Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Paul Molitor Gets Hit Number 3000 on September 16, 1996

On this day in Baseball History September 16, 1996: Three years to the day when Dave Winfield hit his 3000th hit, Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins becomes the first member of the 3000th hit club to do so by hitting a triple in the top of the fifth innings against pitcher Jose Rosado of Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City. In doing so, Molitor became the 21st member of the 3,000 hit club. The boxscore of the September 16, 1996 game between the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals is from The 3,000 Hit Club exhibit of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here is the 3,000 hit club at the time Molitor joined the club:

  1. Unknown Cap Anson
  2. 06/09/1914 Honus Wagner
  3. 09/27/1914 Nap Lajoie (first game of the doubleheader)
  4. 08/19/1921 Ty Cobb (second game of the doubleheader)
  5. 05/17/1925 Tris Speaker
  6. 06/03/1925 Eddie Collins
  7. 06/19/1942 Paul Waner
  8. 05/13/1958 Stan Musial
  9. 05/17/1970 Hank Aaron (second game of the doubleheader)
  10. 07/18/1970 Willie Mays
  11. 09/30/1972 Roberto Clemente
  12. 09/24/1974 Al Kaline
  13. 05/05/1978 Pete Rose
  14. 08/13/1979 Lou Brock
  15. 09/12/1979 Carl Yastrzemski
  16. 08/04/1985 Rod Carew
  17. 09/09/1992 Robin Yount
  18. 09/30/1992 George Brett
  19. 09/16/1993 Dave Winfield
  20. 06/30/1995 Eddie Murray

Molitor would finish his career with 3,319 hits and currently sits at number ten on the All-Time hit list. Molitor would retire after the 1998 season and would be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 with 85.2% of the vote (431/506 ballots).

Molitor would join long time teammate Robin Yount both on the 3,000 hits club and in the Hall of Fame. Yount joined the 3,000 hit club in 1992 and the Hall of Fame in 1999.

According to pages 128-129 of the book The 50 Most Dynamic Duos in Sports History: Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Hockey (2012) by Robert W. Cohen:
In their 15 years of teammates, Yount and Molitor combined for 4,736 hits and 2,605 runs scored. Those 4,736 hits represent the third-highest total even compiled by two teammates (Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke amassed 5,279 hits for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1987-1915 and Paul and Lloyd Waner tallied 4,994 safeties for that same franchise from 1927-1940). Between them Yount and Molitor appeared in a total of eight All-Star Games as members of the Brewers. They placed in the league's top five in runs scored a total of eight times and finished in the top five in hits a total of 10 times.
Will we ever see a pair of teammates come up virtually at the same time and put up the consistent numbers that Robin Yount and Paul Molitor did for 15 season? Its hard to say with the way free agency and player trades work today. I guess we will have to wait and see if that can happen within the next generation of young players coming up in the league.

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:

- Click here to access Paul Molitor's career statistics from Baseball Reference.com
- Click here to access Robin Yount's career statistics from Baseball Reference.com