Every few years, a baseball legend comes along and goes the extra mile. One of the most difficult milestones in MLB is the 3,000 hit club. The 33 players currently in the club are among the few who are sure to be talked about and compared against for generations to come.
Two things are generally true about MLB players who make it into the 3,000 hit club. For one, they’re typically skilled in other stats as well. They’re also almost always in line to become a Hall of Famer. So far, only a total of 33 players have reached this exclusive career milestone. Here is every player to make it to the 3,000 hit club, in chronological order:
While it wasn’t quite a club yet, Cap Anson was the first to reach 3,000 hits. This was over 100 years ago, in 1897, and he completed his career with a total of 3,011 hits.
Honus Wagner joined Cap Anson in 1914 in the 3,000 hit club. He reportedly told newspapers that he was glad it was over so he could go back to focusing on baseball.
“The Frenchman,” Nap Lajoie, hit a double on Sept. 27, 1914, which earned him admission to the club. This is also the same value that Lajoie earned in his first contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Ty Cobb recorded his 3,000th hit at age 34, making him the youngest player to join the club. Cobb also went on to become the first member of the 4,000 hit club.
Speaker was already setting records in his career, including a Triple Crown in his first year. He joined the exclusive 3,000 hit club in 1925 with a single hit at Dunn Field.
Eddie Collins became a member of the 3,000 hit club in 1925 while playing for the White Sox. It would be another 17 years before the club would welcome another member.
Paul Waner broke the 17-year hiatus when he hit his 3,000th hit in 1942. His 3,000th hit may have actually occurred two days prior, but Waner turned it down due to a technical error.
Stan Musial ended a 14-year break between club members when he hit his 3,000th hit in 1958. Musial was the only player to join the club with a pinch-hit.
Hank Aaron was best known for his home runs and slugging percentages, but he also joined the 3,000 hit club in 1970. Stan Musial met Aaron on the field and presented him with his official ball.
Mays joined the 3,000 hit club in 1970, the same year as Hank Aaron. He was 39 years old at the time and the only Giants player to join the club.
Clemente is the only player to conclude his professional baseball career with his 3,000th hit. He hit a double in 1972 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers joined the club in 1974. The feat was nostalgic for Kaline as his 3,000th hit occurred in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
Pete Rose joined the 3,000 hit club in 1978 and then the 4,000 hit club in 1984. He went on to finish his baseball career with a total of 4,256 hits.
In 1979, Lou Brock smashed a hit into Dennis Lamp’s hand. The purple bruising quickly diminished, but Brock’s entrance to the 3,000 hit club was permanent.
Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox had been stuck at 2,999 hits for days. He still wasn’t sure if Sept. 12, 1979, would be the night or not. But as he headed up to bat last, he reached the milestone and was met on the field by his family, friends, and teammates.
Rod Carew had to share his big day with Tom Seaver in 1985. As Carew joined the 3,000 hit club, Seaver pitched his 300th victory on the same day. Carew still got his standing ovation from the Los Angeles Angels.
Robin Yount recorded his 3,000th hit in 1992 when he also became the third-youngest player to do so. He went on to record a total of 3,142 hits in his career.
George Brett joined the 3,000 hit club with a single in 1992, the second of the year. The date also marked the 20th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s 3,000 hits and the last of his career.
Dave Winfield made it to the 3,000 hit club just a year later in 1993. He was able to achieve this impressive feat in front of his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.
In 1995, Eddie Murray hit his 3,000th ball while playing for the Cleveland Indians. This made Murray the third Indians player to join the club and the second switch-hitter.
Paul Molitor hit a triple in 1996, making him the first player to do so as he entered the 3,000 hit club with a bang. Both Yount and Brett were there to welcome him into the club.
Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres hit the 3,000th ball of his career in 1999. The Padres were playing the Montreal Expos, making him the first player to join the club from outside of the U.S.
Wade Boggs had the perfect backdrop for his 3,000th hit at Tropicana Field in 1999. The field had sold out in anticipation of him joining the club, where he put on a show, becoming the first player to join the club with a home run.
Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr. had already broken a series of records, including the most consecutive games played in a career. He added membership to the 3,000 hit club to his list of accomplishments in 2000 with a single hit.
Rickey Henderson recorded his 3,000th hit in 2001 with a double while playing for the Padres. Henderson achieved the feat in the last game of the season.
Rafael Palmeiro not only joined the 3,000 hit club in 2005 but was also already a member of the 500 home run club at the time. He is one of only seven players in history to be a member of both.
Craig Biggio joined the 3,000 hit club in style in 2007. He had a total of five hits in the game, making him the first to join the club with a five-hit game.
Derek Jeter joined Biggio in the 3,000 hit club in 2011 with a home run. He also became the second behind Biggio to join the club in a five-hit game while also becoming the fourth-youngest in history.
In 2015, Rodriguez achieved his 3,000th hit at Yankee Stadium. The stadium was crowded in anticipation of celebrating this career milestone.
Ichiro Suzuki was welcomed into the club in 2015, making him the first player from Japan. Suzuki struggled to get the last 100 hits of his career but then went on to record another 89 before retiring.
Adrian Beltre made history as the first Dominican player to join the 3,000 hit club in 2017. He hit a double off of Baltimore Orioles player Wade Miley in the fourth inning.
Albert Pujols joined the exclusive club in 2018 while playing for the Los Angeles Angels. He also went on to become the fourth player in history to join the club and record 600 home runs.
Miguel Cabrera is the latest player to join the 3,000 hit club. On April 23, 2022, Miguel Cabrera slammed a single into the right field at the Detroit Comerica Park. He has also reached 500 homers and is likely to go on to beat many more records in his career.
Who Will Be the Next 3,000 Hit Club Member?
The chances of players hitting this important career milestone now are more likely than in previous decades. The league now consists of 30 teams, and each plays 162 games, giving players more time on the field than in previous generations.
While Cabrera is the fifth player to join since 2015, it may be a while until another joins the club. No current MLB players are close to the 3,000 mark. There’s a small number of players who have reached 2,000, and many of them are due to retire in the next couple of seasons. This means the world may just have to continue celebrating Cabrera’s admission into one of baseball’s premier clubs.
Just as the 3,000 hit club is an exclusive feat, even fewer have gone on to join the 4,000 hit club. This club consists of Ty Cobb and Pete Rose.
What better way is there to show support for the 3,000 hit club members than with officially licensed sports apparel from Fanatics? Sports collectibles and memorabilia are also great ways for fans to celebrate the top achievements in sports across all leagues.