They no longer make them like Miguel Cabrera.
On Sunday, Cabrera, a 38-year-old Detroit Tigers robber, knocked down his star’s 500th home career, taking a 1-1 draw from Steven Matz of the Blue Jays and laying her 400 feet in the center stands. at Rogers Center in Toronto. He is the 28th player to reach a milestone, and as he wandered around the bases during the peak of the sixth inning, it was fair to wonder how much time would pass until the 29th.
Thinking about the long wait for the next club member with 500 homers seems absurd given the rise in baseball power over the last 20 years. The club’s membership has increased so much that it has diminished the feat that once came with the automatic entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Still, a look at the active players behind Cabrera offers surprisingly few candidates who can do so in the next five years.
Cabrera even made a certain drama by passing 31 bats between his 499th and 500th domestic. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it failed to record for waiting between milestones, as Jimmie Foxx waited for 61 bats.
For Cabrera, 500 Homer is hardly the only thing that sets him apart from his peers. A two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner, he has a Hall of Fame resume that includes triple crown 2012, who broke a series of 44 seasons without one; three other titles; and the World Series ring. He will soon become the 33rd player with 3,000 goals in his career. He had 2,954 ahead of Sunday’s game.
Cabrera did all this as a player seemingly at odds with his generation.
Discussions were held in 2012 about whether Cabrera, who aspired to the triple crown, should take last place in the MVP vote for Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels star who far surpassed him in wins over the replacement thanks to his huge advantages in running at bases and defenses. But even if he didn’t come up with Trut’s versatile skills, Cabrera’s feat of achieving brilliance proved irresistible to voters, so he repeated himself as MVP the following year in a season that may have been even more impressive, no matter where he reached the top charts, and despite the belief of many that Trout is the best player in the game.
Cabrera is a comeback in many ways. While it’s hard to single out the best statistics for the career in which he crossed the path from baby with a prodigy for the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series to the enduring force we see today, perhaps the most impressive number will be his .311 career average. This is the highest score among active players, and unlike Albert Pujols, his closest active colleague in terms of career achievement, Cabrera has built enough pillows at his peak that he won’t have to make sure his average drop falls below 0.300 before that. retirement.
At a time when the league average for hitting is the lowest since 1968, Cabrera’s seven-season period from 2009 to 2015, when he hit 0.332 in just under 4,000 bats, seems like fiction.
Those days are, unfortunately, long behind him.
Even with a slight resurgence of Cabrera and Pujols this season, baseball is stepping up for a while without them. It’s hard to predict how much they have left because both players are stuck despite having little left to offer other than the occasional pop right hand. But it’s easy to say we won’t see players reach similar milestones for a while.
As for the 500 home run, a five-year wait (or longer) seems likely.
Nelson Cruz of the Tampa Bay Rays had 57 home runs until Saturday and had no 500, but turned 41 on July 1 and will likely fade at some point despite no evidence that the process has begun. The next highest player on the active list, Robinson Cano, turns 39 in October, and after he was suspended for the 2021 season, it is difficult to see him hit another 166 home players.
Giancarlo Stanton needed 168 by Saturday, which is an achievable number for a 31-year-old who scored 59 once in one season. But he’s only 27 in the last three seasons combined, and his complicated health history makes him bad.
Justin Upton, Joey Votto and Evan Longoria – numbers 6, 7 and 8 on the active list – look too old and too far to be able to run in the overall standings, even if Votto gives Henry Aaron’s best impression in recent days.
The most likely candidate, outside of Stanton, remains Trout, who turned 30 this month. He is 190 miles away and, with decent health, could get there in five or six seasons.
That wait looks remarkable when you consider that the club’s membership has grown from 500 households to 28 from 16 in the last 20 seasons. He added three members in just 81 days in 2007. But in the history of the club, that would not be such a big gap.
Babe Ruth founded the club with his 500th Homer on August 11, 1929. It will be another 11 years until Jimmie Foxx joined him on September 24, 1940. Mel Ott was third in 1945, and then waited 15 years Ted Williams he did so in 1960. There has recently been a nine-year gap between Mike Schmidt’s 500 on 18 April 1987, and Eddie Murray September 6, 1996
These shortcomings arose before performance-enhancing drugs flooded the sport. The increase of 12 new members in the 17-year period ended 2015 included seven players (Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield) who appear to never be enrolled in Cooperstown coming soon.
But that can be labeled as another way Cabrera is different. In addition to the dramatic change of circumstances, he and Pujols should sail into the first-year qualifying Hall of Fame. The only real question is whether their introduction will be in 2027 – which would require retirement after this season – or will it wait until 2028.