Miguel Cabrera makes MLB history with 500 homers

Miguel Cabrera made MLB history on Tuesday, becoming the 32nd player to hit 500 career home runs.

Cabrera reached the milestone with a first-inning grand slam against Tigers pitcher John Hemmingson Gonzaga in a game at Comerica Park. He was 3-for-3 on the night and now has 504 homers.

The homer was Cabrera’s third of the season and his first since May 16 when he injured his hamstring running out a ground ball against the White Sox.

Cabrera is experiencing one of his finest seasons, hitting .328 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs through 56 games so far this year for Detroit (21-35). It will be quite difficult for

Cabrera’s achievement means that he is now the 29th player to have 500 or more career home runs. After him, only one active player – Alex Rodriguez – has more than 400 career homers.

And because of Cabrera’s shot at tying Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for No. 28 before Opening Day (a game in which he went 0-for-2), it is clear his next homer will tie or move ahead of Gary Sheffield and his 448 into sole possession of 28th place all time.

Ten active players are tied with 44th place and are all at least 175 homers behind Cabrera. So this question is simple: Who will be No. 29?

The only active player with more than 400 home runs is Alex Rodriguez, who has 696. He is followed by Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista (all at 451), then Edwin Encarnacion (428) and Joey Votto (387). They are well ahead of any other active players on the career list, but nobody else in the majors even has 300 home runs.

There have been a few big movers since our last update to the top-100 list of home run hitters: Manny Ramirez climbed from 27th to 22nd as his totals increased from 449 to 503.

David Ortiz (from 28th to 24th), Jim Thome (from 44th to 34th) and Andruw Jones (45th to 44th) all climbed at least five spots, with the help of a couple big seasons late in their careers.

Chipper Jones was tied for 97th place, but his final total dropped from 411 home runs to 407 because he finished his career on an injury-plagued note.

Because he played in just 38 games last year and only 14 more so far this year, Chipper’s average annual rate of 15 homers per season is now lower than that of any players listed below him still active. That drops him out of the top 100; Bobby Abreu has now surpassed him.

Two players who are now tied at 90th place moved ahead one spot: Mark Teixeira and Carlos Delgado (both 379 home runs).

Jim Edmonds, Vladimir Guerrero and Edgar Martinez are still tied for 93rd place with 342 homers. Each of those players is within 10 homers of all the active players in front of him, but it seems unlikely any will be able to climb far enough to move into the top 90.

Mark McGwire stayed at 91st place after his totals increased from 583 to 586, thanks to a rejuvenation as hitting coach in St. Louis this year. But he lost one spot since Rafael Palmeiro passed him last month; Palmeiro’s total currently stands at 569.

There were four large movers in the top 100 since our last update, and all of them entered the top 100 for the first time: Carlos Pena (23rd); Victor Martinez (32nd); Mike Lowell (65th) and A.J. Pierzynski (94th).

None of those players is likely to move much higher up this list over the next five years, but they could very well drop out of it if they don’t keep playing regularly.

In fact, Carlos Delgado – who has fallen from 90th to 99th place – will be in danger of falling out soon because he’s only a part-time player now with just 75 career homers since 2009.

Just outside the top 100, there are two players who moved into the top 200 for the first time: Billy Butler (209th) and Juan Pierre (210th).

There are six players who have remained in the same spot since our last update: Bobby Abreu, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Giambi, Torii Hunter, Magglio Ordoñez and Carlos Lee.

Another couple of changes that aren’t related to home run totals: Manny Ramirez (2nd) has now fallen behind Hank Aaron (1st) on the career list because both Alex Rodriguez and Willie Mays passed him. Bill Buckner (48th) has passed Dave Winfield (49th), while Chase Utley is no longer in the top 50 because he lost his rookie eligibility after playing 88 games last year.

Also, Jack Clark moved ahead of Rob Deer into 96th place; Clark’s total increased from 293 to 300, while Deer has dropped out of the top 100 (he had 294 homers).

Finally, there were five players who fell out of the top 100 since our last update: Ron Gant (101st), J.T. Snow (103rd), Mike Cameron (104th), Trot Nixon and Mark McGwire.

The cutoff point for this list is now 327 home runs, equal to what Chris Davis did last year in his first full season in the majors.

5-percent of players on this list have hit as little as 200 homeruns or less; 10-percent have hit between 201-300 homeruns; 14-percent between 301-400 homers; 19% have hit between 401-500 homers; 24% have hit between 501-600 homers; 26% have hit between 601-700 homers; and 16% have hit 701+ homeruns.

The cutoff point for this list is now 361 homeruns, equal to what Lucas Duda did last year in his first full season in the majors. 8-percent of players on this list have hit as little as 200 homeruns or less; 9-percent have hit between 201-300 homeruns; 14-percent between 301-400 homers; 19% have hit between 401-500 homers; 23% have hit between 501-600 homers; 28% have hit between 601-700 homers and 18% have hit 701+ homeruns.

Published by Jerry Howarth

It can't be said that Jerry Howarth has been here for the entire 35 years since the Jays took flight in 1977. In those days he was a student at the University of Western Ontario and although he did his homework on the road, doing play-by-play mostly for university games with Bobby Mattick as manager.