Cal Ripken Jr. became the 24th player to reach 3,000 hits in a 6-4 Orioles win at the Metrodome on April 15, 2000. Ripken entered the game sitting at 2,997, having collected one hit the night before in a wild Twins come-from-behind win.
In that game, the Twins trailed 4-9 before scoring six runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 10-9 come-from-behind win. Eddie Guardado secured the save, retiring Ripken for the final out of the game.
On this night, Ripken had already gone 2-for-3 when he came up in the seventh with the game tied, two out, and Albert Belle on third. The Twins brought in Hector Carrasco to face the Iron Man. Catcher Matt LeCroy gave up a passed ball on Carrasco’s first pitch, allowing Belle to score the go-ahead run. Ripken stroked Carrasco’s second pitch for a line-drive single to center, becoming just the seventh player in major league history to collect both 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.
Noteworthy in retrospect is the fact that Midre Cummings pinch-hit for the number nine batter Torii Hunter in the game.
Former Twin Mike Trombley earned the save for Baltimore.
After his milestone hit, Ripken was greeted at first by base coach Eddie Murray, who had himself collected his 3,000th hit off Mike Trombley at the Metrodome in 1995. The following season, Murray became just the third person in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. (Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez have since joined the club.)
One of Ripken’s 3,184 career hits came off 1987 Brainerd graduate Todd Revenig, pitching for Oakland on August 31, 1992. (Revenig promptly induced a double play and retired with a 0.00 major league ERA.)
Kent Hrbek finished runner-up to Ripken in 1982 AL Rookie of the Year balloting.
Ripken played in his 2,000th consecutive game at the Metrodome on August 1, 1994.
He attended Kirby Puckett‘s memorial service at the Metrodome on March 12, 2006.
1969 St. Paul Central graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Dave Winfield collected his 3,000th hit at the Metrodome in 1993. To date, 32 players have collected 3,000 hits in the history of major league baseball. Three of those reached the milestone at the Metrodome in a period of just seven years.
It is also noteworthy that of the 32 members of the 3,000-Hit Club, two—Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor—were born in St. Paul just five years apart.