Miguel Cabrera will retire after the 2023 season as one of the most decorated players in MLB history. The accolades are monumental for the Detroit Tigers star: two-time MVP, 12-time All-Star, seven-time silver slugger, and four-time batting champion.
“I thought, I'm not going to say 'never', but I think it's time to say goodbye to baseball," Cabrera told MLB.com before the season.
His final season was set up as a farewell tour. Teams across the league had a chance throughout the year to show their appreciation with gifts.
This week, the Tigers head to Oakland for a road series against the A's. Before the first game of the series Thursday, A's manager Mark Kotsay gave Cabrera a bottle of wine as a gift on behalf of the franchise. Without full context, it seems like a nice gesture.
— Gabriel Hernandez (@gamer_athletics) September 22, 2023
But this is a player who's gone through treatment programs for alcoholism after facing a DUI charge in 2011 and a separate alcohol-related incident in 2009. The Tigers specifically had non-alcoholic champagne available in their locker room to celebrate their division title in 2012, when Cabrera was on the team.
Two teams made similar mistakes: the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. The Marlins gave Cabrera a bottle of rum with a box of cigars. The Astros' gift was a bottle of wine from manager Dusty Baker's personal vineyard along with a custom cowboy hat.
The A's bottle of wine gift? It's $79.97 at Total Wine and More. Nowhere near as much thought as other teams' gifts.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) September 22, 2023
What have other teams given Miguel Cabrera for retirement gifts?
The farewell tour's been a chance for many teams to give Cabrera memorable gifts personalized to their cities.
The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled a personal Hollywood star for the 12-time All-Star on Monday before their series. Days earlier, the Los Angeles Angels gave Cabrera a surfboard with a list of his MLB achievements on it.
The Dodgers gave Miggy a Hollywood star for his retirement pic.twitter.com/NrpMWI1ESm
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 19, 2023
The Cleveland Guardians gave Cabrera a guitar, a befitting gift from the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Earlier this month, the New York Yankees gave Cabrera a signed subway sign, a painting of him going deep from a pitch from Mariano Rivera, and donated $10,000 to his foundation.
The Yankees gifted Miguel Cabrera a signed subway sign, $10,000 to his foundation, and a painting of him taking Mariano Rivera deep pic.twitter.com/IQ4Ct4mtV6
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 5, 2023
Hall of Famer Iván Rodríguez, who won a World Series with Cabrera in 2003, presented him with framed photos of the two of them on behalf of the Texas Rangers. The team also gave him a saddle and donated $5,000 to his foundation.
The Texas Rangers gave Miguel Cabrera a saddle as a retirement gift. Hall of Famer @Pudge_Rodriguez, who won a World Series with the Marlins during Cabrera’s rookie season there in 2003, participated in the pregame ceremony at Globe Life Field.
— Our Esquina (@OurEsquina) June 27, 2023
What have other retiring baseball stars received as gifts?
Farewell tour gifts have provided plenty of attention over the years for retiring stars of the sport. Who could forget the Colorado Rockies giving franchise icon Todd Helton a horse in 2013? Or the Milwaukee Brewers giving Chipper Jones a cookout kit and year's supply of sausages?
The Minnesota Twins gave legendary pitcher Rivera one of the most creative gifts: the "Chair of Broken Dreams," a chair made from all of the bats from Twins players he'd broken over the years.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 2, 2013
Rivera also received a framed gold record of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" — the pitcher's walk up song for decades.
In all instances, these gifts involved much more thought, time, and creativity than the retirement gift the A's gave one of the best hitters of a generation.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: A's gift to Miguel Cabrera falls remarkably short of other farewell tour gifts