This afternoon, as the Tigers were on their first Canadian road trip since 2019, a long-awaited milestone became a reality for Miguel Cabrera, as he hit his 500th career home run in Sunday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Since the first game of the 2021 season, we have been counting down the big numbers for Cabrera. That April 1st homer in the snow, the first of the season for any player on any team, was also Cabrera’s 350th as a Detroit Tiger. Throughout the course of the year, we have seen him pass players with names like Chipper Jones, Stan Musial, and Lou Gehrig on the all-time home run leaderboard.
On Sunday afternoon, he joined a very select club of baseball players to hit 500 home runs.
When Miguel Cabrera joined the Detroit Tigers in 2008, he was 25 years old and had already been an All-Star four times during his tenure with the then-Florida Marlins. He had 138 career home runs under his belt, the first of which he collected in his very first major league game — and a walk-off no less. He started his career off with a bang, and now he’s here.
Miguel Cabrera is, and always has been, the kind of player who draws attention to himself in the best ways possible. He’s a gamer, in that he has always pushed himself to the limits of his physical ability, and sometimes beyond, and in the process has fashioned himself into a legend. While the toll of his years playing with strains, contusions, and even broken bones has begun to take its toll on him, there’s no doubt that he is, and always will be, one of the single greatest Detroit Tigers players of all time.
During his tenure as a Tigers, he has achieved incredible things. Back-to-back MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013, seven more All-Star appearances, and of course, the 2012 Triple Crown win.
It’s also worth noting that 2012 was the season that brought us this gift of Phil Coke talking about facing Cabrera when Coke was pitching with the Yankees.
Cabrera is an icon, and there’s no doubt that the Tigers are already eyeing a place on the outfield wall to paint the number 24 after he retires. He will certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame, most likely on his first ballot. For now, though, he’s still playing, and will continue to build on the legend. Now that 500 home runs have been achieved, he will turn his attention towards achieving his 3,000th hit, something we can expect early in the 2022 season, as he currently sits at 2,955 with 36 games remaining this year.
.@MiguelCabrera hits career home run No. 500, becoming the 28th player in MLB history to reach that milestone and the first to do so in a Tigers uniform. He’s also the sixth player born outside the United States to hit 500 homers and the first Venezuelan-born player to do so.
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) August 22, 2021