In some strange joke by the baseball gods, the Rockies have seen their fair share of milestone hits. Sure, they’ve had their own, but they’ve also been the enabler for plenty of others. This weekend they were once able to play a small part in baseball history by giving up Miguel Cabrera’s 3,000th hit, but the kicker is that it’s not the first time they’ve been subject to the feat.
Only 33 players in the history of the game have eclipsed that mark, and the Rockies have now helped four of the last nine batters (12% of that club) finally get over the hump. It was only natural Cabrera got it against the Rockies, so, let’s look back at those players and how the Rockies have helped the 3,000 hit club.
Rickey Henderson (10/7/2001)
In the final game of 2001, the Rockies and San Diego Padres matched up to play a game that was rescheduled due to the 9/11 attack. The game was rather meaningless since both clubs were not going to the playoffs, but it was a sentimental one.
Padres fans had come to say goodbye to Tony Gwynn in his final game, while Rickey Henderson sat at just 2,999 hits. In order to let Gwynn have all the attention, Henderson offered to bench himself, but Gwynn responded “There are going to be 65,000 people in this ballpark tomorrow, coming to see you get your 3,000th hit, too, so I appreciate the thought, you know, but you gotta be out there tomorrow.”
Henderson wasted little time getting his 3,000th hit after he laced a double to right field in the bottom of the first off of Rockies pitcher John Thomson. The game then experienced a short delay as Henderson and everyone in attendance celebrated the achievement with a plaque for Henderson. He later scored in the inning but didn’t play the rest of the game as he was replaced by Mike Colangelo.
In total, Henderson played 53 games against the Rockies and tallied 47 of his 3,055 career hits against the team, and compiled a .264 AVG.
Craig Biggio (6/28/2007)
In June of Craig Biggio’s final season of his career, he was three hits shy of 3,000 when the Rockies rolled into Houston for a series. Fans flocked to the stadium for a chance to witness history, but the question was which game he would get the hit. Biggio decided that he might as well get it over with by tallying five hits in the first game of the series to reach the milestone and blow right past it.
Biggio got hit number 2,998 with a line drive into centerfield in the third inning off of Aaron Cook. Two innings later, Biggio would hit a groundball to third, which Garrett Atkins fielded but his throw sailed over the head of Todd Helton and allowed Biggio to advance to second. Initially, it looked like it would be an error, but the official scorer deemed the play was too close and rewarded Biggio with hit number 2,999.
The historic hit came in the seventh inning with Cook still out on the mound. With a runner on second, Biggio laced a ball into centerfield to drive in the run. Strangely enough, Biggio tried to extend it into a double and was cut down at second base but the feat of 3,000 hits had been accomplished. He would add two more singles in the ninth and the eleventh innings and come around to score on a Carlos Lee walk-off grand slam.
In 125 games against the Rockies, Biggio had a .352 AVG and amassed 172 of his career 3,060 hits.
Ichiro Suzuki (8/7/2016)
From the moment he arrived with the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki was a hit machine. He led the league in total hits seven times and set the single-season record for hits in 2004. So it was only natural that he would get to 3,000 eventually. However, no one would have ever imagined it would be as a member of the Miami Marlins in 2016. Jon Gray and others had managed to keep Ichiro hitless through the first six frames of the game. However, that was about to change in the seventh inning with one out.
With the lefthander Chris Rusin on the mound, Ichiro blasted a towering flyball to right field. A home run would have been a nice cap to 3,000 but the ball ricocheted off the out-of-town scoreboard. Using all the speed he could muster, Ichiro hustled into third with a triple and his 3,000th hit. He then scored on a Jeff Mathis single. This was the first 3,000th hit to occur at Coors Field and was the most recent occurrence for the Rockies.
In just 34 games against the Rockies, 18 of which he started, Ichiro batted .310 and compiled 27 of his career 3,089 hits.
In their 30-year history, the Rockies have done quite a bit to aid the hunt for 3,000 for many players. While they have never seen one of their own get to the top of the mountain, they have their own place in the history of baseball, albeit a trivial one. Time will only tell how many more will reach the milestone, and what Rockies pitcher will inevitably become a trivia answer. Regardless, let’s enjoy and celebrate history as it happens.
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Miguel Cabrera is a significant figure for Venezuelans that aspire to be great baseball players. On Saturday afternoon the Rockies had several natives of the country in the lineup to witness history concerning their hero. Thomas Harding caught up with Yonathan Daza to talk about what Miggy means to him and how excited it is to compete against him and witness the historic hit.
While we’ve seen some good offensive performances to start the season, the Rockies still have much to be desired at the plate. This article explores some of the stats and info about what could be when the entirety of the Rockies lineup starts bashing the ball.
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On the Farm
It was a tough night for the Isotopes as they scored one run in the first and ninth innings, despite tallying 10 hits as a team. Elehuris Montero, Jonathan Morales, and Carlos Pérez each had multiple hits, but the Isotopes were unable to string anything together to drive in runs. Frank Duncan labored through five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out four. Brandon Gold pitched the final three frames, allowing two runs on four hits.
Despite a two-hit night from Michael Toglia, including a two-run homer, the Yard Goats struck out 12 times while the pitching battled but was unable to contain the Patriots. Noah Davis got the start and tossed 4 2⁄3 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out eight and issuing just one walk. The only other notable hit was Willie MacIver’s solo home run in the fourth, his fifth of the year.
Joe Rock continues to have an impressive start to the season after working six innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out seven for his second win of the season. After his third start of the year, Rock now has a 1.59 ERA and looked near untouchable after giving up a solo home run in the first inning. The Indians took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Bladimir Restituyo and Drew Romo teamed up to drive in a pair of runs to give Spokane the 3-1 lead. Romo had driven in two runs on the night while Restituyo had a multi-hit night. Spokane relied on Boby Johnson and Luke Taggart to pitch the final three innings, with Taggart recording his second save of the season.
A comeback from an 8-0 the deficit came up just short for Fresno Grizzlies as they had the tying run aboard in the bottom of the ninth before hitting into a game-ending double play. Lake Elsinore tagged Fresno starter Brayan Castillo for six runs on seven hits in 3 2⁄3 innings. Castillio struggled with his command by issuing five walks and giving up two home runs. Fresno started to answer back in the fifth inning with an RBI double by Braxton Fulford, and a two-run triple by Benny Montgomery in the sixth inning. They’d add another pair of runs in the seventh inning off a wild pitch and Montgomery’s second home run of the season. Fresno pitching held their opponents scoreless after the fifth inning.
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