Cabrera revels in 'really special' 3,000th career hit in Detroit

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Miguel Cabrera described his 3,000th career hit as "really special" after the Detroit Tigers defeated the Colorado Rockies 13-0 in the opener of a day-night double-header on Saturday.

After driving up right-center field off Antonio Senzatela in the first inning, the 39-year-old was embraced by Rockies shortstop and former Tigers teammate, Jose Iglesias.

Cabrera became only the seventh player in the history of the major leagues with at least 500 home runs and 3,000 hits over their career.

The Rockies claimed the second game of the double-header at Comerica Park, winning 3-2, but it was nonetheless Cabrera's day.

"I couldn't even feel my legs in the first at-bat," he said afterwards.

"They left me that hole open [on the right side of the infield], so I want to put the ball there. Thank God they do it. When I see the second baseman play almost behind second base, I'm like, 'OK, you have to shoot the ball there.'"

Cabrera also went past Roberto Clemente to 32nd on the all-time hit list, sitting on 3,002 career hits in all, just five from tying the late Al Kaline – who was the last Detroit player to make 3,000 – for 31st.

"Roberto Clemente's one of our heroes. We wear 21 one special day in the big leagues, so that means a lot," Cabrera said. "I can't even say; I don't have words to describe the great feeling I'm feeling right now.

"Al is one of my heroes... It's really sad he's not here to see it. Hopefully somewhere he's happy and smiling.

"This one was really special for me because I wanted to do it here in front of my family, in front of my hometown here in Detroit. I'm happy I hit it here. I'm happy people in Detroit could see it. Hopefully I can get more hits here. Thank God."

Cabrera is close to another career milestone, just one double away from 600.

Tigers coach A.J. Hinch added his kudos, saying: "For a veteran, 39 years old, 20 years [in the Majors], done everything in the game, it's fun to watch him be nervous. I think it's awesome. I think the kid in him is realising what it means."

Detroit's chairman and CEO Christopher Ilitch also released a statement in honour of Cabrera's achievement.

"Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on his 3,000th career hit," he said. "Like Tigers fans, I've been proud to witness Miggy's amazing and historic 3,000 hit and 500 home run milestones, putting him among a select few MLB legends.

"I thank Miguel for a career of exciting, Hall of Fame-calibre play towards our objective of championship baseball for Tigers fans. Miggy has and continues to build his status as one of the greatest Tigers of all-time."

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