Miguel Cabrera’s induction in the 3,000-hit, 500-homer club is a matter of when, not if.
With Cabrera sitting 11 hits away from 3,000, the longtime Detroit Tiger is as close as one can be to joining one of the most exclusive clubs in baseball history.
Cabrera has spent the past 15 years in Detroit, where he’ll have recorded 2,158 of his 3,000 hits. While with the Tigers, Cabrera has tallied two MVPs, a triple crown, four AL batting titles and seven All-Star nods. He also won the 2003 World Series with the Florida Marlins.
With Cabrera on history’s doorstep, here’s a look at the other members of baseball’s 3,000-hit and 500-home run club.
It’s tough to talk about baseball accomplishments without bringing up Hank Aaron, and this list is no different. Hammerin’ Hank blasted 755 homers and recorded 3,771 hits over his 23-year career with Milwaukee and Atlanta.
A first-ballot Hall of Famer, Aaron hit 30 homers in a season 15 times, topped the .300 mark 14 times and had three seasons with 200 or more hits. Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 and held the title of baseball’s home run king until 2007. His 755 dingers are the most of any player with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.
One of the purest hitters in baseball history, the Say Hey Kid was the definition of consistency almost all of his 23-year MLB career. Mays debuted in 1948 with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro League before debuting with the Giants in 1951.
Along with leading the league in homers four times, Mays also led baseball in steals four times and claimed the 1954 batting title. The 24-time All-Star retired in 1973 with 3,293 hits, 660 home runs and a career .301 batting average — a number that’s even more impressive considering he missed most of the 1952 season and all of the 1953 season serving in the Korean War.
Despite never leading baseball in hits or batting average once during his 21-year career, Steady Eddie managed to put together a Hall of Fame career. The 1977 Rookie of the Year finished his career with 3,255 hits and 504 home runs.
The best stretch of Murray’s career came from 1982 to 1985 when he topped 110 RBIs for four straight years, peaking with a 31-home run, 124-RBI season in 1985. Murray drove in more runs (996) in the 1980s than any other player.
While he was only named to four All-Star teams, Rafael Palmeiro owned the 1990s. The longtime Ranger and Oriole slugged 569 home runs and recorded 1,835 RBIs on 3,020 hits over his 20-year MLB career.
After leaving Texas in 1994 for Baltimore (where he slugged 223 home runs in seven years across two stints), Palmeiro returned to the Lone Star state in 1999, where put together arguably his best Major League season, batting .324 with 47 home runs and 148 RBIs along with earning his last All-Star nod. Palmeiro’s career was not without controversy, as he was suspended from baseball in 2005 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
The only other active player on this list, Pujols has done nothing but mash over his storied MLB career. The Machine burst onto the scene in 2001, putting together a rookie season for the ages, as the then 21-year-old phenom mashed 37 home runs and drove in 130 runs on 194 hits en route to winning Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger — along with finishing in fourth in the MVP voting. For the next 10years, Pujols served as the heartbeat of St. Louis lineup, as the native of the Dominican Republic earned three MVPs (2005, 2008 and 2009), an NL batting title (2003) and two World Series championships.
In December 2011, Pujols signed a monstrous 10-year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. While Pujols never managed to produce at a clip worthy of the monstrous deal, he did put together some solid seasons with the Halos, topping 100 RBIs four times (2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017) and earning an All-Star nod in 2015. After being released by the Angels in 2021, Pujols headed north and signed with the Dodgers, where he hit .254 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs. He signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals in the offseason for his 22nd and final season. He currently has 3,301 career hits and 679 home runs.
Like Palmeiro, the tenor around A-Rod’s career has changed due his alleged PED use. Still, there’s no denying the pure talent Rodriguez had for most of his career. After getting a cup of coffee in the league with the Mariners in 1994 and 1995, Rodriguez burst onto the scene in 1996, pounding 36 home runs and recording 123 RBIs while leading the American League in runs scored (141) and the Majors in doubles (54), also taking home the American League batting title with an average of .358.
After three more years in Seattle, Rodriguez signed a 10-year deal worth $252 million with the Texas Rangers which, at the time, was the biggest contract in sports. He was then traded to the Yankees on Feb. 16, 2004 – the second time in MLB history that an reigning MVP was traded. In 12 years in the Bronx, Rodriguez slugged 351 home runs and had 1,580 hits while winning two MVPs and a World Series title. In 2009, Rodriguez admitted to using steroids in the past, and ended up being suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez finished his career with 696 home runs and 3,115 hits.