Every time Miguel Cabrera stepped up to bat, the crowd got loud.
Miggy’s own kids announced him for his first at bat, one of the many small but sweet moments that happened throughout the future Hall of Famer’s final game at Comerica Park.
It felt like a family affair throughout the day, from his parents sending him a message on the Jumbotron to his three kids throwing out the first pitch to Miggy. And with every plate appearance that Miggy had on Sunday, the crowd held their breath, hoping for a big farewell.
Miggy struck out on that first at bat, but that didn’t stop fans from being in a hopeful and celebratory mood.
“I hope he hits a home run and he breaks the frickin tie,” a fan from Warren said at the game, donning a massive oversized Miggy chain — like something you would see Flavor Flav wear — and a Magglio Ordóñez jersey.
“Before Miggy, (Ordóñez) was the greatest Tiger that we had in a long time,” he said. “Verlander. Scherzer. They were great pitchers, but we never had them long enough to enjoy them. I love Miggy. We spent a lifetime watching these Tigers. Miggy is one of the greatest Tigers of all time.”
Miggy goes into retirement as just one of three players in the history of baseball to have 3,000 hits, 500 homers and a career batting average above .300. He joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. That’s it.
There’s so many achievements that you can look back on Miggy’s career and point to to say he’s one of the greatest. For me, I think back to 2012 during that Triple Crown race, which of course Miggy won.
The sold-out crowd at Miggy’s last game reminded me of those heydays for the Tigers, and Miggy goes into retirement as just one of three players in the history of baseball to have 3,000 hits, 500 homers and a career batting average above .300. He joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. That’s it.
In his final game as a Tiger at age 40, he goes 0-for-3. But at the top of the eighth inning, the crowd got a very special surprise when Miggy came out and played first base again. And he showed off that he’s still kind of got it.
From that moment on, it was all emotion. The game was paused for Miggy’s kids to come out and all of his teammates to give him a standing ovation and fond farewell right there on the field.
The Tigers would close out their season with a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians. Of course Miggy with his signature sense of humor had to bring up his stat line for the day.
After 16 seasons with the Tigers, Miggy is joining the front office. So that’s not going to be the last you hear from this legendary Tiger.
“This right here was awesome,” Miggy said at the end of Sunday’s sentimental game. “Thank you very much. See you later, I’m out.”