12 amazing Miggy stats and facts

Detroit Tigers

We are all so lucky to have witnessed Miguel Cabrera‘s Hall of Fame-bound career. From a 20-year-old in the World Series to a 40-year-old hitting his 511th career home run this Wednesday, we’ve been treated to joy, smiles and baseball prowess.

There’s no way to enumerate every note to sum up such a prolific career, there are so many fun ones to pore over — the list would be too long. But we can pick some of our favorites. Here’s a look at 12 stats and facts from all that Cabrera has accomplished.

• Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Cabrera made his MLB debut as a 20-year-old on June 20, 2003, for the Marlins against the then-Devil Rays. The rookie was 0-for-4 batting eighth entering an 11th-inning at-bat in a tie game. Cabrera hit a two-run walk-off homer. Talk about starting on the right foot. He became the third player since 1900 with a walk-off home run in his MLB debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He joined Josh Bard (8/23/2002) and Billy Parker (9/9/1971). One player has done so since: Carlos Pérez (5/5/2015).

• Now at 511 home runs, tied with Mel Ott for 25th, he hit 18 of those as a 20-year-old and four as a 40-year-old. He’s one of 16 players since 1900 to homer at both 20 or younger and 40 or older. He shares that list with Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Henry Aaron, Rickey Henderson, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, George Brett, Gary Sheffield, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson, Ron Fairly, Rusty Staub, Rogers Hornsby and Elmer Valo. That’s good company.

• A key part of his contributions as a 20-year-old came in October, as Cabrera and the Marlins won the World Series. He went hitless in his first three postseason games, but turned the tide in 2003 NLDS Game 4 with a four-hit performance. At 20 years and 169 days, he became the second-youngest player in postseason history with a four-hit game, older than only an 18-year-old Freddie Lindstrom in 1924 World Series Game 5.

• The Marlins clinched an NLCS berth with a win in that game and Miggy never looked back, hitting .333 with a 1.027 OPS and three homers in the seven-game series for the pennant. At the time, the only younger player with a postseason home run was Andruw Jones, at 19 years old, in 1996. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have since homered at younger ages, once each in the 2012 Division Series.

• Cabrera tacked on a World Series homer in Game 4, and remains the second youngest to go yard in the Fall Classic, behind Jones. That gave him four home runs in the 2003 postseason, all at age 20. That’s the most home runs in a single postseason at age 20 or younger.

• Cabrera finished tied for fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, with teammate Dontrelle Willis winning the award. He also received MVP votes, for the first of 14 years in a row. That’s the fifth-longest streak of appearing on MVP ballots, since the BBWAA began voting on the award in 1931. Only Aaron (19 straight), Musial (16 straight seasons he played in, skipping a year for WWII), Barry Bonds (15) and Yogi Berra (15) had longer streaks. And Cabrera’s is the longest to begin with a player’s debut season.

• Another hallmark of that consistency manifested in All-Star selections. Cabrera was an 11-time All-Star from 2004-16. That was the most Midsummer Classic selections in that span, one ahead of David Ortiz’s 10.

• From 2005-16, Cabrera reached 180 hits in all but one season, when he played 119 games in ‘15. He’s one of 10 players all-time to reach the 180-hit mark at least 11 times in his career. More consistency.

• We can’t talk about Cabrera without talking about 2012, when he hit .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs. He won the first Triple Crown in either league since 1967, as well as the first of back-to-back American League MVP Awards. Cabrera is one of 10 players to win a Triple Crown since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920. Among those, just he and Carl Yastrzemski also recorded 3,000 career hits.

• Last year, Cabrera became the 33rd member of the 3,000-hit club. He entered the year with 3,088 hits, which ranked 24th all-time. Over the course of the season, he’s made his way to 16th on that list. He has 3,170 hits, and whatever he ends up with will set the bar for future generations at No. 16, behind Cal Ripken Jr.’s 3,184 hits in 15th.

• Cabrera is one of just seven players to reach both 500 homers and 3,000 hits. The others are Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and A-Rod. If we add his .306 career average, it’s a list of just three with 500 homers, 3,000 hits and a .300 career batting average — along with Aaron (.305) and Mays (.301).

• Cabrera became the seventh member of the 3,000-hit club to be born outside the 50 states, joining Adrián Beltré and Pujols (Dominican Republic), Ichiro Suzuki (Japan), Palmeiro (Cuba), Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico) and Rod Carew (Panama).

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