On Wednesday, he belted his 499th career home run, against Baltimore Orioles right-hander Matt Harvey.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 12, 2021
It was his 12th blast of the year, one that puts him on the brink of history.
The Exclusive 500-Homer Club
Only 27 players in the history of the league have hit 500 or more home runs.
That’s an incredibly tiny percentage of major league batters, making the feat one of the toughest ones to achieve.
Hitters such as Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Frank Thomas, and a few others have done it.
It not only requires legendary power, but also longevity, sacrifice, and health.
Cabrera, a veteran slugger at this point of his career, was once the most feared slugger of his generation, but is now clearly getting up there in age.
He would be the first Venezuelan player in the 500-homer club if he reaches the milestone, which he should be able to do at some point this season if he remains healthy enough to play.
Currently 38 years old, Cabrera is hitting .255/.315/.392, good for a .707 OPS.
That’s a far cry off his .311/.388/.535 career line.
However, he is still under contract and will give it a go, likely until he can reach the two milestones that a player of his caliber should reach: the 500 homers and the 3,000 hits.
Not only is Cabrera pursuing his 500th home run, but he is also trying to reach 3,000 career hits.
That number is a little further away than his 500th blast.
Another Quest To History
Cabrera currently has 2,950 hits, and unless he goes on a crazy hot streak this year, he should be able to get there next season if health is on his side.
Goooooooood Morning, @tigers fans.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) August 12, 2021
Over the last few years, several nagging injuries have plagued Cabrera, but right now, he feels healthy and in a groove.
After a paltry first half that saw him hit .241/.300/.348 with a .647 OPS, Cabrera looks much better since the All-Star break.
In the second half, the Tigers slugger is hitting .303/.363/.539 with a .902 OPS, or relatively close to what he did in his prime.
Still, while it makes for a fantastic story and serves as proof that the veteran still has some thump left in his bat, he may not have enough time left on the 2021 calendar to collect 50 more hits.
He has 84 in total over the course of the season.
If everything goes well, he should be able to take the 3,000th-hit ball home before the All-Star break in 2022.
Only 32 hitters in the history of the game have had that many hits.
Cabrera could be part of a really exclusive club when he achieves both milestones.
Cabrera, already a Hall of Famer even if he decided not to play anymore, could be the seventh member of that club by next year.