We had Mark Fidrych. Jason Thompson. Steve Kemp.
Jack Morris. Kirk Gibson. Lance Parrish.
You could even put Willie Hernandez into the mix.
I probably forgot a dozen or so players. I've been a Tigers fan since 1976 when Mark "The Bird" Fidrych took over in the Motor City. At the time, we lived in Clarkston, I was four, and everything was "The Bird." Really, the Bird was the Word.
The Tigers struggled but in 1983, things seemed to make sense. Sparky Anderson arrived in 1979 with a "five year plan." It was getting close. Baseball players had gone on strike in 1981. I didn't really understand what those 50–some days without baseball really were about. And the scheduled was goofed up and the playoffs bizarre — but the Tigers almost made it. If only the Milwaukee Brewers hadn't wrecked things!!!
Cecil Fielder, let's go back to him. He arrived in 1990, freshly imported from Japan after a few years slugging away in Toronto. I told my buddy Bru at a Spring Training game in Baseball City, Florida, that if the Tigers really give Cecil a chance, he could hit 40 home runs. He hit 51 that year and the magic had arrived. Fielder was larger than life — and a fan favorite. He had charisma. People liked him. (And his young son ... what's his name?)
I've never seen anyone like Miguel Cabrera in a Tigers uniform. In fact, I may never have seen anyone like Cabrera, period. He is AWESOME! Every day, I say, "I am so happy that Miguel Cabrera is a Tiger."
That's all I want to say today.