Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera hit rarified baseball air on Sunday. The 19-year veteran hit the 500th home run of his career and is now the 28th player in MLB history to reach the mark.
Cabrera took a changeup in the sixth inning against Toronto Blue Jays starter Steven Matz and put it 400 feet into right. It was a solo shot that evened the score, 1-1.
Cabrera's path to 500 home runs began in his first MLB game on June 20, 2003. He hit a walk-off homer to center field for a Florida Marlins win in the bottom of the 11th. After hitting his 499th homer in Baltimore he went homerless in eight games and went 4-for-31 in that stretch heading into No. 500.
The 38-year-old slugger came close to the milestone Wednesday, but his fly ball came to the warning track against the Los Angeles Angels. The chase brought fans out in droves to hopefully see history at home, but it happened at Rogers Centre in Toronto instead. A member of the Tiger bullpen retrieved the ball, per MLB.com. It was his first home run in the city since September of 2017.
Despite not being in Detroit, the fans roared when the home run hit and Cabrera came out for a curtain call.
Cabrera is the first player to hit 500 home runs in a career since David Ortiz reached the milestone in 2015. He is the first player to do it as a Tiger and the first Venezuelan-born player to do so.
It was his 2,955th career hit as he chases an elite 32-player group that finished careers with 3,000 hits. Cabrera said it was a goal to hit both in 2021, but it seems unlikely he'll reach the hits mark by the end of the regular season. He's signed through 2023 and could join six players in the 3,000/500 club: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Albert Pujols, Eddie Murray, Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro.
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