one of baseball's greatest milestones.

"I'll always thank God for this moment," he said.

Read full article at Detroit Free Press

Miguel Cabrera becomes the 28th baseball player to join the 500 home run club

CNN 23 August, 2021 - 01:10am

Updated 4:06 PM ET, Sun August 22, 2021

CNN's Jacob Lev contributed to this report.

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