Tigers fans came out for Miguel Cabrera’s 3,000th hit. Instead they booed
Detroit –Tens of thousands of fans rose to their feet Thursday, cheering loudly and pointing their camera phones at Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera every time he came to the plate in anticipation of his 3,000th career hit.
But that magical base hit to make history didn’t materialize against the New York Yankees, and his date with fate was delayed midway through the game. 3-0 win for the Tigers by shutout.
Cabrera was hitless through three at-bats when he came home in the eighth inning with the Tigers leading 1-0 and runners in second and third. Fans entered into a dazed and even verbalized reflection: That could be it.
But Yankees manager Aaron Boone decided to intentionally step on Cabrera and fill the bases with runners. That allowed Boone to leave left-handed pitcher Lucas Luetge in play to pitch to the Tigers’ left-handed outfield Austin Meadows — a game that managers say normally gives the pitcher the advantage.
And fans let the Yankees skipper have it as home fans booed and shouted loudly, “The Yankees suck.” The loud boos continued into the next bat, when Meadows singled to score two runners and secure the win.
The intentional walk ruined what many Cabrera fans hoped would be the day the 39-year-old slugger was delivered.
Dan Little brought his wife and three-year-old son to the game – his toddler’s first baseball game.
Cabrera is a career .300 hitter who is one of the best to ever hit a baseball, especially on the right side of home plate, Little said.
The slugger is said to be one of “those guys to have 500 homers, 3,000 hits and over .300 at bat for a career.
Six players in Major League Baseball history have hit 500 home runs and 3,000 career hits. They are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.
“It doesn’t get much more historic than that,” said Little, 43, of Flushing. “He’s hitting over .300 for the year, so he’s due.”
For Lee Covert, Miguel Cabrera is a one-of-a-kind player and the high likelihood of him getting his 3,000th hit on a sunny Thursday couldn’t be ignored.
“That’s great,” Covert, 62, of Livonia said as he made his way to his seat before Cabrera’s first at bat. “I’ve followed his career mostly since he became a Tiger and before that. To see him go down in history would be awesome.
Covert, who wore a Cabrera jersey, said he was a huge Al Kaline fan and followed Kaline’s walk to 3,000 hits when he played the game. Kaline got her 3,000 hit on July 17, 1974.
“To be able to see (Cabrera’s shot) in person would be special,” he added.
William Trent, 63, of Detroit, was also there “to see some history”.
“He’s been here for years and years and he’s given a lot of time to the Tigers and he’s the only one left,” Trent said with a laugh of Cabrera, who was part of the team that lost the World Cup. Series 2012 against San Francisco. Giants.
Ryan Doty, 30, of Detroit, also wore a Cabrera jersey and got up for his first at bat, when the slugger hit a fly ball for one out.
“He always jumps off his bat, so when people see him and he’s in the air, you get excited.”
said Doty. “We know he thinks his fans deserve it.”
“He’s probably in the conversation of the best right-handed hitter of all time,” Doty said.
Madison Freitas, 19, of Southgate had followed Cabrera since she was a little girl and with the added bonus that her father was a rabid Tigers fan.
So she came to the ballpark and grabbed some outside seats with her two younger sisters to try and witness history.
“Cabrera has always been one of my favorite players and I’ve watched him play since I was little,” Freitas said. “…So right now is his big moment. And I want to witness it.