3,000 hit club
In Major League Baseball, the 3,000 hit club is an informal term applied to the group of players who have made 3,000 or more career base hits. Currently, there are 32 players who have accomplished this. Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is the latest player to achieve this milestone, having done so on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, WA. Including the 32 players in the 3,000 hit club, there is a total of 100 players with 2,500 hits (as of the middle of the 2017 season).
A player's 3,000th hit is not a surprise, as the player has been gradually approaching the mark for some time. However, teams will often interrupt the game in which the player reaches the mark in order to honor him on reaching a historically significant milestone, a mark that usually emphasizes an excellent baseball career. The first to accomplish the feat was Cap Anson in 1897, before what is known as the "modern era of baseball," making the 3,000 hit club one of the oldest markers of greatness in the sport. Getting 3,000 hits is generally considered — barring severe bad behavior off the field — one of the most reliable marks of a player who deserves admission to the Hall of Fame. Not only that, but all but one eligible player who has reached the 3,000 hit club after 1962 (the first year players got inducted on the first ballot) has gotten in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
The 3,000 hits mark indicates consistent performance over a long period of time. A position player who starts regularly might typically get 600 at-bats per year, of which a good hitter will bat safely in roughly 180-200 — between a .300 and a .333 batting average. Since most players only play for up to 8-10 years at the Major League level, and usually decline significantly in their numbers toward the end of that period, only a player who remains healthy over a long period and can continue to play like a younger man into his late 30s and even his early 40s can successfully amass 3,000 hits.
Rarely mentioned is the 4,000 hit club, which only has two members (Pete Rose and Ty Cobb). Cobb was both the fastest and the youngest player in history to achieve 3,000 hits. He reached the mark in his 2,135th game when he was 34 years, 243 days old. Cobb was also the youngest player to reach 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000 hits. Cobb achieved all these feats while playing in the American League. Tony Gwynn was the fastest player in National League history to hit the 3,000 mark; he reached the mark in his 2,284th game. Hank Aaron was the youngest NL player to accomplish 3,000 hits; he achieved the feat at 36 years, 100 days old.
See also: Career Hit Leaders.
* Hit total at end of 2018 season
Closest Active Players
Listed below are the three active players closest to reaching 3,000 hits as of the end of the 2018 season.
|Miguel Cabrera||2676||Florida, Detroit||2003-|
|Robinson Cano||2470||New York (AL), Seattle||2005-|
|Nick Markakis||2237||Baltimore, Atlanta||2003-|
Just Missed the Cut
4,000 hit club
The exclusive "4,000 hit club" is an informal term referring to members of an elite group of hitters: those players that have reached 4,000 hits on their careers. Currently, only two players have made the 4,000 hit club - Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. The next closest player to the club is Hank Aaron, with 3,771 hits.
|Player||Hits||Date of 4000th||Teams||Seasons|
|Pete Rose||4256||April 13, 1984||Cincinnati, Philadelphia (NL), Montreal||1963-1986|
|Ty Cobb||4191||July 18,1927||Detroit, Philadelphia (AL)||1905-1928|
4000 Hits in Professional Baseball
While ony two players have collected 4000 hits in the majors, 9 players have reached the total if all of their professional hits are counted; these include hits in both the American major and minor leagues, as well as hits in various top level professional leagues elsewhere and postseason major league hits.
|Name||Years||Major League Hits||Minor League Hits||Other Hits||Postseason Hits||Total Hits||Notes|
*As of the end of the 2018 season
- Other hits are in Nippon Pro Baseball
- Other hits are in professional games in Cuba
- Other hits include 84 in Puerto Rican League and 41 in Negro Leagues
- Minor league hits include 715 in Mexican League; other hits include 838 in Cuban League and 128 in Negro Leagues
- Minor league hits include 348 in Mexican League; other hits include 286 in Nippon Pro Baseball and 156 in the Korea Baseball Organization
- Major League Baseball still lists Cobb's hit total at 4,191, but almost all independent baseball historians have revised the total to 4,189.
- A number of disagreements exist over the correct hit total for Anson: see "Career hits total".
- Frank Jackson: "13 Ways of Looking at the 3,000-Hit Club", The Hardball Times, December 19, 2016. 
- Bob Nightengale: "As Ichiro closes in, Pete Rose chafes: 'They're trying to make me the Hit Queen'", USA Today Sports, June 14, 2016. 
- Scott Simkus: "Ichiro Suzuki, Minnie Minoso and 4,000 career 'professional' hits", SABR, August 22, 2013. 
- Andrew Simon: "Who is next in line for 3,000 hits?", mlb.com, May 5, 2018.