One of the great hitters of the modern era of baseball, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is a bonafide future Hall of Famer when his playing career ends. But until then, he's continuing to rack up the numbers, having reached the milestone of 3,000 career hits earlier this season.
Prior to this afternoon's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Tigers honored Cabrera for reaching the feat with a specially prepared tribute that included remarks from current and former members of the team.
“Miguel, thank you for creating this memory for all of us,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said during his speech. “I’m often asked what it’s like to manage Miggy? It’s the best to manage one of the best of all time.”
Hinch also made a point to thank the Blue Jays fans in attendance for their classy reception to Cabrera hitting his 500th career home run in Toronto last season.
Former Tigers catcher Alex Avila, who played with Cabrera for several seasons, thanked him for making it “exciting” to come to the ballpark:
“It made it extremely exciting to come to the ballpark every day just to see what he was going to do next,” Avila said. “You’re one of the greatest hitters ever. Period.”
One of the best moments during the ceremony came in the form of a special video from Cabrera's daughter Brisela:
“We love you, we’re proud of you and we will never forget this moment,” she said.
Victor Martinez then surprised Cabrera with the milestone ball
And a surprise guest hand-delivered the milestone baseball, former Tigers slugger Victor Martinez. And judging by Cabrera's reaction, it was a surprise to him as well – and a great one at that. Martinez was greeted with cheers from the thousands of fans and was quickly embraced by Cabrera:
This is so awesome. Miguel Cabrera’s reaction when he saw Victor Martinez is everything. ❤️
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) June 12, 2022
Also on hand was former manager Jim Leyland, who drew a warm reception from the crowd.