The Detroit Tigers honored Miguel Cabrera for his 500th home run and more in a ceremony last night against the Kansas City Royals.
I’m sure many Detroit Tigers fans read or witnessed the ceremony firsthand as the team honored Miguel Cabrera with a presentation of gifts. But the reason I’m writing this article today is because what we witnessed last night, I think, is something that we Detroit Tigers fans won’t be seeing again for a long time.
Miguel Cabrera will be missed
Going to the game last night with my younger brother was something that stood out more to me than the normal outing outside of the event itself. We discussed the trade that brought Cabrera to Detroit and how even then, since we have family in Miami, how they were quite upset that he was heading north.
For anyone who watched the Tigers closely in the 1990s, having a player like Miguel Cabrera on the roster without Juan Gonzalez’s blockages was a breath of fresh air. Complaining about the size of the stadium, playing in the cold and the last nail in the coffin, Gonzalez did not sign the extension offered to him by Mike Ilitch, who was an eight-year-old, $ 140 million which to l era, one of the most important ever.
I have to admit I was still in awe of Magglio Ordonez in 2008, who had just finished first in the AHL with a .363 batting average. Ordonez was the first Tiger to win a massive AL batting crowd since Norm Cash in 1961. So he boarded an established team which, under Jim Leyland’s leadership, satisfied an emerging team. Even then, Leyland noticed something about Miggy’s swing.
Much like Leyland, we saw the maturation of Miguel Cabrera as his career continued in Detroit. Figures of a Tigers uniform in his first eight seasons are those that are unprecedented. I watched three greats from the Detroit Tigers, who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, where Miguel will be there soon.
25 to 34 years old, I also watched Ty Cobb, Al Kaline and Alan Trammell. His .957 OPS was just behind Cobb, who rolled a .979, followed by Al Kaline at .875 and Trammell with .796. Cobb was number one with a batting average of 0.379 with Miguel at 0.319, followed by Kaline at 0.296 and Trammell at 0.289.
To Miguel hugging Willie Horton as he unwrapped his gift to give nature to the Detroit community by donating scholarships and providing supplies to Detroit public schools, that was just the tip of the cake to me. ‘iceberg.
The countless clutch moments and having other Venzaulians waving the flag during games, it was such a different sight to see than the previous years when attending Tigers games. Being a Hispanic man in the Detroit metro area, having a unique player in his life to not just embrace his heritage and being himself has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin. We all love Miguel Cabrera and I will continue to cherish these moments the Tigers have given him.