Sunday August 22, 2021
Miggy Hits No. 500
Miguel Cabrera went yard today for his 13th homer of the season and the 500th of his career, and to me you just have to celebrate. He's such a joyous figure. Even the Toronto home crowd gave him a standing ovation today. Plus it's been a slog getting there.
At the end of the 2016 season—when Obama was president, mind you—Miggy had hit 446 for his career, 54 short, and that seemed like a season and a half back then. But then injuries and age hit hard, and the Covid pandemic didn't help, and he had to pick up the rest piecemeal. Over five seasons he went: 16, 3, 10, 12, 13. In his rookie season, he slugged .468, and after that, through 2016, it was never below .500. After 2016, it was never above .500, and more often than not it wasn't above .400. So today's a good day.
He did it old-school, without any 50-HR seasons, the way Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Mike Schmidt did it before him. His career high was 44, which he hit twice. He's the 28th guy to join the club, and the first since David Ortiz in 2015. We only had two in the 2010s after a record nine in the 2000s. It's a rare event again, which is nice. Not even sure who's next in line. Nellie Cruz, another joyous figure, has 443 but he's 40—although he still has pop: 27 so far this season. Giancarlo at 332 has a shot if he stays healthy. Mike Trout at 310, same.
Miggy is also 45 hits shy of 3,000. That's gotta be reachable, and if so, he'll join the even more exclusive 3,000/500 club: Just Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.
My favorite Miggy homer isn't even on this list, of course, since it happened in the World Series. Worth a watch again. As is No. 500. They're kind of similar, aren't they? Opposite-field jobs, one as a 20-year-old rookie who had just been brushed back by Roger Clemens, the other as the grand old man of baseball everyone was cheering for. That's how quickly it goes. Touch 'em all, Miggy.