Next up for Miguel Cabrera: The 3,000 hit club

Sports 23 August, 2021 - 06:03pm 16 views

How many players have 3000 hits and 500 home runs?

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. Chicago Sun-TimesGetting 3,000th hit is next goal for Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera

"I have worked in baseball for nearly 20 years," Field told the Free Press before Sunday's game. "I had the privilege of serving on an All-Star Game host committee and being part of two American League Championship teams. Working behind the scenes on this milestone is the greatest honor of my career."

Bullpen catcher Tim Remes retrieved the milestone baseball, which surpassed the wall and landed near the visiting batting cage. The ball has been authenticated by MLB and given to Cabrera. The 38-year-old said he appreciated Remes for taking care of it.

"I'm going to save it somewhere in my house," Cabrera said. "I'm excited."

Hours before Cabrera's milestone in Toronto, Field sat in the dugout and explained to the Free Press how the Tigers and MLB were ready to authenticate the historic 500th home run baseball.

"For every major league game at Comerica Park, we have two authenticators working, one in each dugout. They come from a third-party company, organized by Major League Baseball. They all have law enforcement backgrounds. They treat game-used items like evidence for a trial. If they don't see it, if it leaves their sight, they won't authenticate it. Every game-used baseball that comes off the field gets rolled to one of our authenticators, and they put a hologram on it. Using the Statcast data, every hologram will tell you who pitched it, the type of pitch, the speed of the pitch, who hit it, the launch angle, the speed off the bat, the distance traveled and the result of play. The level of detail is phenomenal. Unless the ball is hit into the stands, home run or foul ball, we get it and capture the data. Each game I'll get 45-95 balls, and we'll go through each hologram and audit every single one."

"As we approached the Cabrera home-run milestone and then as we approach the 3,000-hit milestone, we developed a game-day collection sheet that lists all the items from that game we want to have authenticated. For a milestone as significant as 500, it runs from the dirt in the right-handed batter's box to his cleats, pants, belt, jersey, batting gloves, helmet, hat, every item. Miguel has an exclusive deal with Tigers Authentics, where we are the source for all his game-used merchandise. He and I both feel that while we can drive revenue with the sellers items, the priority here is giving the Baseball Hall of Fame what they want, letting Miguel keep what he wants in his personal collection and giving the Ilitch archives the items they want to have. What is left over can be sold. That's how we're approaching the milestones. The priority for us is securing the history."

"We've gone to great lengths with Major League Baseball, and we will be able to do it. Every ball that is pitched to Miguel after his 499th home run has been stenciled with a letter-number and has been covertly marked with a fluid that only MLB authenticators can see. It's sort of like black-light fluid that we see under black light, but this is a unique type of fluid that only authenticators can view. When Miggy is announced and he's batting, the ball boy comes out and replaces the balls with the umpire. When Miggy's at-bat is done, he then takes the balls back and puts the regular balls back in play. The umpire and ball boy will know what ball — m-5, m-76, m-89 — that was hit in the stands. We'll then retrieve that ball, identify the covert marking and put the hologram on it. For home run 501, it'll be back to normal. If it's in the stands, we can't authenticate it."

"I think of it as a security program. It's a way to secure baseball history. That's certainly how I approach it. I don't have a law enforcement background, but I'm a recovering attorney, so I can appreciate why it's a security program. For Tigers authentics, we donate a portion of all the proceeds to the Detroit Tigers Foundation, which I think is always notable. Our players like that, our fans like that. When they make a purchase, they know that a portion is going to a good cause. The important thing is to know that this baseball and the 3,000th hit, we'll know with 100% certainty that we got the right one."

"Miguel wants the ball. Miguel's priority is the ball. The Baseball Hall of Fame has requested the batting helmet. That's all they've asked for. I suspect when the dust settles on the season, Miguel will also be happy to have maybe the bat, maybe the jersey. But he's asked for the ball. One of the chief reasons I've been traveling is not just to make sure we authenticate everything on that list, but also to have a friendly conversation with a fan who is hopefully interested in sharing the history with the man that hit it. ... My guess is that the bat or the jersey will go to our company archives. The items like his cleats and his batting gloves might be made available on action."

"It's been a great experience. I've had such a unique career with the Tigers organization. To be here to see this history unfold firsthand, it's something I'll never forget. I'm not used to being away from home. I'm not used to being away from my family. But the chance to see Miguel make baseball history is extraordinarily special to me. I take very seriously the responsibility of securing and safeguarding that history. I think that's why Miguel has partnered with the Tigers for this exclusive game-used relationship. He knows that every item is getting a hologram. I don't think he does it for his personal collection. I think he does it because he respects his stature in baseball, and he wants fans and collectors to have a piece of it. I think Miguel probably has No. 1 and he wants No. 500. Everything in between is for those who cheer and root for him."

Read full article at

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