MLB

Tigers star Cabrera relieved he 'got it over with' after hitting 500th home run

By Sports Desk August 22, 2021

It has been a stressful couple of weeks for one of the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history, but Miguel Cabrera finally reached a long-awaited milestone Sunday with his 500th career home run. 

The Detroit Tigers star launched a changeup by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steven Matz over the right-field fence at Rogers Centre for a solo homer that tied the game 1-1 in the sixth inning. The Tigers would go on to win 5-3 in 11 innings. 

That result was important to Cabrera after spending the 11 days since he hit his 499th home run with the spotlight squarely on him. 

Known for his easygoing on-field personality, Cabrera acknowledged feeling the pressure during last week's six-game homestand against the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, which drew some of the largest crowds in Detroit this season.

Cabrera had four hits in 20 at-bats on the homestand and was hitless in 10 at-bats in three games in Toronto before going deep Sunday.

"Last week in Detroit was tough," Cabrera told reporters. "It was the first time in five, six years I've seen the crowd like that, excited and with a lot of energy. It was nice to see the energy back in Comerica Park.

"There was a lot of things going on in my mind, because I wanted to do it in Detroit. But it's tough to hit home runs there.

"I just have to thank God I hit it here and got it over with. Now I can try to keep playing baseball."

The 38-year-old became the first player from Venezuela to hit 500 home runs and the first to do so as a Tiger in the 120-year history of the franchise. 

An 11-time All-Star and two-time American League MVP, Cabrera is in his 14th season with Detroit after spending the first five years of his MLB career with the Marlins. 

Though Cabrera reached the milestone on the road, the fans in Toronto were appreciative, giving him a standing ovation and demanding a curtain call.

The Tigers also were thrilled to see the icon get over the hump. 

"He wants this for us as much as we wanted it for him," said manager A.J. Hinch. "He saw the stress around that was unspoken.

"It's a huge accomplishment for him and his country and what he's meant to baseball in Detroit and what he's meant to baseball in Miami, where he started his career, and obviously Team Venezuela. He's represented his country with extreme success on the field."

Cabrera is now four home runs from tying Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 27th on the all-time list, but that is not the only milestone in his sights. 

He needs just 45 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. Only six players in MLB history have hit 500 homers while accumulating 3,000 hits: Murray, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols. 

Related items

  • Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign

    Eddie Howe was keen to look at the positives after Newcastle United secured seventh place in the Premier League on Sunday.

    Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes were among the goalscorers as Newcastle won 4-2 at Brentford to finish their Premier League campaign.

    The victory ensured a seventh-place finish, and a Manchester City victory over Manchester United in next Saturday's FA Cup final will confirm Newcastle's place in next season's Europa Conference League.

    While this season did not quite live up to the heroics of last term, which saw the Magpies finish in the Champions League spots, Howe still feels it has been a successful campaign.

    "It summed up our season," Howe told BBC Sport. "We weren't totally secure at the back, but great credit to the players. They've done their job - now we wait and see.

    "We anticipated after losing against Manchester United that our control of the [European] situation had gone. It's never a nice situation, but whatever happens, happens.

    "We have issues to solve defensively. If we can do that, next season could be another season of really strong performances. This was a season that could have been better, but a good season overall.

    "We're a really united club. I think we're still moving forward, so there's a lot to be positive about."

  • Postecoglou will not settle until Tottenham hit his 'lofty ambitions' Postecoglou will not settle until Tottenham hit his 'lofty ambitions'

    Ange Postecoglou warned Tottenham he will not settle until the club hits the "lofty ambitions" targeted in his mind.

    Spurs were 3-0 victors over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday, ending their Premier League season with a convincing win to finish fifth in the table.

    Postecoglou voiced his frustrations after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City ended their hopes of Champions League football next term.

    The Spurs head coach was far more relaxed after his side performed well in Sheffield, with Dejan Kulusevski twice on target, along with a goal for Pedro Porro against the relegated Blades.

    Yet Postecoglou insisted his ambitions remain high as the Australian attempts to take Tottenham to the next level.

    "Contrary to my general demeanour, I have loved every minute of it," former Celtic boss Postecoglou said of his first season in charge of Tottenham.

    "It is a great challenge in the Premier League and taking over a big club that didn't have a great year last year. You understand it is not going to run smoothly, but I have enjoyed the whole season.

    "I have got some lofty ambitions for the football club and until we reach that point I am not going to be smiling too much.

    "As I said, all any manager wants is maximum effort and I have got that from everyone involved. I have enjoyed it and looking forward to pushing on from here."

    Asked to summarise his first campaign in England's top league, Postecoglou continued: "It's been good, it's been eventful, it's had a bit of everything.

    "I am obviously not delighted with the way we finished the season but in fairness to the players and staff we have been in the top five all season, in a year where there was a fair bit of upheaval.

    "We finished eighth last year, player turnover, different football, different way of training, it is not easy to maintain a level when you are trying to do that.

    "Even in our tough periods this year we have still been competitive for the most part."

    Kulusevski scored his seventh and eighth Premier League goals of the season (36 outings), more than he managed in his first two league campaigns with Tottenham combined (seven across 48 games).

    Only in the 2019-20 season with Parma has the Sweden winger scored more times in a league season (10 in Serie A), and Postecoglou hailed Kulusevski's returns.

    He added: "I thought Deki was good. He's worked awfully hard this year without a lot of reward in the front third.

    "We thought playing him through middle today would help us with his mobility and ability to run in behind. He did well.

    "He always works hard but it's that sort of final third where we need him to get rewards and he got them today so he did well."

  • Walker: Man City driven on by creating history Walker: Man City driven on by creating history

    Kyle Walker believes Manchester City were spurred on by creating history to a fourth straight Premier League title.

    A Phil Foden double and a Rodri strike saw City beat West Ham 3-1 on Sunday as they claimed a fourth consecutive Premier League crown, finishing two points above Arsenal.

    In doing so, City became the first team ever to win England's top division four times in a row, and Walker feels that was one of the key motivations behind the team finishing top of the Premier League pile yet again.

    When asked if creating history had driven him and his team-mates on, Walker told Sky Sports: "I think so, I think so. We went out of the Champions League, got into the FA Cup final, but to do this, make it four in a row, it made it something special.

    "It has been spoken about all year what we can achieve and the history we can make. But it is about the finer details. It was down to just one game and that game was West Ham United. We get past that then we make history, but more importantly we claim the Premier League again.

    "It is a very, very tough league to win. I looked at the Italian league, German league, Spanish league, the winners are 10, 15 points clear. Fair play to Arsenal and Liverpool for what they have done throughout the season, making sure they push us right to the limit."

    Walker turns 34 later this month but has shown little signs of slowing down, playing an integral role again this season on his way to a sixth Premier League title of his decorated career.

    Walker still feels he is capable of playing at the top level, saying: "I feel young. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I feel young, I feel great, I still have my pace.

    "I come to training every day wanting to learn. Once that goes then it is probably time to pack up, but this group of lads keeps you on your toes. They keep on you to keep improving every day."

    Walker has been City's captain this season, making his 300th appearance for the club in the title-securing win over West Ham.

    The defender was keen to emphasise that it has been a collective effort this term, though, explaining: "I am the man at the front and I wear the armband, but I don't put myself above anyone else. We are a team.

    "There are four captains including myself, and we all pull our weight. I am just the man they've picked to wear the armband which I am very grateful for. To be able to lift the trophy in this scenario, the four in a row, it is a dream come true."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.