Tigers Are Only Team With Three 3,000 Hit Club Members

When Miguel Cabrera got his 3,000th hit on Saturday, April 23rd, he made history. He’s now the 33rd player to record 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball. It also set a record for the Tigers.

Detroit is the only franchise to have three players get a 3,000th hit in their uniform. Miggy joins two legends on that list.

Ty Cobb’s 3,000th Hit: No Fanfare

When Ty Cobb got a single on August 19, 1921, the edition of the Detroit Evening-News that night didn’t even make mention of it. The following day a morning paper had a small item on Cobb getting his 3,000th hit. But The Sporting News, which was called “The Bible of Baseball,” didn’t write anything of the 3,000th hit in its pages.

It was a different time in 1921, when statistics and milestones were less important hardly mentioned outside of a few who paid attention to it in the league office. It wouldn’t be until the 1930s that a 3,000th hit would be an event. Hell, in 1934, Sam Rice fell 13 hits shy of 3,000 hits and barely played in September. He retired in the winter without any hint that those 13 extra hits meant anything to him.

Cobb got started early: he was a regular in the outfield for the Tigers when he was 18, and he captured his first batting title when he was 20 years old. Ty had 1,433 hits by the time he was 25, which is the most by any player in history. He averaged 224 per 162 games, which kept him on a feverish pace. As late as the age of 38, Cobb batted .378 and was still patrolling center field for Detroit. By that time, The Georgia Peach was serving as both manager and player.

Kaline’s Steady Progress To 3,000 Hits

Few players in baseball history had the long-term success of Al Kaline. He was a batting champion at age 20 (one day younger than Cobb when Ty won his first batting title). Kaline was an All-Star six times before he was 26 years old. On his 30th birthday, Al already had more than 1,800 hits.

Even though Kaline suffered a few serious injuries in his 30s, he kept surging, gaining ground on the all-time hit list. On September 24, 1974, his double in his hometown of Baltimore boosted Kaline to 3,000. At the time he was just the 12th member of the exclusive club. In the following 48 years, 21 more batters have reached 3,000, but few had the shining career with the bat (and the glove) that Kaline did.

In 1980, Al Kaline was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He served the Tigers from his retirement after the 1974 season until his death in 2020. For almost 70 years he was employed by the Detroit Tigers.

Al Kaline celebrated with his mother, father, and baseball officials after his 3,000th hit in Baltimore.

One reply on “Tigers Are Only Team With Three 3,000 Hit Club Members

  • John David Danielewicz

    What a shame that the momentous event has been comprised by the generally deplorable play of the 2022 Tigers. We are deficient in every facet of the game.

Comments are closed.