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Motor City Sports Royalty

Detroit Sports Legends throw out ceremonial first pitch prior to Tigers Home Opener - Image Credit: Detroit Tigers/MLB

NEW YORK– Detroit through and through. Prior to his final home opener on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park, Miguel Cabrera, a Detroit legend, and Venezuelan icon, was honored and joined by Motor City sports royalty. 

Calvin Johnson (NFL Hall of Famer of the Detroit Lions), Nicklas Lidstrom (a four-time NHL Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings), and Ben Wallace (2004 NBA Champion with the Detroit Pistons), welcomed Miggy on the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

Cabrera alongside Motor City sports royalty, received a standing ovation for his industrious career on-and-off the playing diamond. The moment was picture perfect, and worth framing for any Detroit sports fan. 

Leading up to his final Opening Day in Detroit, Cabrera said: 

“I appreciate this moment because not too many guys in baseball get the chance to say goodbye. Get the chance to say ‘it’s my last year, I’m gonna enjoy the last ride.’”

“I always say, ‘Thank god because he always gave me the opportunity to enjoy this moment in baseball.’ So I’m happy with this moment, I’m not sad. I’m happy.”

Miguel Cabrera and Shohei Ohtani enjoying the 2022 All-Star Game festivities in Los Angeles, California – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

The 39-year-old, who turns 40 on April 18th, will go down as one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all-time. And the numbers back it up…

Miguel Cabrera Career Statistics

507 HR – 27th most all-time

3,091 Hits – 24th most all-time

1,849 RBI – 14th most all-time

1,132 Extra Base Hits – 16th most all-time

2012 American League Triple Crown – one of 10 players to achieve the feat in MLB history

In other words, there’s only a select few to rise to the level of the 12-time All Star Cabrera. He’s achieved five Latino MVP awards, seven silver sluggers, four batting titles along with a World Series Championship with the Florida Marlins in 2003. 

Yes, the Florida Marlins – a team that no longer exists. And to go further on how Carbera’s Hall of Fame career has unraveled, he made his debut against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on June 20, 2003, hitting a walk-off HR in his fifth ever-at-bat. 

Yes, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, another franchise that no longer exists… 

Two decades later, Cabrera has ingrained himself as one of the all-time greats, not just in the Motor City, but across the globe and especially in his home country of Venezuela. A no doubt Cooperstown Hall of Famer. 

Latino MVP Interview with Miguel Cabrera – five-time award recipient

During the 2022 All Star game festivities in Los Angeles, California, Cabrera was approached by Latino Sports founder Julio Pabón for a brief discussion about the importance of the Latino MVP Award. Provided below is our interview with Cabrera, translated from Spanish to English. 

LS: You and Albert Pujols have won the Latino MVP Award several times. You’ve seen the way the award has grown year on year. How would it feel if MLB takes on the award?

MC: Very proud. And kudos to MLB for taking the time to recognize this award that means a lot to us Latin Americans. And urge them for supporting us through & to continue supporting the young Latino talent this coming up that is also very good. 

LS: You know that winning a LatinoMVP is like winning a Latino baseball Grammy?

MC: Wow imagine that, the Latin Latino Grammy of baseball, LatinoMVP MOVING IT FORWARD.

On behalf of all of us at Latino Sports, we’d like to congratulate Miguel on a transcendent career and thank him for being a role model on and off the playing diamond. We wish Miguel the best in his future endeavors. 

The LatinoMVP award given to Cabrera for his 2009 season. The award is a water color painting done by nationally known artist, James Fiorentino – Image Credit: Latino Sports

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso and co-host Robert Rizzo

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