Adrian Gonzalez has accomplished plenty throughout his career since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2000 MLB Draft by the then-Florida Marlins. Gonzalez anchored lineups with the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, though now is more of a complementary piece.
On Tuesday, he reached a milestone that was seemingly a long time coming. With a leadoff double in the sixth inning, Gonzalez tallied his 2,000th career hit. He became the seventh player to do so while wearing a Dodgers uniform.
Gonzalez was congratulated by Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer, cheered by teammates in the dugout and received a standing ovation from some of the crowd in attendance at PNC Park.
He reflected on the accomplishment on that’s been 14 seasons in the making, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com :
“It’s cool, one of those milestones that just means I have a lot to be grateful for and thankful for,” Gonzalez said. “That was really cool, special, seeing the guys in the dugout, the Dodgers fans in the stands. I know there’s a lot of people back home smiling as well, especially my wife and my kids and my parents and my brother. It’s a cool feeling.”
Gonzalez produced 213 hits, his highest in a single season, during a 2011 All-Star campaign with the Red Sox. His most with the Dodgers are 171 hits during 2013, which was Gonzalez’s first full season with the team.
Gonzalez entered the season with 1,954 career hits. Reaching — and surpassing — 2,000 hits was considered all but a formality. However, back trouble set in and Gonzalez was forced to the disabled list for the first time in his career, followed by a second stint that began in June.
He’s started in each of the Dodgers’ five games since coming off the 60-day DL last Friday, going 4-for-21 with two doubles, two RBI, two walks and three runs scored.
Although the 35-year-old was expected to primarily fill a role off the bench and make occasional starts, Cody Bellinger’s ankle sprain that’s sent him to the disabled list has created an everyday opportunity for Gonzalez.