Mitch Moreland joined exclusive company Monday night, collecting his 1,000th career hit on a single to left field in the bottom of the second.
The 12-year veteran joined 64 other active MLB players who have reached the 1,000-hit milestone. Moreland, as honest as ever, admitted that it took him longer than he would have liked.
“It’s cool to have, but I feel like it took a while to get there," Moreland said after the A's win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. "I haven’t really read a whole lot into it. Just trying to go out there and have fun and enjoy it as much as I can and see how much longer I can do it. It’s cool to have for sure.”
Moreland's teammates and manager Bob Melvin were more than thrilled for the 35-year old designated hitter.
“That’s a lot of hits," Melvin said after the game. "He’s been with several clubs, he’s a clubhouse favorite wherever he goes. He’s a guy who has gotten big hits his whole career, he’s a little champion. He’s fit in so well here, so it was easy to give him some love for that.”
“He’s awesome to have around," catcher Sean Murphy said. "As far as baseball stuff, approaches, all of that, he’s been around a long time and he’s seen a lot of things. He’s a good source of knowledge for everybody.”
Besides Moreland's 1,000th hit and Melvin becoming Oakland's all-time leader in managerial wins, the A's haven't had too many milestones to celebrate for a while.
“It’s amazing. You don’t really get to be a part of a milestone like that too often," A's starter Sean Manaea said postgame. "I think the last, besides [Bob Melvin] was [Edwin Jackson] when he got his 100th win. They’re both so special, to do something for so long at this level is an unbelievable accomplishment and it takes a lot of hard work. I’m glad I got to be a little bit a part of this.”
Moreland relished in the accomplishment but ultimately views 1,000 hits as just a drop in the bucket compared to what some throughout the game of baseball have been able to accomplish.
“I definitely remember number one," Moreland said. "I try not to take anything for granted, but at the same time you look and there’s guys getting 3,000 hits, 4,000 hits in this game which is unbelievable to me. Looking at it just going through my career, to know that guys are doing that, that’s pretty special.
"You look around the [A’s locker room], obviously, Jed [Lowrie] has a lot of hits, Elvis [Andrus] is approaching 2,000 hits, it’s tough to do especially in today’s game, it seems like it’s tough to get a hit. I definitely cherish them and it’s definitely something I'll always remember.”
Collecting as many hits as Moreland has throughout his career, is an impressive accomplishment -- no matter how humble he insists on being.