Crafting a Legacy: The Miguel Cabrera Tribute MLB Sculpture at Comerica Park

Crafting a Legacy: The Miguel Cabrera Tribute MLB Sculpture at Comerica Park

How we made a custom MLB sculpture for the Detroit Tigers

How we made a custom MLB sculpture for the Detroit Tigers​

How this tribute MLB sculpture began:

When the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball sought to honor the illustrious career of Miguel Cabrera, they envisioned a tribute that would not only celebrate his incredible achievements but also etch his legacy into the heart of Comerica Park forever. This ambitious endeavor gave birth to a custom tribute MLB sculpture display, a breathtaking masterpiece made of 3,000 baseballs forming the iconic number 24, including 500 gold baseballs, representing his inclusion to the 500 home run club

The unveiling of this remarkable tribute was timed to coincide with the Miggy – Final Season Celebration, held from September 29th to October 1st, 2023. In this case study, we discuss the creation and significance of this awe-inspiring homage made by WhiteClouds.

24 sculpture Migue-Cabrera MLB Detroit Tigers
Number 24 sculpture made of 3000 baseballs — 500 of them gold, to be permanently displayed at Comerica Park. photo credit: Detroit Tigers and Bally Sports Detroit

Project Concept and Execution:

The Detroit Tigers brought to the WhiteClouds team an idea for a tribute statue that would capture Miguel Cabrera’s essence and his profound impact on the team and the city of Detroit.
  • The Number 24: The centerpiece of the display is the number 24, Miguel Cabrera’s jersey number, crafted from 3,000 carefully arranged baseballs. This monumental structure stands as a powerful symbol of Cabrera’s iconic presence on the field and his unbreakable bond with the Tigers and their fans.
  • 3,000 baseballs: The number 24 is crafted from 3,000 carefully arranged baseballs representing his membership into the MLB elite 3,000 hit club. The 3,000 hit club is the pinnacle of achievement for a baseball player, a sacred circle that only the most exceptional hitters can join. To attain membership, a player must amass 3,000 career hits, proof of consistency, longevity, and unwavering dedication to the sport. Miguel Cabrera’s induction into this hallowed group on April 23rd, 2023 as the 33rd member was a testimony to his unparalleled skill as a hitter and the mark of a true baseball legend. This exclusive club includes luminaries such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Derek Jeter, and Cal Ripken Jr. Membership signifies not only excellence on the field but also a lasting legacy in the annals of baseball history. It represents Cabrera’s commitment to excellence, his ability to perform at the highest level year after year, and his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
  • Golden Milestone: To commemorate Cabrera’s 500 home run club membership, 500 gold baseballs were strategically integrated into the display. These golden orbs gleam as evidence to his legendary power and ability to change the course of a game with a single swing. The 500 Home Run Club includes only a select few players who have demonstrated exceptional power and hitting ability throughout their careers. It’s a group of the most prolific home run hitters in the history of the sport. Hitting 500 home runs signifies not only a player’s power but also their consistency and longevity in the game. It’s a tribute to a player’s ability to perform at an elite level for an extended period. Virtually all members of the 500 Home Run Club are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Achieving this milestone often solidifies a player’s legacy and cements their place among the all-time greats of the sport.
Early concept
Updated gold ball allocation and solid base
Another look at at gold ball allocation
Final computer rendering of the design before fabrication started

Commissioning WhiteClouds for this custom one-of-a-kind MLB statue display:

The Detroit Tigers MLB organization chose WhiteClouds to create a custom statue for their stadium due to the company’s unparalleled reputation for craftsmanship and innovation. WhiteClouds has a track record of delivering stunning, high-quality art installations for major sports brands including Nike, NBA Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, F1 Racing, NFL Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers, MLB Minnesota Twins, LIV Golf, and more. WhiteClouds’ commitment to precision, attention to detail, and the ability to translate the spirit of Miguel Cabrera’s career into a tangible work of art made them the natural choice for this monumental project. The Tigers recognized that WhiteClouds’ expertise would ensure that the tribute statue would not just celebrate a player’s legacy but also become an enduring symbol of the team’s commitment to its fans and the city of Detroit.

The time constraint proved to be a major hurdle in creating this unique display. We had only four weeks from start to finish, but our team worked around the clock and managed to meet the challenge head-on to deliver exceptional results.

Prior to commencing physical construction, we engage in a ‘digital design phase,’ during which we explore various configurations, colors, and placements to ensure efficient use of materials and time once the actual construction begins. The process for this particular project followed a similar pattern, involving multiple digital iterations until the client was entirely content with the envisioned final result and the project’s ultimate appearance.

After the design received approval and the construction method was finalized, it required some hands-on experimentation and in-house ingenuity. Employees brainstormed innovative ideas, tested various solutions, utilized different tools, and practiced extensively before we finally perfected the most efficient technique to drill 3,000 baseballs.

In-production photos

Hitting it out of the park:

The unveiling of the Miguel Cabrera tribute display during the Miggy – Final Season Celebration was met with a wave of emotion and admiration. Fans, players, and baseball enthusiasts from across the nation flocked to Comerica Park to witness this monumental tribute to a living legend.

photo credit: Bally Sports Detroit
24 sculpture Migue-Cabrera MLB Detroit Tigers
24 sculpture Migue-Cabrera MLB Detroit Tigers. photo credit: MLB Detroit Tigers
24 sculpture Migue-Cabrera MLB Detroit Tigers
photo credit: MLB Detroit Tigers

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