Miguel Cabrera’s march toward one of Major League Baseball’s most exclusive statistical clubs will be chronicled—and authenticated—through a deal between the Detroit Tigers and their star player.
The two have forged a partnership in conjunction with MLB Authentication to offer autographed, game-used memorabilia from Cabrera as he approaches both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.
Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro and Eddie Murray are the only players in MLB history to reach both milestones. As of Tuesday afternoon, Cabrera has 491 home runs and 2,890 hits.
“We have always chronicled Cabrera’s career from an authentication standpoint, but a particular emphasis was placed with the start of the 2021 season because both 500 home run and 3,000 hit milestones appear within reach during this season,” Jordan Field, the Tigers’ Director of Authentics told SC Daily.
The Tigers will work with MLB to authenticate game-used bats, game-worn jerseys, helmets, caps and cleats as well as game-used baseballs. While some items representing important milestones will be donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame or the team’s archive and Cabrera will keep others, the Tigers say “the vast majority of items will be made available to fans and collectors through online auction, social media giveaways and future direct sales.”
The partnership is believed to be the second of its kind in Major League Baseball – with the other coming between Pete Alonso and the Mets.
Several items are already being offered on the Tigers’ auction page, many carrying extensive inscriptions handwritten by the 38-year-old Cabrera. Two of the first items are his game-worn jersey and an autographed, game-used bat from Opening Day when he famously belted a home run while snowflakes fell across the field.
“If, in our estimation, a detailed inscription makes the item more unique or special, we like to add those types of inscriptions. In most cases, items related to baseball history – for example a game-used jersey, bat or baseball that was involved in Cabrera surpassing a Hall of Famer in the record books – will receive a special inscription,” Field stated.
Barring injury, Cabrera will likely reach 500 homers sometime in the next several weeks. His chase to 3,000 hits could be over by the end of this season or early in 2022. He had 139 hits in the last full season of 2019 and currently has 24 this year.
At least some portion of all proceeds from the sales will benefit the Detroit Tigers Foundation, which will be invested in youth baseball and softball programs in and around Detroit.