Miguel Cabrera plays catch with a young fan and makes a wish come true
Miguel Cabrera plays catch, makes a wish come true
Michael Rostker, 12 years old, had a wish: to attend a Tigers game and meet his favorite player, Miguel Cabrera.
Just before Michael's 11th birthday, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor behind his heart. He entered the hospital the day after his birthday on May 14th, 2014, and spent all summer in the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatment.
All throughout the process, Michael kept his courage and positivity high.
"Michael is our champion. He's always positive and nice to his nurses and doctors through the whole ordeal. He's so courageous," his father Marty said.
"No parent ever wants to hear that their child has cancer but Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan saved his life," Michael's mother Ellen added.
Michael was nominated for the Make-A-Wish Foundation by a pediatric oncologist social worker at Beaumont and was granted any wish he wanted.
"We had family conversations on what we could do. Michael decided he wanted to go to a Tigers game and meet his favorite player," Ellen said. "There's no way we could have given him this on our own. We can't thank Make-A-Wish enough. Michael's been counting down the days and he was up at 6:38 this morning overwhelmed with excitement saying, 'This is the day!'"
So Michael, Marty, Ellen and his older brother Matthew showed up to batting practice all ready, nervous and excited to meet the Triple Crown winner. Little did they know that not only would Michael meet his hero, but that his hero wanted to have a catch with him, too.
Vote Cabrera: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Only Michael didn't have a glove on him. So, Ian Kinsler told him to use his.
"I didn't want to disappoint Ian and Miggy!" Michael said. And he didn't, of course. Playing catch for 10 minutes or so, Cabrera then took pictures with the whole family and signed autographs for Michael.
"I would obviously trade what Michael had to do and go through to get this opportunity, but it means the world to us that the Tigers and Miguel made this happen," Marty said.
Ellen says watching Tigers games on TV is a family tradition -- they all gather around and enjoy the game as family.
"And yell at the TV," Marty added, grinning.
In six years, the Tigers are undefeated when a member of the Rostker family is in attendance at Comerica Park.
So why did Michael want to meet Miggy?
"He's the best! He hits a lot of home runs. I was thinking 'Is this for real?!' I couldn't believe I was actually playing catch with him. I was so happy."
Going forward, Michael has about nine more months of monitoring health and wellness before they enter a more comforable phase in his fight against cancer. Michael's parents are hoping this attention will increase awareness for childhood cancer and influence parents to get their kids checked and trust their parental instincts.