A three-run homer by Victor Martínez and solo shots from
J.D. Martínez and Miguel Cabrera helped Detroit
put away the Rockies.
It all seemed fitting on a night when the Tiger’s franchise was
inviting fans to recognize and honor the contributions of Latino
players to the game of baseball on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
To celebrate the occasion Tiger players took the field wearing a
special alternate uniform with the word “Tigres,” the
Spanish translation for “Tigers” on their chest.
“It’s very rare that Major League Baseball allows a team to do
something like that,” said Kate Ready, a club spokeswoman
said. “It’s only the second time since 1960 that the club has
worn anything other than the Olde English D on their home
For this year’s celebration, the Tigers chose to highlight
Rodríguez’s contributions to the franchise. Rodríguez joined the
Tigers in 2004 as a free agent and is credited for playing a
major role in helping to turnaround a Detroit franchise that in
2003 lost an American League-record 119 games and leading them
to the World Series in 2006.
During the pregame ceremony pitcher Justin Verlander
presented Rodríguez with a framed Tigers jersey bearing his name
and old No. 7, while Manuel Cabrera unveiled a portrait of him
as a Tiger, bat in hands.
Longtime Tigers fan Leo Martínez of Toledo, said
Rodríguez, who was known for his hustle, skills as a catcher and
role as a team leader made him a good choice for this year’s
“Pudge, he was the kind of player who was very consistent, he
could steal bases; if he was better with the bat he’d probably
still be with the Tigers,” said Leo Martínez.
Martínez, 59, said the Tigers have had many talented Latino
players over the years, including his favorite relief pitcher
Aurelio López, whose blazing fastball played a pivotal role
in helping the team win the World Series in 1984. Lopez shared
the bullpen with other stellar relief pitchers, including
Willie Hernández and Juan Berengüer.
49 and his son Dominic, 11, of Britton, Mich. frequently attend
Tiger and Toledo Mud Hen games. Their favorite current player
is Miguel Cabrera.
“He not only switched from playing first base to third in order
for the Tigers to bring in Prince Fielder; which demonstrates an
unselfish trait to help out the team,” Raúl Arriaga said. “We
also like his hitting style in being able to see the whole field
and not just one dimensional. But we enjoy watching all the
55, of Muskegon, Mich., said his favorite Tiger players included
the hard-throwing López, whose nick-name was “Señor Smoke” and
Aurelio Rodríguez, a Gold Glove Award winner who played third
base for the team in the early 1970s.
“Señor Smoke,’ man he threw that ball hard,” recalled Austin,
who did not attend the Tiger’s game against Colorado. “He was
quite a character. You just had to keep him away from the buffet
table; I think he and I must be related.”
This past Saturday’s pre-game festivities also featured
live entertainment including
traditional Mexican Ballet Folkorico Moyocoyani Izel and Raices
Mexicanas de Detroit dance groups, Samba 1 Brazilian Dance Group
from Chicago, salsa and merengüe band Orquesta Sensacional,
Cuban Jazz by Tumbao Bravo, premiere guitar duo - Los Primos, DJ
Tony Toca spinning the latest reggeton and bachata hits,
Mariachi Gallos de Oro and Mariachi Juvenil.
The first 15,000 fans, 21-years and older who arrived to the
game received a free Ivan “Pudge” Rodríguez figurine, courtesy
of Miller Lite.