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Miguel Cabrera Becomes 22nd Player with 5,000 Total Bases

On June 15, Miguel Cabrera hit a first-inning RBI single off Royals pitcher Mike Minor. The hit added one more total base to his career amount, bringing the total to 4,999.

The total bases statistic is not as talked about as some other statistics. In the near future, when Cabrera hits his 500th home run, there will be more press coverage surrounding that event than the 5,000th total base. However, you might be surprised to find that the 5,000 total bases club is a little more exclusive. Currently, there are 27 players in the 500 home run club. Before June 15, there were 21 players in the 5,000 total bases club.

Sitting at 4,999 total bases, Cabrera stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning. Mike Minor was still pitching for the Royals as the Tigers were ahead, 3-2. With the count at one ball and two strikes, Minor tried to throw inside and bury a breaking ball in towards Cabrera’s feet, but Cabrera put an inside-out swing on the baseball as the ball hit the gap in between the right fielder and the center fielder for a two-out double. When Cabrera reached first base he joined the 5,000 total bases club, and when he made it to second base he was at 5,001 total bases. The double was also his 585th, which tied him for 20th place on the all-time list with Rafael Palmeiro.

It is hard to pack all the milestones in this one swing as they mentioned the doubles and extra-base hits, but not the total bases.

The double was definitely needed for the Tigers as Cabrera ended up scoring after two straight singles from teammates Eric Haase and Daz Cameron. Cabrera’s run gave Detroit a 4-2 lead, heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Casey Mize, the starting pitcher for Detroit, kept Kansas City off the board in the sixth as he threw another quality start. Mize has thrown 8 quality starts in his last 9 games.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Mize would give up one run before leaving with two outs in the inning. Luckily, the Detroit bullpen stepped up as Wily Peralta and Gregory Soto finished the game without giving up a run. Detroit would win the game, 4-3.

As I wrote last week, Cabrera is getting closer to the 500 home run/3,000 hit club. There is a possibility that he achieves those milestones in 2021. He would need to average one hit for every team game that Detroit plays this year (92 hits in 92 games currently).

The 5,000 total bases milestone for Cabrera came and went with little fanfare. When I checked the Twitter feeds it was barely mentioned and most of the sports news websites did not pick up on it. The Tigers’ Twitter profile did send out a re-tweet about it and the Tigers’ official website included it in their “stat of the day” page. That was pretty much the extent of the coverage for this milestone.

I was hoping to possibly buy a Topps Now card the next day as I was sure that they would have picked up on it, but there was no card for this. I’m not sure if this was an oversight or if they don’t make cards for total bases milestones. However, after doing some research, I found they created an Adrian Beltre 5,000 total bases Topps Now card in 2017. It will be interesting to see if they create a Topps Now card for Albert Pujols when he gets to 6,000 total bases. Right now, Pujols has 5,990 total bases. He would become only the fourth player in history to achieve this feat. The 6,000 total bases club includes Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial.

Topps chose to commemorate Adrian Beltre reaching 5,000 total bases, but did not produce a card for Miguel Cabrera reaching the same milestone.

What is the significance of the 5,000 total bases club?

It means you are now on a list of just 22 players in history. It means you got some extra-base hits along the way. It means you were a great overall hitter. It means you played a long time. It provides some context into your career. Babe Ruth did not have 3,000 hits but he did have 5,793 total bases. Derek Jeter totaled 3,465 hits but had only 4,921 total bases. That is not meant to minimize Jeter, but to show how difficult it is to get to 5,000 total bases.

When multiple players are achieving certain milestones, we sometimes forget how difficult that achievement is. Pujols is hitting milestones that put him in rare company and when comparing him to Cabrera, it seems like Pujols is a notch above in where he ends up on these cumulative lists. That being said, it may be a long time before we see these rare combinations of numbers again. With eight more home runs, 14 more doubles, and 92 more hits, Cabrera will be part of the 500 home run/600 doubles/3,000 hit club. Members of that club include Pujols and Aaron. That is it.

When will this happen again?

Right now, Pujols has 5,990 total bases and Cabrera has 5,004 total bases. The next active player on this list is Robinson Cano with 4,263. He will not get to 5,000. Then, Nelson Cruz is after that with 3,498. He will not get to 5,000. Joey Votto is fifth on the active list with 3,309. He will not get to 5,000. The next active player with any shot of getting to 5,000 total bases is Mike Trout.

Trout is 13th on the active total bases list with 2,715. He is just a little more than halfway there, and he is 29 years old. If he averages 300 total bases over the next seven years, he would still be a little short of 5,000. That is assuming he stays healthy and plays a full seven seasons. If he ends up averaging 250 total bases per season, then it will take him a little over nine seasons. He would be 38 years old. The same age Cabrera currently is.

So set your calendars for some time in 2030 for the next time a player may possibly achieve the 5,000 total bases milestone. That is why I’m trying to enjoy this now.

KANSAS CITY, MO – JUN 15: Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) doubles in the sixth inning during a Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals on June 15, 2021, at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

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