"It's huge because there are only 260 players who have done it in more than 100 years of baseball," Ordonez said after Detroit beat Minnesota 3-0. "I'm happy for me, my family, my country and my team.
"This means a lot to me after everything I went through last year," he said.
Ordonez's wife had health problems last year and he had a slump that sparked talk of the Tigers releasing him to prevent him from getting enough plate appearances to earn an $18 million bonus for this season. He also was booed repeatedly by Venezuelan fans at the World Baseball Classic because he backed a constitutional amendment to end term limits for President Hugo Chavez.
Ordonez bounced back and closed last season hitting better than .300 for the third straight year with Detroit and ninth time in 11 seasons with the Tigers and Chicago White Sox.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said 2,000 hits was a nice milestone that made him wonder how anyone doubled that total.
"It's a tremendous accomplishment, obviously, you would never want to downplay something like that," Leyland said. "But it makes you wonder about how did a guy get over 4,000. The guy has 2,000 hits -- that's unbelievable to me -- and then you say, `There's a guy that has over 4,000.' That's mind-boggling."
Pete Rose finished his career with 4,256 hits after breaking Ty Cobb's record of 4,189 that he set with the Tigers.