Nelson Cruz Reaches His 2,000th Major League Game

With an appearance in last night’s game against the New York Mets, Nelson Cruz played in his 2000th career MLB game with the Washington Nationals.

After his major league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005, the 41-year-old has also played with the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rays in 18 seasons. The seven-time All-Star becomes the 249th player in 2,000 MLB games and fifth among active players behind Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Canó, and Yadier Molina.

Nelson Cruz 2,000th Game

So far in his career, Cruz is a 4-time Slugger and the 2011 ALCS MVP with Texas. His career slash line is .274/.344/.516with 459 home runs and 1,300 RBI. Cruz hit more home runs than any player in the 2010’s, hammering 346 long balls and 961 RBI, which is second behind  Pujols. Cruz has been a part of some teams that have gone far in the playoffs.

He was an asset for the Rangers to get them to consecutive World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. He helped Baltimore win their first division title in 17 years back in 2014. Then, the Orioles made it to the ALCS with the help of Nelson. Not to mention back-to-back AL Central Titles with the Twins and an ALCS berth with Tampa Bay. While he has yet to win a World Series, he’s still a contributor to his team, even in his early 40s.

While he is not on a contender like in seasons past, he is providing veteran leadership as they continue rebuilding. Cruz has been a staple on this team as the everyday designated hitter.  At the end of this season, Cruz has a $16 million option on his contract with the Nationals, which would bring him back for his 42-year-old season.

Upon his retirement, he will have a good chance of making the Hall of Fame, but for now, he’s just taking the game one day at a time.

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Players Mentioned:

Nelson Cruz, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Canó, Yadier Molina