“One day, the word ‘soon’ will be replaced by ‘finally’”
-some corny tweet I ripped off.
Agruably the most anticipated moment of the season finally arrived, and it did not disappoint.
In the sixth inning of the rubber match in Toronto, Miguel Cabrera sent Steven Matz’s 84 mph changeup—a pitch which was almost in the left-hand hitter batter’s box—out to right-center for his game-tying milestone.
Even after 19 seasons, he’s still punishing the pitcher’s pitch.
Miggy’s accomplishment was celebrated across the league, even the visiting fans of Toronto gave their American League rival a standing ovation. However this is not unfamiliar. In 2012, Miguel Cabrera locked up the triple crown at division rival Kansas City’s ball park, to which the crowd offered their overwhelming admiration for the Tigers slugger.
Following his home run, hall of famers, future hall of famers, and former teammates alike had shared their video congratulations and admiration. One of which, former teammate and pending free agent Justin Verlander, ended his video with a most likely normal, but hopefully cryptic “See you soon!”
Cabrera is now the 28th player to join the 500 home run club. He joins legends such as Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., and Jimmie Foxx.
He becomes the first player to do so since David Ortiz in 2015. He’s also the first Venezuelan-born player—where he was already the all-time hit leader for his nation—and the sixth foreign player to notch 500.
More importantly, Cabrera is the first Tiger to reach 500 career home runs(Gary Sheffield only played two seasons in Detroit and reached number 500 with the Mets).
45 hits separate Cabrera from 3,000. Reaching this coveted milestone will make him the 33rd player in history. But it would also make him only the seventh player with both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. The others? Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Raphael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodruigez, and Eddie Murray.
Cabrera can resume normal baseball activity. His natural approach can return, and he can show up to the ballpark just being Miguel Cabrera. Taking the simple base hit to drive in the run, setting up the pitcher, and checking his own swing with the first base umpire. He cooled off between 499 and 500, look for him to heat back up again.
There are 36 games remaining in the season, but with 45 hits to go, 3,000 is unlikely to be achieved this year. The most hits he’s recorded in a month this season were 28 back in June.
The focus will now return to Tigers baseball, something Miggy is probably very thankful for. Detroit remains six games under .500, and three games out of second place in the division. This season has already been a massive leap in the Tigers development. With this incredible milestone checked off the list, the Tigers can position themselves for a strong finish, making it very enticing for potential blue chip free agents.
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