Chart shows how baseball’s 3 most famous clubs have evolved and why some people no longer care about them

On Sunday, third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers became the latest member of one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs – the 3,000-hit club.

In more than 120 years of MLB history, there have only been 31 players who have collected 3,000 hits. Baseball’s other prestigious groups, the 500-home run and 300-win clubs are even more exclusive, and yet none of the groups get as much fan fare as they did in the past.

Part of the problem is baseball’s expansion, which has seen the number of teams nearly double since the 1960s. With nearly twice as many players, the number of individuals in each club has also sharply increased during the same period. As a result, the number of members in the groups as a whole has nearly tripled, and the frequency of new members has risen over the past 30 years or so to the point that they no longer feel exclusive, even if they still are.

Here is how each group has grown since 1900.

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source
Mike Nudelman/Business Insider