In mid-August, Miguel Cabrera sat at home run number 499 – just one swing away from the historic 500.
The Tigers started a two-week home stand before they went on the road for almost a month.
There was a small window to witness history.
Naturally, the entire Metro Detroit area descended on Comerica Park.
I went to three games that week. The first of which was Friday, August 14th against the Cleveland Indians.
I had no idea what I was about to experience.
There was a line to take pictures with the giant tiger. It took a good 25 minutes to get into the stadium.
The atmosphere in the concourse was unreal.
It was the first time I’d gotten goosebumps at a game past the age of 12.
It was like you’d opened up a time capsule into 2013.
If you listened hard enough, you could still hear Phil Coke’s footsteps sprinting to the mound.
The entire game, the almost 33,000 Tigers faithful – let’s be honest, we were just all there to see Miggy, it’s hard to be faithful – made themselves heard.
Every strikeout, out, and hit drew a good response from the fans.
But the star of the show was Miguel Cabrera.
Miggy got booming cheers each time his name was mentioned – even when he was on deck.
MI – GGY
MI – GGY
MI – GGY
You’re meant to be a Hall of Famer if your name is that easily chantable.
But the second the pitcher set his feet, Comerica went silent for #24.
The crowd also displayed the side of Detroit I love the most.
When Cabrera was hit by a pitch by Blake Parker midway through the game, the entire stadium booed Parker until the inning was over.
I still remember Blake Parker – an ordinary MLB reliever – just because the moment was that amazing.
The passion went beyond baseball. My section booed the t-shirt truck because they didn’t shoot any into our rows.
This atmosphere probably fueled the Tigers to victory.
Detroit won the game on a go-ahead, two-run hit by Westland’s own Eric Haase.
We went insane for that, too.
I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.
Watching games has been disappointing. I personally haven’t been back since August. I just don’t feel like it. Most people seem to share the same sentiment. But I want to see that stadium full one last time before the season wraps up.
It’d be a stretch to say Detroit will be as excited to see Miggy’s 3,000th hit. The crowd likely won’t sell out for that. But if we want what we witnessed in August one last time this season, the answer lies a short drive down I-75.
Spencer Torkelson. The future of the Tigers. Call him up.
Al Avila, if you’re reading this, I’m not asking for much. I understand service time and rookie contract scales.
But this guy can rake. Just let him be here for one game.
You’ll sell jerseys. You’ll sell food. You’ll sell tickets – obviously.
We need that environment one last time in Detroit. It can give the fans the incredible experience Comerica can provide. Remind the players in this rebuild what this city can be for its players.
There’s no downside to this at all. Let’s make it happen.