Miguel Cabrera’s former teammate, Jose Iglesias, ran from his shortstop position to hug him after recording his 3,000th career hit.
He wanted to be the first to do it.
“I said ‘we did it,'” Iglesias told the Free Press of his message after the match. “Miggy has been an incredible influence on my career on and off the field, and this was a huge moment for him.”
Jeff Seidel:Miguel Cabrera reaches 3,000 hits with the same childish joy that he has had throughout his career
Iglesias was the one who physically handed him the ball, calling it one of the best days of his career. But before the game, he admitted that the two shared a moment when he had a little more anxiety.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Iglesias said. “(Miggy) was like, ‘Couldn’t sleep last night,’ and I was like, ‘Me neither, so let’s get that out early… you better hit one.'”
ONE BIG DETROIT TO ANOTHER:Matthew Stafford gets standing ovation in Detroit, watches Miguel Cabrera’s 3000th hit: ‘Incredible’
ONE OF A KIND:Inside Miguel Cabrera’s milestone-filled climb with the Detroit Tigers to 3,000 hits
In fact, Cabrera had one: a single to right field, before hitting a two-run single up the middle, ending the day 2-for-4 as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Rockies, 13-0.
“We just witnessed history,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said after the game. “The excitement built a little bit, every at-bat was like a Game 7 of the World Series at-bat.”
And if you think Detroit was rocking on Saturday when Miguel Cabrera recorded his 3,000th hit, you should have heard what was going on in his hometown of Maracay, Venezuela.
And across the country for that matter.
As streets were reportedly shut down, local fans flooded their local watering holes, hoping to see exactly what they saw: Cabrera became the 33rd player in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits.
No one wants to be the man to break the story, but Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela, who allowed the base hit, is from Venezuela, his hometown of Valencia, just 45 minutes from Maracay.
“It’s good for him and good for Venezuela,” Senzatela said. “He is the best Venezuelan player who has been in the Major Leagues. When I grew up, he watched it. When he was in the Major Leagues for the first time, I was 8 years old.
“I’m pitching here now, so I’m happy for him … he just didn’t want to give up a hit.”
“This is a very important moment for the country,” added Venezuelan reporter Daniel Álvarez-Montes during an interview with Bally Sports Detroit. “With everything that is happening and the dictatorship… Miggy brought people together.
“Right now, all Venezuelans are watching this and rooting for the same guy.”
From Alex Rodriguez Y justin verlanderfor joey votto Y James McCannmessages from the baseball world poured in.
That includes a number of Rockies players and coaches who also have ties to the Tigers superstar, but few have known him for as long as Colorado bench coach Mike Redmond.
THE INTERIOR PLOT:What makes Miguel Cabrera one of the best hitters in history? Just ask the pitchers he faced
WATCH THE MOMENT:Miguel Cabrera achieves baseball immortality with the 3,000th hit of his career
Redmond was in the on-deck circle when Miguel Cabrera got his first major league hit: a two-run homer to center field against the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Redmond also played in Minnesota for five years; two of them overlapped with Cabrera’s time in Detroit. On Saturday, he was on the opposite bench at the historic moment.
“I was happy I didn’t have to get in the game,” he joked about what he remembered of Cabrera’s first hit. “But really, he showed up and was a huge boost and spark for us in 2003 and helped us win the World Series.
“Having the opportunity to see it (number 3,000), after seeing the first one and playing together for two years, it was great.”
The more Cabrera’s numbers are broken down, the more absurd they become.
He is one of only seven players to have at least 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.
He’s one of three to do that with at least a .300 average: Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are the others.
The list of people with 3,000 hits, multiple MVPs, multiple batting titles and a World Series is short: Cabrera and Stan Musial.
There aren’t many cities that can see such widespread grandeur and there are even fewer players that can see it up close. And those who were involved know what it means.
“It’s a big problem, we don’t know when we will experience something like this again,” Iglesias said. “We may never experience it ever again.
“Despite everything, it’s a great achievement for everyone, but especially for Miggy, who has been through many injuries in his career and played through them, and I was able to play alongside him for so many years… I couldn’t be.” . prouder of him.”
Among the faces in the crowd for the historic day, former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford told the Free Press that it was “amazing” to see him in person and that he has been a Cabrera fan for 15 years.
“He came here in 2008, I came here in 2009 and to be able to watch him do his thing from afar for so many years was special,” Stafford said. “To be able to get lucky and be in the house when he does it and he gets 3,000 is something I’ll always remember.”
Now, you can continue the debate about Cabrera’s place in history. Among Venezuelans, there is no doubt that he is the largest. Among right-handed hitters, many believe the same.
His career average of .310 is the highest for someone with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. In his next double, he will also have 600 of those.
For Iglesias, who has played in Boston, Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Los Angeles Angels and now Colorado, no one compares.
“Miggy is No. 1, he’s the best hitter I’ve ever played with hands down,” he said. “He made me the player that I am… he’s like a brother to me.”