How Many MLB Players Have 3,000 Hits?

Major League Baseball‘s 3,000 hits club is easily one of the most elite clubs in all of sports. An accomplishment many believe is even more impressive than reaching 500 career home runs, reaching 3,000 hits certainly isn’t an easy thing to do. 200 hits in a single MLB season is considered a great year, right? Simple math obviously tells us that someone would need to do that for 15 years straight to get to 3,000 hits.

That’s a long stretch of playing at an elite level, which is why all but one eligible member of the club has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the lone exception being Rafael Palmeiro, who was seemingly denied entry based on his ties to steroids. Alex Rodriguez will likely face the same uphill battle. MLB’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, became ineligible after being banned from baseball in 1989.

There are currently 32 members in the 3,000 hits club. Rose, of course, tops the list while Roberto Clemente, who was sitting on exactly 3,000 when he was tragically killed in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve in 1972, serves as the other bookend.

Of the 32 members in the club, 17 were right-handed, 13 were left-handed, and two were switch hitters. Ty Cobb holds the highest career batting average among those in the club (.366) while Cal Ripken Jr. has the lowest (.276).

Cap Anson was the first MLB player to reach 3,000 hits

While his actual hit total has been disputed for decades, the first member of the 3,000 hits club was Cap Anson, who played 27 seasons of professional baseball from 1871 to 1897 and recorded 3,435 hits.

The dispute comes from the fact that Anson played his first five seasons in the National Association, which some don’t consider an official “major league.” He recorded 423 hits in those five seasons. Take those away and his total drops to 3,012. There’s also the matter of the 1887 season in which walks were counted as hits. Add the 60 walks he took that year and his total obviously rises.

But as Anson’s bio on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s website lists his hit total at 3,435, which includes the NA hits but eliminates the 1887 walks, we’re just going to stick with that number. Given that total, he reached 3,000 hits in 1894, his 19th season with the Chicago Cubs franchise, then known as the Chicago Colts.

There are 32 members in MLB’s 3,000 hits club

Craig Biggio celebrates after joining the MLB 3,000 hits club in June 2007
Craig Biggio joins the MLB 3,000 hits club in June 2007 | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Here’s a quick look at every member of the MLB 3,000 hits club.

  1. Pete Rose: 4,256
  2. Ty Cobb: 4,189
  3. Hank Aaron: 3,771
  4. Stan Musial: 3,630
  5. Tris Speaker: 3,514
  6. Derek Jeter: 3,465
  7. Cap Anson: 3,435
  8. Honus Wagner: 3,420
  9. Carl Yastrzemski: 3,419
  10. Paul Molitor: 3,319
  11. Eddie Collins: 3,315
  12. Albert Pujols: 3,294
  13. Willie Mays: 3,293
  14. Eddie Murray: 3,255
  15. Nap Lajoie: 3,243
  16. Cal Ripken Jr.: 3,184
  17. Adrian Beltre: 3,166
  18. George Brett: 3,154
  19. Paul Waner: 3,152
  20. Robin Yount: 3,142
  21. Tony Gwynn: 3,141
  22. Alex Rodriguez: 3,115
  23. Dave Winfield: 3,110
  24. Ichiro Suzuki: 3,089
  25. Craig Biggio: 3,060
  26. Rickey Henderson: 3,055
  27. Rod Carew: 3,053
  28. Lou Brock: 3,023
  29. Rafael Palmeiro: 3,020
  30. Wade Boggs: 3,010
  31. Al Kaline: 3,007
  32. Roberto Clemente: 3,000

Albert Pujols is the most recent member of the club

The most recent member of the club is future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, who is currently playing his 21st MLB season. After recording 2,073 hits with the St. Louis Cardinals, the two-time World Series champion joined the Los Angeles Angels in 2012 and joined the 3,000 hits club on May 4, 2018, against the Seattle Mariners. Pujols is currently a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If Miguel Cabrera chooses to play a 20th season, he’ll be the next to join the club as he’s less than 50 hits away.

Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

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