Click here to see the career leaders in TBs at Baseball Reference.
Pujols was the 20th player to reach 5,000 TBs. 29 guys have 3,000+ hits and Ichiro Suzuki is only 10 away. It will probably get alot of media coverage when he gets there.
Click here to see the career leaders in Hits at Baseball Reference.
27 guys have 500+ HRs and usually there is some fanfare when that plateau is reached.
Click here to see the career leaders in HRs at Baseball Reference.
So it might be harder to reach 5,000 TBs yet it does not seem like a big deal when a guy gets there. Maybe it is because many of the guys who reached it have another milestone, like 3,000 hits or 500 HRs.
9 members of the 5,000 TB club have under 500 HRs and 7 members have under 3,000 hits. But only one player, Lou Gehrig, had both under 500 HRs and 3,000 hits while still getting at least 5,000 TBs.
Adrian Beltre currently has 2,852 hits, 425 HRs and 4,772 TBs. In his career, he has averaged 1.67 TBs per hit, so with 136 or 137 hits he could get to 5,000 TBs. (at age 37 he is averaging 1.6 TBs per hit this season). If he reaches 5,000 TBs sometime next year, he will have under 500 HRs for sure since if his next 57 hits were all HRs, he would be there but have only 482 HRs. But Beltre would probably go over 3,000 hits soon after reaching 5,000 TBs, so Gehrig will probably stay in his unique position.
There is a table at the end of the post with all the guys who had 5,000+ TBs. If they were under 500 HRs or 3,000 hits, those numbers are in red.
15 of the 20 guys with 5,000+ TBs are in the Hall of Fame. The 5 who are not are either still active or have some type of scandal associated with them: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Pete Rose, Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols.
Only 13 of the members of the 3,000 hit club have 5,000+ TBs. Only 11 members of the 500 HR club reached 5,000 TBs. So it might be that 5,000 TBs is harder to get than those other two milestones and getting either one of them does not guarantee you the TB level.