Miguel Cabrera blasts homer number 500 pic.twitter.com/5OQWtoCFoM
— strikeout_central (@strikeoutcentr1) August 22, 2021
Cabrera now joins the likes of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Ken Griffey Jr., Reggie Jackson, and a few others with the exclusive milestone.
The 38-year-old Cabrera needed 19 years and 10,871 plate appearances to reach this milestone.
A Truly Special Hitter
You can say that it took Cabrera half of his life to become a member of the 500-homer club.
Upon getting to 500 home runs, Cabrera received congratulatory messages from several baseball stars.
Ortiz told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (article in Spanish) that Cabrera “is a monster, a special hitter: one of the all-time greats.”
Ortiz also said he had never seen such a good combination of hitting ability with game-changing power.
That’s precisely what makes Cabrera so special: in an era of all-or-nothing sluggers, he has a .311 career batting average, a testimony of his superb hitting skills.
Prime Cabrera was hands down the best and most feared batter in MLB.
He was capable of hitting for both average and power like no other hitter in the league, other than Pujols and Mike Trout.
The man is, without a doubt, a living legend, a rare breed of hitter who is near the finish line of his amazing career.
He hit .290 or better for 13 straight seasons.
He did it from 2004 to 2016.
Miguel Cabrera *averaging* a .323/.402/.566 triple slash and .968 OPS over his THIRTEEN year peak (2004-16) is absolutely bonkers pic.twitter.com/5rUTUgGeJs
— Tony Rizzo’s Pizzeria (@scalczyk) August 13, 2021
He hit .320 or better nine times, and 11 times he surpassed .300.
Peak Cabrera would average .330 with 38-40 homers per season.
An Accomplished Star
His production earned him some hardware: he is a World Series winner (2003), an 11-time All-Star (2004–2007, 2010–2016), a two-time American League MVP (2012, 2013), a Triple Crown winner in 2012, a seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016), a four-time AL batting champion (2011–2013, 2015), a two-time AL home run leader (2008, 2012), and a two-time AL RBI leader (2010, 2012.)
Before he did it in 2012, nobody had won the hitting Triple Crown since 1967.
After finally getting to 500 home runs, Cabrera’s next goal is to reach 3,000 hits.
He is currently at 2,955 hits in his MLB career, and it looks unlikely that he can get the 45 he is currently missing in 2021 unless he goes on a massive hitting streak.
With health, however, he should get there at some point in the first half of 2022 with no issues.
The veteran slugger has two remaining guaranteed years in his pact with the Tigers, so reaching the 3,000-hit milestone is inevitable at this point.
If he decided to retire today, Cabrera would undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
He was a truly one-of-a-kind slugger at his prime, and he still has records to break and things to achieve.
Cabrera is truly a baseball legend.