With Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera joining the exclusive 500 home run club, the star is working with his ballclub to ensure that memorabilia connected with the milestone game will be spread across three parties, with some items available to fans.
The 38-year-old Cabrera became the 28th MLB player to reach 500 homers Sunday with a sixth-inning shot to right-center in the Tigers’ game at Toronto.
With the quest for 500 finally achieved, Cabrera will decide what items he wants to keep for himself; the National Baseball Hall of Fame will request pieces for its museum; and the last of the objects will be auctioned through the team’s memorabilia arm, Tigers Authentics.
Possible selections for fans include game-used and team-issued bats, jerseys, baseballs, caps, helmets and cleats. Cabrera elected to partner with the Tigers instead of a third-party distributor for the auction. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tigers’ foundation, which will invest the money into youth baseball and softball programs in the local community.
“We wanted to keep this authentic to Miguel and keep it at a place where he found happiness with it,” said Jason Spector, ISE Baseball’s vice president of marketing, who negotiated the deal for Cabrera. “And he’s extremely happy with the Tigers’ organization.”
Prices will be determined based on the auction market, Spector said, noting that some items have already been made available for fans to purchase from this year’s opening day, when Cabrera hit a home run. Those include his game-worn jersey and the autographed game-used bat from the game. After the bat was authenticated and auctioned off, it sold for more than $10,000.
The partnership between Cabrera and the Tigers is believed to be the second of its kind, the other coming between Pete Alonso and the New York Mets.
“Miguel has great respect for baseball history,” Jordan Field, director of player relations and Tigers Authentics, said in a statement. “This partnership helps protect the history of his career, not only for him, for also for our team archives, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, fans and collectors. By working exclusively with Tigers Authentics on his game-used and autographed game-used items, it helps guarantee that items will be collected, authenticated and safeguarded in the proper way.”