CGC Cards Pays Tribute to Miguel Cabrera's Legendary MLB Career

Posted on 10/5/2023

Following Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera's retirement on October 1, we're revisiting his iconic MLB career.

It's not often that a player is so revered that his last season before retirement also doubles as a farewell tour. However, as Miguel Cabrera's legendary 21-season career came to an end on October 1, it was the culmination of a season-long goodbye to one of the all-time MLB greats. CGC Cards™ is honoring Cabrera while taking a look at two CGC-certified cards that are bookends to his astounding career.

LEFT: 2000 Topps Traded #T40 Miguel Cabrera graded CGC Gem Mint 10
RIGHT: 2021 Topps Finest Flashbacks Homeplate Autographs #94H-MC Miguel Cabrera - Gold Refractor graded CGC Gem Mint 10, with an autograph graded CGC 10
Click images to enlarge.

The first featured card is a rookie card from the earliest years of Cabrera's pro baseball career in America. The 2000 Topps Traded #T40 Miguel Cabrera graded CGC Gem Mint 10 shows the All-Star at bat when he was first starting out with the Florida Marlins. After playing in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League as a teenager, the Florida Marlins signed Cabrera as an amateur free agent at only 16 years old in 1999. The young prospect continued to improve his game as he progressed through the minor leagues before making his MLB debut on June 20, 2003, at 20 years old.

In his first MLB season, the young Venezuelan was part of the Marlins' second World Series win in franchise history. The following four seasons, he became a starter and regular contributor in Florida, earning All-Star selections in each season. Yet, before the 2008 season began, the Marlins traded the young star to the Detroit Tigers, where he'd ply his trade for the next 16 seasons.

While Cabrera and his Tigers teammates would never win a World Series, the infielder did write his name in the history books. In 2012, the slugger produced one of the greatest offensive seasons of all time when he won the Triple Crown. Cabrera led the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), becoming the first player since 1967 to earn the coveted Triple Crown award. He also took home the AL MVP award that year and followed it up in 2013 with a second consecutive AL MVP award. Cabrera had not only become one of the greatest hitters of his generation, but one of the greatest offensive players in MLB history.

Cabrera would go on to win another AL batting title in 2015 and would continue to produce offensively for years to come in Detroit. Injuries derailed his output during the latter years of his career, as he became a full-time designated hitter in 2019. However, Cabrera continued to break records and achieve epic milestones that few have accomplished in the history of the league.

In 2021, he hit his 500th home run, becoming only the 28th player to do so. The 2021 Topps Finest Flashbacks Homeplate Autographs #94H-MC Miguel Cabrera - Gold Refractor graded CGC Gem Mint 10, with an autograph graded CGC 10, stems from this historic season late in his career. In 2022, the Tigers star also recorded his 3,000th hit, which made him only the 33rd player to join the coveted club. At the end of that season, Cabrera announced that when his contract was up after the 2023 season, he would likely hang up his cleats for good.

Throughout this season, Cabrera has been honored in ballparks across the country. Standing ovations were given and unique retirement gifts were received, as everyone paid tribute to his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Cabrera retired as a World Series champion, AL Triple Crown winner, two-time AL MVP, four-time AL batting champion and 12-time All-Star. His storied playing career has come to an end, but Cabrera's legendary feats will live on in baseball lore for years to come.

Related Link:

  • CGC Cards Registry: Miguel Cabrera Player Sets

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