Friday, July 15, 2005

MLB: Palmeiro hits number 3,000!

In the 5th inning of the Orioles-Mariners game tonight, Rafael Palmeiro laced a double down the left field line (funny, because teams have been putting the shift on him all year playing him to hit it to the right) to get hit number 3,000 on his career.

He is the 26th player in history to collect 3,000 hits, and only the fourth to have 3,000 hits and 500 homeruns.

The reception for him was very warm in Seattle's Safeco Field, with a big "Congratulations" message on the scoreboard, a long ovation from the fans, and a pause long enough to allow all the Orioles players and coaches to come to second base from the dugout and bullpen and share hugs and congratulatory messages with Raffy. Even Joel Pineiro, the Mariners' pitcher who surrendered the hit, offered his congratulations.

After being greeted by most of his teammates, Palmeiro picked up his son Preston, who was watching from the dugout, and gave him a long hug.

It was nice to see Palmeiro get the hit in front of a appreciative (and good-sized) crowd in Seattle. A few weeks ago it seemed as though Palmeiro might have to wait until a series in Minnesota to get the hit, which, if you remember, is where Cal Ripken Jr. got his 3,000th hit in 2000. Twins fans gave Ripken a standing ovation, but it seemed kind of anti-climactic because there weren't even 20,000 people at the game.

Palmeiro's hit scored Melvin Mora to give the Orioles a 4-1 lead, and Jay Gibbons knocked Palmeiro home in the next at bat with a double of his own to make it 5-1.

Raffy is now tied with Roberto Clemente for 25th on the all-time hits list.

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