Miguel Cabrera, welcome to the 3,000-hit club. Here's how the first 32 MLBers made it

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Nearly three dozen major league hitters have hung around long enough to reach the magic milestone of 3,000 hits, including — as of Saturday — Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera, the most recent to reach the milestone.

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera looks on prior to a  game April 15, 2022 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera looks on prior to a game April 15, 2022 against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Cabrera’s first-inning single in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Rockies put him in the club at 2,600 games, good for the 19th fastest ascent among the 33 players with at least 3,000 MLB hits. His first hit came on June 20, 2003, a couple months after his 20th birthday, — and No. 3,000 came on April 23, 2022, less than a week after his 39th. Here’s a look at the milestone moment for the other 32 members of the club:

THE INSIDE PITCH: What makes Miguel Cabrera one of the greatest hitters ever? Just ask the pitchers he faced

???: Cap Anson, White Stockings (Chicago)

Hits: 3,435. Games to 3,000: Unknown.

FILE - This is a circa 1876 file photo showing Chicago White Stockings baseball player Adrian "Cap" Anson. Anson played 27 big-league seasons. (AP Photo)
FILE - This is a circa 1876 file photo showing Chicago White Stockings baseball player Adrian "Cap" Anson. Anson played 27 big-league seasons. (AP Photo)

No. 3,000: Accounts vary — widely — on when Anson picked up his milestone hit, especially since, at the time he did it, no one knew it was a milestone; it would be 17 seasons before anyone else reached 3,000. In the 19th century, box scores were sporadically kept, rules changed from season to season (including 1887, when the NL counted walks as hits — and Anson had 60) and there’s debate over whether the 423 hits he picked up in the National Association from 1871-75 count as “major league” hits. If you count the NA hits, No. 3,000 came sometime in 1894. If not, he got it sometime late in 1897, his final season.

June 9, 1914: Honus Wagner, Pirates

Hits: 3,420. Games to 3,000: 2,337.

HONUS WAGNER
HONUS WAGNER

No. 3,000: Wagner made the 3,000 fans in attendance at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl wait all the way into the ninth inning for history — but not that long, as the game took just 88 minutes. The Pirates shortstop doubled off right-hander Erskine Mayer and scored his team’s only run two batters later. It was Wagner’s second hit in the four-game series, and the 40-year-old admitted to a dose of nerves afterward: “Well, I’m glad that’s over,” he was quoted as saying in The Pittsburgh Press the next day. “Now, maybe I can get a hit once in a while. Sometimes, I believe, too much newspaper talk hurts a fellow, that it acts as sort of a jinx."

JEFF SEIDEL: Miguel Cabrera reaches 3,000 hits with same childlike joy he's had his whole career

Sept. 27, 1914: Nap Lajoie, Cleveland

Hits: 3,243. Games to 3,000: 2,237.

Nap Lajoie, member of Baseball's Hall of Fame, ended his career in 1916 with a BA of .338 after 21 years as an infielder, mostly with Cleveland. (AP Photo)
Nap Lajoie, member of Baseball's Hall of Fame, ended his career in 1916 with a BA of .338 after 21 years as an infielder, mostly with Cleveland. (AP Photo)

No. 3,000: Lajoie doubled off the New York Yankees’ Marty McHale in his first at-bat in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader to become the third player with 3,000 hits. He later added another double as the “Naps” — then nicknamed for the star second baseman — beat the Yanks, 5-3. “I believe I come pretty close to being the happiest man in Cuyahoga County,” Lajoie was quoted as saying in The Lima Morning Star a week later. “Getting my 3,000th hit has filled me with pepper.”

Aug. 19, 1921: Ty Cobb, Tigers

Hits: 4,189. Games to 3,000: 2,135.

Undated photo of Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb
Undated photo of Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb

No. 3,000: Cobb picked up two hits in the first game of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Navin Field (aka “The Corner” at Michigan and Trumbull), bringing him to 2,997 career hits. He didn’t take long to get to 3,000, with three hits in Game 2, all off BoSox starter Elmer Myers. (He wasn’t the only one to smack Myers around; the Tigers totaled 19 hits in the 85-minute affair.) He singled for his final hit to become the youngest member of the club at 34 years, 243 days.

May 17, 1925: Tris Speaker, Cleveland

Hits: 3,514. Games to 3,000: 2,344.

Cleveland player/manager Tris Speaker is seen at the spring training camp in Lakeland, Florida, March 11, 1926.
Cleveland player/manager Tris Speaker is seen at the spring training camp in Lakeland, Florida, March 11, 1926.

No. 3,000: Speaker, described as returning from “treatment of a dislocated knee,” picked up three hits as well in his milestone game, the last a single off Washington’s Tom Zachary in the ninth inning. The hits brought his average up to .388; the 37-year-old center fielder finished the year hitting .389.

[ Inside Miguel Cabrera's milestone-filled climb with the Tigers to 3,000 hits ]

June 3, 1925: Eddie Collins, White Sox

Hits: 3,315. Games to 3,000: 2,503.

Three members of the famed $100,000 infield of the 1911 Philadelphia Athletics are shown prior to start of third game of the 1929 World Series game at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on Oct 11, 1929. From left to right are Frank "Home Run" Baker, who played third; Eddie Collins, second base, and Jack Barry, shortstop. Series was played between Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia A's with whom Collins ended career in 1930.
Three members of the famed $100,000 infield of the 1911 Philadelphia Athletics are shown prior to start of third game of the 1929 World Series game at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on Oct 11, 1929. From left to right are Frank "Home Run" Baker, who played third; Eddie Collins, second base, and Jack Barry, shortstop. Series was played between Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia A's with whom Collins ended career in 1930.

No. 3,000: It was Collins vs. Collins at Navin Field in Detroit on a Wednesday afternoon, with the 38-year-old Eddie, the ChiSox’s second baseman and manager, facing 29-year-old Rip on the mound for the Tigers. “Boss Eddie” — as the Chicago Tribune called him — came out in charge, singling in the first inning to give the Sox a lead, then punching two more singles in the third and fourth innings en route to an 8-3 lead and 12-7 win.

June 19, 1942: Paul Waner, Braves

Hits: 3,152. Games to 3,000: 2,315.

PAUL WANER (LEFT), OUTFIELDER OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES AND SOUTHPAW GOLF CHAMPION, SHAKING HANDS WITH JACK RUSSELL, VETERAN AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHER, WHOM HE DEFEATED IN THE FINAL MATCH OF THE ANNUAL BASEBALL PLAYERS' GOLF TOURNAMENT JAN. 23.
PAUL WANER (LEFT), OUTFIELDER OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES AND SOUTHPAW GOLF CHAMPION, SHAKING HANDS WITH JACK RUSSELL, VETERAN AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHER, WHOM HE DEFEATED IN THE FINAL MATCH OF THE ANNUAL BASEBALL PLAYERS' GOLF TOURNAMENT JAN. 23.

No. 3,000: It was a reunion for “Big Poison” — so nicknamed after a Brooklyn fan called him “Pittsburgh’s Big Person,” mocking his 5-foot-9 stature in a NOO YAWK accent — and the Pirates, who released him in December 1940. Sitting on 2,999 hits entering the game, Waner picked up his milestone hit on an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch from Pittsburgh’s Rip Sewell with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

May 13, 1958: Stan Musial, Cardinals

Hits: 3,630. Games to 3,000: 2,301.

Associated Press Stan Musial poses for a portrait during spring training in St. Petersburg, Fla on March 6, 1948.
Associated Press Stan Musial poses for a portrait during spring training in St. Petersburg, Fla on March 6, 1948.

No. 3,000: After fewer than three dozen appearances as a pinch-hitter during his 17 seasons, Musial stepped to the plate in Chicago filling in for Cardinals starter Sam Jones with one out in the sixth inning and a runner on second vs. the Cubs’ Moe Drabowsky. It took just five pitches for “Stan the Man” to line Drabowsky’s 2-2 curve into the corner in left. Manager Fred Hutchinson had hoped to hold Musial out of the game so he could get the milestone in front of the home crowd, but Musial still received a hero’s ovation afterward — at St. Louis’ Union Station as the Cards disembarked from the train.

[ Watch: Miguel Cabrera reaches baseball immortality with his 3,000th career hit ]

Said Musial: "I never realized that a little batting a ball around could cause such a commotion. I know now how (Charles) Lindbergh must have felt when he returned to St. Louis.” Of course, a fan in the crowd wasn’t impressed by the overseas flyer, yelling, “What did HE hit?”

May 17, 1970: Hank Aaron, Braves

Hits: 3,771. Games to 3,000: 2,460.

Hank Aaron, one of the greatest baseball players ever who broke Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974, died on Jan. 22, 2021 at the age of 86.
Hank Aaron, one of the greatest baseball players ever who broke Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974, died on Jan. 22, 2021 at the age of 86.

No. 3,000: After back-to-back two-hit games to open the series in Cincinnati and get to 2,999, Aaron went 0-for-4 in the first game of a doubleheader. But Game 2 was a different story; with one out in the first and a runner on second, Aaron sent the pitch from Wayne Simpson dribbling up the middle. Ex-teammate Woody Woodward reached the ball, but had no play at first. Aaron, for his part, echoed his predecessors in the 3,000-hit club, expressing relief: “I’m glad it’s over, that’s about all I can say.” Aaron’s relief was evident in his later at-bats: He added a home run (the 570th of his career) in the third and a single in the 10th, though the Braves went on to lose in 15 innings.

July 18, 1970: Willie Mays, Giants

Hits: 3,293*. Games to 3,000: 2,652**.

FILE - San Francisco Giants baseball player Willie Mays connects for his 600th lifetime home run in San Diego, in this Sept. 23, 1969, file photo. Just about everyone saw something in Mays. Mays turns 90 on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - San Francisco Giants baseball player Willie Mays connects for his 600th lifetime home run in San Diego, in this Sept. 23, 1969, file photo. Just about everyone saw something in Mays. Mays turns 90 on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/File)

No. 3,000: Mays reached 2,999 hits with a bang, homering (No. 620 of his career) in front of about 11,500 at home at Candlestick Park. No. 3,000, though, was a lowly grounder through the hole between the Expos’ shortstop and third baseman with two outs in the second inning. The crowd of nearly 29,000 treated it like the previous night’s homer, with an ovation as Mays doffed his cap at first. After a 10-minute ceremony, the game continued. Mays later added a single in the sixth inning, then left the game between innings. He seemed fairly unaffected in a postgame conference with reporters, telling them, “The reaction of all this won’t set in for a few more days … maybe five days. I’m not emotional the way some players are. It will all hit me. I’ll say, ‘Well, you got 3,000 hits.’ Then I’ll get excited.”

*Includes 10 hits with Birmingham of the Negro American League in 1948. **Does not include 13 NAL games.

Sept. 30, 1972: Roberto Clemente, Pirates

Hits: 3,000. Games to 3,000: 2,432.

Roberto Clemente plays for  the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1972.
Roberto Clemente plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1972.

No. 3,000: As the season wound down — the Bucs had locked up their division title, but still had four games to play — Clemente had a unique motivation to pick up the milestone as soon as possible: “My wife and I didn’t get through talking on the phone to people until 4:30 in the morning,” Clemente told reporters. “So I decided it would be better not to go to bed at all. I knew I had to get the hit today because I couldn’t afford to go through that another night.” His lack of sleep showed in his first at-bat, as he struck out against the Mets’ Jon Matlack. The fourth inning was different; he took a called strike, then sent Matlack’s curve on the second pitch into the left-center gap for history. Even more important, according to Clemente, “I’m glad it’s over. Now I can get some rest.”

It was Clemente’s final regular-season plate appearance. After a defensive appearance in the season finale, he was killed in an offseason plane crash while transporting earthquake relief supplies from Puerto Rico to Nicaragua.

Sept. 24, 1974: Al Kaline, Tigers

Hits: 3,007. Games to 3,000: 2,827.

No. 3,000: Mr. Tiger didn’t pick up his milestone hit at home in Tiger Stadium — but he did do it at home … in Baltimore, where he grew up. The O’s Memorial Stadium was the final stop on a three-city road trip, the Tigers’ final of the year. He’d picked up seven hits over six games combined against Boston and Milwaukee, setting him up for No. 3,000 with his parents in the stands. After a groundout to end the first inning, Kaline sliced the first pitch he saw from Dave McNally — a fastball — down the right-field line for an inning-opening double. And then, for good measure, he added a single in the sixth. He’d come a long way from the 20-year-old who led the AL in batting in 1955. Asked to compare the two achievements, Kaline preferred the career mark: “Anytime you win a batting championship, there’s a lot of luck that goes with it. But when you get 3,000 hits, I don’t think anybody can say you were just lucky. You’ve had to withstand the pressure of all those seasons and injuries and everything. To me that really means something.”

May 5, 1978: Pete Rose, Reds

Hits: 4,256. Games to 3,000: 2,370.

FEBRUARY 27, 1963: Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose poses for a portrait.
FEBRUARY 27, 1963: Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose poses for a portrait.

No. 3,000: Needing two hits for the milestone in Cincinnati, where he grew up, Rose seemed fated to have to wait another night. His first contact, leading off the bottom of the first, was a liner to the left fielder, who gloved it, then dropped it and made a bad throw, all as Rose steamed into second. “Charlie Hustle,” indeed. But official scorer Earl Lawson ruled, correctly, that it was an error. Contact No. 2, in the third, was a bouncer off home plate to the mound, flustering Expos pitcher Steve Rogers. He fielded it, but the ball slipped away before he could get Rose at first. This time, the scorer ruled it a hit, leaving Rose one away from history. That came in the fifth, as Rose slapped a 1-0 pitch from Rogers into left for a clean single, and the 37,283 fans at Riverfront Stadium erupted.

After the game, Rose was asked about his next goal at age 37. He suggested he was aiming for another 630 hits and Stan Musial’s NL record for hits, estimating he was “three and a half years away,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Instead, Rose played for another eight full seasons, finishing with the MLB hit record, 67 more than Ty Cobb.

Aug. 13, 1979: Lou Brock, Cardinals

Hits: 3,023. Games to 3,000: 2,586.

Lou Brock, the Hall of Fame baseball player who was once the all-time leader in stolen bases and helped the Cardinals win three NL pennants, died on Sept. 6. He was 81.
Lou Brock, the Hall of Fame baseball player who was once the all-time leader in stolen bases and helped the Cardinals win three NL pennants, died on Sept. 6. He was 81.

No. 3,000: Even at age 40 — after so, so many stolen bases (938) — of course the St. Louis speedster’s milestone hit would require an extra burst of gas. Brock himself knew it before the game, as he said afterward: “I pictured in my mind a hit up the middle. But I didn’t know Dennis Lamp was going to get in the way of it,” Brock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But that’s how it happened to open the fourth inning — on a 2-2 pitch, Brock launched a ball back at the mound, which then ricocheted off the hand of Lamp, the Cubs’ starter, to the third baseman, who held onto it as Brock crossed first base with his second hit of the game, his 100th hit of the season and his 3,000th career hit. Lamp left the game with three bruises on his pitching hand. Brock played another inning in the field before departing, content with his place in history: “I refused to let anybody deny me my final moment of glory.”

Sept. 12, 1979: Carl Yastrzemski

Hits: 3,419. Games to 3,000: 2.850.

No. 3,000: After reaching 2,999 in his final at-bat on Sept. 9, Yastrzemski went 0-for-7 in two games combined against the Orioles and Yankees. A walk, a flyout and a groundout against former Cy Young winner Catfish Hunter did little to suggest that the 34,336 in attendance at Fenway Park would be witnessing history. Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, with the BoSox already leading the Yanks, 8-2, “Yaz” broke through: He caught ahold of the first pitch of the at-bat, a fastball from Maine native Jim Beattie, and sent a grounder through the hole between first and second. The relief was palpable, lasting until well after the game, when Yastrzemski addressed the media, as reported in the Boston Globe: “I was almost embarrassed I didn’t get the hit the last couple of days.” And then, the punchline, alluding to the imminent departure of the family in town to see the milestone: “I’m sure Delta Airlines is glad I got the hit because they’ve been changing reservations for days.”

Aug. 4, 1985: Rod Carew, Angels

Hits: 3,053. Games to 3,000: 2,416.

No. 3,000: Bob Boone called it. When Carew and his Angels teammates talked about what kind of hit No. 3,000 would be, the Anaheim catcher voted for a signature strike by the career .328 hitter: “Some of the guys wanted me to bunt, but Bob Boone said it should be a typical Rod Carew hit down the third-base line,” the left-handed hitting Carew told the Los Angeles Times. “I thought about Boone when I got to first base.” Because sure enough, after grounding out in the first, Carew sent a one-out, 1-1 slider in the third inning from Twins lefty Frank Viola looping the other way, over third base and into history in front of 41,630 at Anaheim Stadium.

After the game, another teammate put it all in perspective; Reggie Jackson — who had suggested a line drive for No. 3,000 — announced, ”Three thousand is a brand they can’t take away. It’s like winning an Oscar or graduating from college with a doctorate.”

Sept. 9, 1992: Robin Yount, Brewers

Hits: 3,142. Games to 3,000: 2.708.

Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount gets his career 3,000th hit in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Milwaukee, Wis., on on Sept. 9, 1992. Indians catcher Junior Ortiz and home plate umpire Rocky Roe look on.
Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount gets his career 3,000th hit in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Milwaukee, Wis., on on Sept. 9, 1992. Indians catcher Junior Ortiz and home plate umpire Rocky Roe look on.

No. 3,000: The scene was set for Yount’s milestone hit to fade into the background, just the way the 19-year-vet seemingly wanted it — earlier in the week, he’d only been able to name three of the previous 16 members of the 3,000-hit club. Earlier in the day, Brewers owner Bud Selig was named the “caretaker” commissioner of Major League Baseball (a position he would take care of for more than 22 years); after Yount’s hit, the Brewers had suffered a crushing loss to Cleveland to drop 5½ games back in the race for the AL East. But in between, after Yount sent an 0-1 pitch from Cleveland starter Jose Mesa into right-center with one out in the seventh? “I’ve said all along it was not any big deal and not what you play the game for,” the Brewers center fielder told the media. “But it’s turned into … this one hit has kind of … the excitement level is turned up a notch or two just trying to get a single hit, which I guess all along (I) didn’t think would happen.”

Sept. 30, 1992: George Brett, Royals

Hits: 3,154. Games to 3,000: 2.559.

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 1992, file photo, Kansas City Royals' George Brett holds the ball he hit as he heads toward the Royals' dugout after hitting his 3,000th career hit, against the California Angels in Anaheim, Calif. Baseball's amateur draft this week will look much different because of the coronavirus pandemic, and more permanent changes could be coming soon.
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 1992, file photo, Kansas City Royals' George Brett holds the ball he hit as he heads toward the Royals' dugout after hitting his 3,000th career hit, against the California Angels in Anaheim, Calif. Baseball's amateur draft this week will look much different because of the coronavirus pandemic, and more permanent changes could be coming soon.

No. 3,000: Even after 2,996 hits, the final four were a surprise. Brett missed back-to-back games with a shoulder injury, and as four games remained in another losing season for K.C., there was little guarantee the milestone wouldn’t have to wait another winter. But the 39-year-old was able to start in Anaheim, and start he did, with a double to left off the third pitch he saw in the first inning. Back to the plate in the third, he singled to right on the third pitch. Fifth inning, two pitches, bam, a single to center and all the Angels outfielders had gotten involved. Brett’s turn came around in the seventh and this time there wasn’t any waiting; he drove the first pitch from reliever Tim Fortugno into the ground toward second base, one hop and it was past Ken Oberkfell, who’d played more self-defense than actual defense. Just like that, in nine pitches, Brett was among baseball immortals, even if he was still stunned: “It’s really hard to say,” the designated hitter told the Kansas City Star. “My mind’s going too fast right now. If I had a beer in my hand, I’d probably be able to do it very easily. It happened so quick, I really didn’t have time to prepare myself for it … But I’m relieved, very relieved.”

Sept. 16, 1993: Dave Winfield, Twins

Hits: 3,110. Games to 3,000: 2,840.

No. 3,000: It had been a frustrating month for Winfield. A Twin Cities native who starred in multiple sports in high school and at the University of Minnesota, he was in his first season back home, at age 41. Since getting within 20 hits of 3,000 in the first game of an Aug. 14 doubleheader, he had just 18 hits in 110 at-bats — a .164 average. It’s little wonder then that not many Minnesotans — 14,654 — turned out for the game against the A’s. It looked like he’d end it still two hits short, too, after a strikeout and a double play in his first at-bats. But Winfield singled back to the pitcher to lead off the seventh, giving himself another at-bat in the ninth — against former AL MVP Dennis Eckersley with one out and a man on third. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Eckersley tried to get an outside fastball across, but Winfield reached out and slapped a grounder through the hole between shortstop and third for history. “It feels like the weight of the world is off me,” Winfield told the Star Tribune afterward. He also had a special thanks for another Minnesota resident: “I thank my wife for putting up with me to this point, because I’ve been a bear.”

June 30, 1995: Eddie Murray, Cleveland

Hits: 3,255. Games to 3,000: 2,764.

Cleveland's Eddie Murray watches his second inning two-run home run fly in Game 2 at the World Series in Atlanta, Sunday, Oct. 22, 1995.
Cleveland's Eddie Murray watches his second inning two-run home run fly in Game 2 at the World Series in Atlanta, Sunday, Oct. 22, 1995.

No. 3,000: Baseball has always had a way of coming full circle. Take Murray’s hit list, for example: The first person he greeted after his first career hit, in his first career game on April 7, 1977? Texas Rangers first baseman Mike Hargrove. And by the time Murray reached first for the 3,000th hit in his career, after slapping an 0-1 pitch from Twins reliever Mike Trombley along the turf between first and second in the top of the seventh? Well, he was saying hello to Hargrove again, this time as Cleveland’s manager.

Murray downplayed the achievement afterward, telling the Akron Beacon Journal, “I still think I’ll appreciate this more when I’m done. And I know there are people out there who are happier than me right now.” Like, say, Hargrove, who said, “He has portrayed this to us as a goal he wants to reach badly, but he has never put it ahead of us trying to win. I guess that’s what makes Eddie Eddie.”

Sept. 16, 1996: Paul Molitor, Twins

Hits: 3,319. Games to 3,000: 2,411.

No. 3,000: After a single in the first inning for 2,999, the 21st member of the 3,000-hit club had a bit of history all to himself — when he sent Jose Rosado’s 0-2 pitch with one out high into the outfield in Kansas City, dropping it behind outfielders Rod Myers and Jon Nunnally, he became the first player with a triple as No. 3,000. Molitor charged through second base and bellyflopped into third, surprising most of the nearly 17,000 in attendance. Molitor finished with 114 career triples, 15th among those with 3,000 hits, but the three-bagger seemed appropriate for someone who didn’t reach 1,000 hits until he was 29. “It’s probably fitting,” Minnesota’s DH told the Star Tribune. “I spent a lot of time in the dirt and grass, rolling around, in my career.”

Aug. 6, 1999: Tony Gwynn, Padres

Hits: 3,141. Games to 3,000: 2,284.

San Diego\'s Tony Gwynn reaches down to smack his 3,000th hit into center field in thr first inning of the Padres\' 12-10 win over Montreal Friday. AP photo
San Diego\'s Tony Gwynn reaches down to smack his 3,000th hit into center field in thr first inning of the Padres\' 12-10 win over Montreal Friday. AP photo

No. 3,000: Gwynn needed just one hit for history. In typical fashion, he delivered four, racing past the milestone and putting Kaline (3,007 hits) in his sights right away. With no outs and a runner on first, Gwynn lifted a low 1-2 pitch from Dan Smith over second base and into center at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The celebration lasted just three minutes, including fireworks, and the Padres right fielder was back on first: “The game went on, you just had to get back to business, get back to doing what you do,” Gwynn told the L.A. Times. And what Gwynn did was hit — he added a single to center in the second, a single to right in the sixth and, finally, another single to right in the eighth to finish at 3,003 hits.

Aug. 7, 1999: Wade Boggs, Devil Rays

Hits: 3,010. Games to 3,000: 2,429.

Tampa Bay\'s Wade Boggs blows a kiss to the crowd after getting his 3,000th career hit during the sixth inning of the Devil Rays\' loss to Celeveland Saturday night. Boggs, the 23rd player with 3,000 hits, was the first to reach the mark with a home run. AP Photo
Tampa Bay\'s Wade Boggs blows a kiss to the crowd after getting his 3,000th career hit during the sixth inning of the Devil Rays\' loss to Celeveland Saturday night. Boggs, the 23rd player with 3,000 hits, was the first to reach the mark with a home run. AP Photo

No. 3,000: It was a week of MLB milestones, with Mark McGwire hitting his 500th homer on Aug. 5, Gwynn his 3,000th hit on Aug. 6 and Boggs wrapping things up in St. Petersburg, Florida. Boggs opened the month with hits in four straight road games, then went hitless in the Devil Rays’ (they dropped the “Devil” from their name in 2008) first game at home against Cleveland (who changed their name to the Guardians in 2022), leaving him three short of the big number. Boggs, too, went to work, with a single to right in the third and another in the fourth, setting up his at-bat in the bottom of the sixth. Reliever Chris Haney sent a 2-2 curve to the plate and Boggs sent it up, up and out — seemingly combining the week’s previous milestones into one: 3,000 hits on a home run, the first in the club with that achievement. For Boggs, who hit .318 over six full seasons in the minors before starting in the majors at 24, it was long-awaited validation: “It gives (my career) substance,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “It’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, you made some All-Star teams. Oh, yeah, you won batting titles. Oh, yeah, you won golden gloves.’ But ‘Wow, you had 3,000 damn hits!’ “

April 15, 2000: Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles

Hits: 3,184. Games to 3,000: 2,800.

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 1995, file photo, Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. waves to the crowd as the sign in centerfield reads 2,131, signifying Ripken had broken Lou Gehrig's record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It has been 25 years since Ripken broke Gehrig's major league record for consecutive games played, a feat the Orioles star punctuated with an unforgettable lap around Camden Yards in the middle of his 2,131st successive start. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 1995, file photo, Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. waves to the crowd as the sign in centerfield reads 2,131, signifying Ripken had broken Lou Gehrig's record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, at Camden Yards in Baltimore. It has been 25 years since Ripken broke Gehrig's major league record for consecutive games played, a feat the Orioles star punctuated with an unforgettable lap around Camden Yards in the middle of his 2,131st successive start. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin, File)

No. 3,000: Ripken singled to right in the fourth and chopped a ball off home plate to third for an infield single in the fifth, setting the stage for 3,000 when he came to the plate with two outs in the seventh and a runner on third. In from the bullpen came Twins reliever Hector Carrasco, whose high first pitch to Ripken got away from catcher Matt LeCroy, scoring Albert Belle. On the next pitch, Carrasco delivered an fastball down the middle, relieving LeCroy of a chance to catch it; Ripken sent it on a line to center for a clean single. If Carrasco and LeCroy were having issues with their perceptions, Ripken was all locked in. As he told the Baltimore Sun afterward: “It seemed like it was happening in slow motion. I knew it was a hit.” Ripken had only one regret: Reaching 3,000 in Minneapolis (where Winfield and Murray had also done it). "I’m from Baltimore. I always wanted to be an Oriole. … It would have been a thrilling sensation to do it in Baltimore, but there’s also an obligation to the game.”

Oct. 7, 2001: Rickey Henderson, Padres

Hits: 3,055. Games to 3,000: 2,979.

Rickey Henderson waves to the crowd after his 2,063rd career walk. AP photo
Rickey Henderson waves to the crowd after his 2,063rd career walk. AP photo

No. 3,000: Henderson, who bounced around on five teams over his final four seasons from 2000-03, nearly opted to wait the entire winter for his milestone hit. The 42-year-old was worried about deflecting attention from Gwynn, who had announced his retirement earlier, on the last day of the 2001 season. But Gwynn urged Henderson to play, and so he did — for one inning. He opened the game in left in San Diego and, then opened the bottom of the inning with a bloop double — it fell between three hard-charging Rockies defenders along the right-field line — on the first pitch from right-hander John Thomson. He then finished the inning and was replaced in left by Mike Colangelo. Even Henderson had thought it would take more than one pitch: “I wanted to take up the whole at-bat and get as many swings as I could get until I got the hit.” The only person not surprised? Thomson, who graciously recalled his history with Henderson, saying, “I thought it was going to come. I gave up three hits to him in Colorado. I’m glad he got it. I’d feel really weird if he had three or four at-bats and he didn’t get a hit.”

July 15, 2005: Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles

Hits: 3,020. Games to 3,000: 2,809.

Baltimores Rafael Palmeiro tips his helmet after collecting his 3,000th career hit in Seattle on July 15. Palmeiro was suspended for violating baseballs steroids policy Monday. Elaine Thompson | Associated Press
Baltimores Rafael Palmeiro tips his helmet after collecting his 3,000th career hit in Seattle on July 15. Palmeiro was suspended for violating baseballs steroids policy Monday. Elaine Thompson | Associated Press

No. 3,000: When Palmeiro stroked a double into the left-field corner off Mariners starter Joel Pineiro’s 2-2 pitch with one on and one out in the seventh inning, he not only joined the 3,000-hit club, he joined a much more exclusive one: 3,000 hits and 500 homers. Palmeiro had reached the power milestone two years earlier, joining Aaron, Mays and Murray. “I’m not so sure my name should be mentioned with those guys,” he told the Baltimore Sun. “My numbers say different, but I still don’t feel I should be mentioned with Willie Mays and Henry Aaron. Those two guys are arguably the two best players of all time.” Just two weeks later, most of America agreed, as Palmeiro joined another, more disreputable club: On Aug. 1, he was the seventh player suspended for performance-enhancing drug use.

The suspension was doubly damning, coming after Palmeiro testified in front of Congress in March and denied using PEDs: "I have never used steroids. Period," Palmeiro told Congress. MLB said differently, and suspended him for 10 days, though. He played just seven more games in the majors after the suspension. Considered a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer at the time of No. 3,000, he received just 11% of the vote on his first go-round, and dropped off entirely, with just 4.4%, after his fourth.

June 28, 2007: Craig Biggio, Astros

Hits: 3,060. Games to 3,000: 2,781.

FILE - In this June 28, 2007, file photo, Houston Astros' Craig Biggio acknowledges the crowd after getting his 3,000th career hit in a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Houston. Biggio was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
FILE - In this June 28, 2007, file photo, Houston Astros' Craig Biggio acknowledges the crowd after getting his 3,000th career hit in a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Houston. Biggio was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

No. 3,000: After waiting nearly 19 years for No. 3,000 — the milestone came one day before the anniversary of his first hit, off Orel Hershiser on June 29, 1988 — Biggio didn’t wait to soak up the moment when it finally came. After drilling a 2-0 pitch from Rockies starter Aaron Cook to center with two outs and a runner on second, Biggio didn’t hesitate to turn at first and chug to second. Just one problem: The throw from center fielder Willy Taveras was on target, retiring Biggio easily at second to end the inning. Still, he had a single, the third of five on the night (in six at-bats), and he’d driven in a run. It was time to celebrate, with his teammates and family mobbing him in the middle of the diamond as the Houston crowd of 42,537 chanted “BIG-GI-O! BIG-GI-O! BIG-GI-O!”

"Today was a special day," Biggio said. "I know my teammates enjoyed it. I know my family enjoyed it, and I really think that the fans really made it what it was today. And that is a nice appreciation."

July 9, 2011: Derek Jeter, Yankees

Hits: 3,465. Games to 3,000: 2,362.

Yankees shorstop Derek Jeter throws out the Angels' David Eckstein at first during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002, at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Yankees shorstop Derek Jeter throws out the Angels' David Eckstein at first during the fourth inning in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2002, at Yankee Stadium in New York.

No. 3,000: After a rainout on Friday night in the Bronx, the stage was set for the Yankees’ captain, needing two hits, to make history on a sunny Saturday. And of course, after a weak dribbler through the hole to left in the first for 2,999, nothing less than a home run would do for New York’s (and Kalamazoo's) finest. Jeter jumped on a 3-2 curve (the eighth pitch of the at-bat) from Rays lefty David Price with one out and the bases empty in the third.

“I knew he wasn’t going to catch it, but I wasn’t sure it would be a home run,” Jeter told the New York Daily News about his first home run at Yankee Stadium since July 22, 2010. “I was hoping. You want to hit the ball hard. I didn’t want to hit a slow roller to third base and have that be replayed forever.” Finally, No. 2 was No. 1 — the first Yankee with 3,000 hits, and he wasn’t done. Jeter added a double in the fifth, a single in the sixth and another single in the eighth to go 5-for-5. Of course, some New Yorkers are never pleased; joked teammate Mariano Rivera: “I was expecting a triple” to give Jeter the cycle.

June 19, 2015: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Hits: 3,115. Games to 3,000: 2,631.

New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) runs up the first base line after hitting a solo home run against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. The hit was also the 3000th of his career.
New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) runs up the first base line after hitting a solo home run against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. The hit was also the 3000th of his career.

No. 3,000: Anything Jeter can do, A-Rod can do … too? A month shy of four years after the Yankee captain hit No. 3,000 on a homer to left Rodriguez — following a season-long PED suspension in 2014 — launched the first pitch of the at-bat, a 95 mph fastball from Tigers starter Justin Verlander, five rows into the shallow right-field seats at Yankee Stadium. The celebration was over almost immediately, though, Rodriguez had a surprise waiting for him in the clubhouse afterward: A six-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” champagne, which retails for thousands of dollars, was already chilling, courtesy of teammate CC Sabathia. "I completely broke down,” Rodriguez relayed to the New York Daily News. “I was not expecting that at all. It was amazing, overwhelming.”

Aug. 7, 2016: Ichiro Suzuki, Marlins

Hits: 3,089. Games to 3,000: 2,452.

Marlins rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki picks up batting practice balls before a spring training game against the Tigers on Friday, March 31, 2017 in Jupiter, Fla.
Marlins rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki picks up batting practice balls before a spring training game against the Tigers on Friday, March 31, 2017 in Jupiter, Fla.

No. 3,000: It was a scene almost unimaginable 42 years earlier, when Suzuki was born: A Japanese player — who had spent 951 games, over nine seasons, in his native country amassing 1,278 hits — picking up his 3,000th MLB hit while playing for a team from Miami against a team in Denver. And yet, there was Suzuki — “the Michael Jordan of Japanese baseball,” or simply “Ichiro” — lofting a 2-0 pitch from Rockies reliever Chris Rusin deep to right field with one out in the seventh inning. A home run? Not for the renowned contact hitter who finished with as many homers as Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, stars of the deadball era. (Though he did admit later, “Obviously, I wanted it to go over the fence.”) No, the ball dropped just out of reach of the right fielder, bounced off the fence and back toward home, as Suzuki raced around the bases, rolling into third with a standup triple to match Molitor, his former hitting coach in Seattle.

“It hasn’t been too long since Japanese players started coming over here to play,” Suzuki told the Miami Herald afterward. "I’ve been able to get some hits. We’re not there yet, and there’s still more that we need to do as Japanese players. But hopefully, this 3,000th hit will bring that bridge closer.”

July 30, 2017: Adrian Beltre, Rangers

Hits: 3,166. Games to 3,000: 2,771.

No. 3,000: The surprise on a sunny Sunday in Arlington, Texas, wasn’t that Beltre doubled down the third-base line on a 3-0 pitch from Orioles starter Wade Miley in the fourth inning; although Beltre’s 3,000th was the first of the modern era on a 3-0 count, it was his 605th career double. No, the surprise came while he stood on second and the crowd of 32,437 went wild as his son and two daughters raced toward him — only to speed on by to the center-field wall, where they revealed a tribute banner.

“I didn’t know how to feel because I had no idea what was going on,” Beltre told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram afterward. “I thought they were coming to hug me, but they just passed me and went into right field.” The only people enjoying it more may have been his teammates: “To watch a true baseball warrior let the guard down just for an ultra second to enjoy it, to embrace it,” Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said, “it was perfect for all of us.”

May 4, 2018: Albert Pujols, Angels

Hits: 3,306. Games to 3,000: 2,606.

No. 3,000: On a night when the torch for Japanese baseball was passed from Suzuki — who had retired and moved into the Mariners’ front office the day before — to Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ new star, their old star showed he still had a flame burning. Sitting on 2,999, Pujols opened with a lineout on four pitches, then walked in the fourth inning on 10. His third trip to the plate didn’t last nearly as long; Pujols sent a low 1-0 slider from Mariners starter Mike Leake the other way into right field for the milestone hit. By this time, the routine was familiar, with Angels teammates lining up for congratulatory hugs — “It was hard to keep hugging everybody, so I just told them, ‘Let’s do a group hug,” Pujols told the Los Angeles Times later — and 41,705 fans delivering polite applause. And then the game resumed — Pujols added a two-run single in the ninth for No. 3,001 — and the Seattle fans were rewarded with what they had really come to the park to do with the next batter, as the Times’ Bill Shaikin wrote: “Boo the hell out of Shohei Ohtani.”

Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: 3,000 hits: How Miguel Cabrera and 32 others joined the club