In the summer of 2003, a young Venezuelan slugger by the name of Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate to make his MLB debut with the then-Florida Marlins. In his first game, Miggy hammered a walk-off home run over the center field wall.
Not too shabby for the kid's first big league appearance.
Of course, that home run was just a small sign of what was to come for Cabrera in his career. In his rookie season, he became a prominent force in the Marlins' lineup and helped the team win its second World Series title that fall.
Although Cabrera was certainly a top-level hitter in Miami, they sent him to the Detroit Tigers in a blockbuster 2007 trade and he really hit his stride. In 2012, Cabrera's best season, he absolutely raked in Detroit, winning the Triple Crown and AL MVP.
Thanks to the Tigers' tradition of awful bullpen pitching, Cabrera has never won a title in Detroit, and now, it is practically guaranteed that he won't with the current state of Tigers baseball.
Despite the fact that Cabrera is not going to be a player with a long list of championship wins, like Derek Jeter or Joe DiMaggio, with all the individual milestones he has accomplished at the plate, he will go down as one of the best hitters in the modern history of the game. And it all started 17 years ago today.