Thursday March 23, 2017
3,000 Hit Club By Decade
1910s, '70s, '90s, '20s, '70s again.
There are 30 members of the 3,000 hit club, and we'll probably have another, Adrian Beltre (2,942) this year and most likely Albert Pujols (2,825) in 2018. Next up would be Miguel Cabrera, who is at 2,519. Barring catastrophe, he seems a lock. I've also got fingers crossed for Robinson Cano, who is at 2,210 and a young 34. Plus he's signed for seven more years. If he plays all of those years, he'll just have to average 113 per, and he's never hit fewer than 155—and that was his rookie season. (Last year he hit 195.) In fact, if all goes well, he'll probably be the first guy to join the club in the 2020s.
This used to be a pretty exclusive club. From the 1860s to 1969, there were only eight members. Then, in one decade, the 1970s, we almost doubled that total with seven more.
- 1890s: Cap Anson
- 1910s: Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie
- 1920s: Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins
- 1940s: Paul Waner
- 1950s: Stan Musial
- 1970s: Hank Aaron, Wilie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Pete Rose, Lou Brock, Carl Yastrzemski
- 1980s: Rod Carew
- 1990s: Robin Yount, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs
- 2000s: Cal Ripken, Rickey Henderson, Rafael Palmeiro, Craig Biggio
- 2010s: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki
I'm old enough to remember that one of the arguments against free agency—or maybe it was hand-wringing once free agency came into existence—was that players wouldn't play into their dotage; they'd take the money and run. They wouldn't join these exclusive clubs. That certainly hasn't happened.
Other bits of 3,000-hit trivia:
- Team most represented? Cleveland. Kinda. Two players were wearing Indians jerseys (Tris Speaker and Eddie Murray), one was wearing a Cleveland Naps jersey (Nap Lajoie). But it's all the same franchise.
- Lowest batting average? Cal Ripken, Jr. at .276, followed by Rickey Henderson at .279.
- Five 3,000-hit members who aren't in the Hall of Fame? Pete Rose (gambling), Rafael Palmeiro (PEDs), and three guys who aren't eligible yet: Jeter, A-Rod, and Ichiro. Jeter and Ichiro will get in. It's less certain about A-Rod.
- Homeruns for No. 3,000? Three, by Jeter, A-Rod and Wade Boggs.