The Ghost of 3,000 Hits Past

11 07 2011

Given the milestone that a certain player reached in the Bronx yesterday, I figured I’d do a post of guys with 3,000 hits.  The amount in parentheses reflect the players’ final tally. I included what Major League Baseball recognizes when there is a discrepancy.

#1 – Cap Anson – 1894 or 1897*.  (between 3,045 and 3,011*)

* – depending on what you count.  Anson played in the National Association (NA) from 1871-1875, which was a pre-cursor to the National League.  If you count his hits from then, he’s around 3,400 hits. If you don’t count them, he’s either at 3,012 or 3,018.  1897 assumes you don’t count the NA hits.

#2 –  Honus Wagner – June 9, 1914.  Double off Erskine Mayer, Philadelphia Phillies.  Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, PA.  (3,415)

#3 – Nap Lajoie – September 27, 1914.  Double off Marty McHale, New York Yankees.  League Park, Cleveland, OH.  (3,242)

#4 – Ty Cobb – August 19, 1921.  Single off Elmer Myers, Boston Red Sox.  Navin Field, Detroit.  (4,191**)

** – Listed as either 4,189 or 4,191 due to a possible double-counted game in 1910.  Cobb is still the youngest player to reach this mark.

#5 – Tris Speaker – May 17, 1925.  Single off Tom Zachary, Washington Senators.  League Park, Cleveland, OH.  (3,514)

Zachary also gave up Babe Ruth’s 60th home run in 1927.

#6 – Eddie Collins – June 3, 1925.  Single off Rip Collins, Detroit Tigers.  Navin Field, Detroit, MI.  (3,315)

Ty Cobb was the opposing player-manager against Chicago that day – the first time a fellow 3,000 hit member was present at another player’s 3,000th hit.

#7 – Paul Waner – June 19, 1942.  Single off Rip Sewell, Pittsburgh Pirates.  Braves Field, Boston, MA. (3,152)

#8 – Stan Musial – May 13, 1958.  Double off Moe Drabowsky, Chicago Cubs.  Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL. (3,630)

#9 – Hank Aaron – May 17, 1970.  Single off Wayne Simpson, Cincinnati Reds.  Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OH.  (3,771)

Aaron also hit his 714th home run in Cincinnati.

#10 – Willie Mays – July 18, 1970.  Single off Mike Wegener, Montreal Expos.  Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA.  (3,283)

#11 – Roberto Clemente – September 30, 1972.  Double off Jon Matlack, New York Mets.  Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA.  (3,000)

If I was asked, what’s the most incredible story in the history of major league baseball, I’d have to say it’s the tale of Clemente, his 3,000th hit, and subsequent tragic death.

#12 – Al Kaline – September 24, 1972.  Double off Dave McNally, Baltimore Orioles.  Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, MD. (3,007)

#13 – Pete Rose – May 5, 1978.  Single off Steve Rogers, Montreal Expos.  Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.  (4,256)

#14 – Lou Brock – August 13, 1979.  Single off Dennis Lamp, Chicago Cubs.  Busch Stadium (#2), St. Louis, MO.  (3,023)

#15 – Carl Yastrzemski – September 12, 1979.  Single off Jim Beattie, New York Yankees.  Fenway Park, Boston, MA.  (3,419)

#16 – Rod Carew – August 4, 1985.  Single off Frank Viola, Minnesota Twins.  Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA.  (3,053)

#17 – Robin Yount – September 9, 1992.  Single off Jose Mesa, Cleveland Indians.  County Stadium, Milwaukee, WI.  (3,142)

#18 – George Brett – September 30, 1992.  Single off Tim Fortugno, California Angels.  Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA.  (3,154)

#19 – Dave Winfield – September 16, 1993.  Single off Dennis Eckersley, Oakland Athletics.  Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN.  (3,110)

Winfield was picked 2nd overall in the 1972 MLB Amateur Player Draft, one spot ahead of fellow member Yount.

#20 – Eddie Murray – June 30, 1995.  Single off Mike Trombley, Minnesota Twins.  Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN.  (3,255)

3,000 hit member Winfield was Murray’s teammate in 1995.  Though he was on the DL at the time Murray recorded his 3,000th hit, he was one of the first players out of the dugout to congratulate his teammate.

#21 – Paul Molitor – September 16, 1996.  Triple off Jose Rosado, Kansas City Royals.  Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO.  (3,319)

Molitor and Winfield got their 3,000th hit exactly 3 years apart while playing for their team from their hometown Minnesota Twins.

#22 – Tony Gwynn – August 6, 1999.  Single off Dan Smith, Montreal Expos.  Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.   (3,141)

Like Molitor (University of Minnesota), Gwynn (San Diego St.) played college ball in the same city as the team he got his 3,000th hit for.

#23 – Wade Boggs – August 7, 1999.  Home run off Chris Haney, Cleveland Indians.  Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL.  (3,010)

#24 – Cal Ripken – April 15, 2000.  Single off Hector Carrasco, Minnesota Twins.  Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN.  (3,184)

Eddie Murray, fellow 3,000 hit member, was the first to congratulate Cal – he was the first base coach for the Orioles.

#25 – Rickey Henderson – October 7, 2001.  Double off John Thompson, Colorado Rockies.  Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA.  (3,055)

This was Rickey’s teammate and fellow 3,000 hit member Tony Gwynn’s last game.

#26 – Rafael Palmeiro – July 15, 2005.  Double off Joel Piniero, Seattle Mariners.  Safeco Field, Seattle, WA.  (3,020)

#27 – Craig Biggio – June 28, 2007.  Single off Aaron Cook, Colorado Rockies.  Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX.  (3,060)

See my previous post for the only current player with 3,000 hits.

Other info about the 28 players with 3,000 hits

Amazingly, 7 different seasons have seen 2 players reach 3,000 hits – 1914, 1925, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1992, and 1999.

Both the 1970’s and 1990’s saw 7 players reach the 3,000 hit plateau.

The longest stretch between members was the 17+ years between Collins and Waner.  The shortest was the one day between Gwynn and Boggs.

September is the most common month (8 entrants)

May 17, September 16th and September 30th have seen 2 hitters reach the milestone.

Both Clemente and Henderson got their 3,000th hit on the last game of the year.  Thus, you can find cards of them with “3,000” at the bottom of the hit total.

2 teams, (both expansion teams) the Twins and Expos, have both given up 3,000 hits on 3 separate occasions.

8 teams – the Pirates, Indians, Cubs, Tigers, Cardinals, Twins, Padres, and Orioles have all had 2 players reach the milestone.

This gives the Twins the distinction of seeing the most games – 5 – with 3,000 hits.

Minneapolis is the only city to see 3 players reach 3,000 – and all happened at the Metrodome.

Waner, Brock, and Carew all reached the milestone against their former team.

Of the 3,000 hit club members, 14 players batted right, 12 batted left, and Murray and Pete Rose are the only switch-hitters with 3,000 hits.

As noted above, there have been 4 occasions when a current member of the club was in uniform at the game where the newest member reached the milestone – twice as teammates, once as a coach for the same team, and once as a player-manager for the other team.

No player has been on a World Series winning team (or even made the series) in the year he got his 3,000th hitter.  Obviously this remains in play for Mr. Jeter.

Jeter joins Craig Biggio as the only player with 5 hits on the day he collected #3,000.

Lifetime batting averages range from .276 (Ripken) to .367 (Cobb – the all-time leader).

Home Run totals range from 47 (Collins) to 755 (Aaron).



3 responses

11 07 2011

Not to nitpick, but Minnesota isn’t a city. 😉

I grew up idolizing Rod Carew, and I was lucky enough to be working in LA and got to see him hit his 3000th hit against my Twins. Missed seeing Eddie Murray’s by one day.

11 07 2011

Fair point – I have family who live in St. Paul and a good friend from a suburb of Minneapolis – so I should know better. Though they make it confusing by having all the sports teams named after the state 🙂

That’s awesome to have seen Carew reach the milestone. I would have given anything to see Griffey’s 500 or 600th homer, but he got to both milestones on the road.

8 03 2016
6 years, 1,500 posts, and a lot of baseball cards | Lifetime Topps project

[…] series of posts around that milestone.  One for Jeter.  One for guys who’d already made it into the club.  And another for my expert predictions on who would make it in the future.  I gave […]

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