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New York — Twelve years ago, June 20, 2003, Miguel Cabrera made his major league debut with the Florida Marlins.

He went 1 for 5 with a home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Two thousand, sixty seven hits, 404 home runs and 1,418 RBIs later, Cabrera celebrated the 12th anniversary of his big league debut Saturday in the Bronx.

Manager Brad Ausmus was asked before the game what his first impressions of Cabrera were. He shrugged.

"I don't think he hit very well against the Astros when I was catching," Ausmus said, with a wry smile. "That's what I think."

That is fact. From 2003 to 2007, when he played for the Marlins and Ausmus was catching for the Astros, Cabrera had 18 hits in 99 at-bats, a .181 average. He had four home runs and 12 RBIs.

Those numbers aside, Ausmus knew he was seeing greatness.

"He's a tremendous, tremendous hitter," Ausmus said. "It's tough to be right-handed and have a graceful swing. For some reason, left-handers always seem to have a graceful swing. Miggy's had one since he arrived. You could see it right away."

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/cmccosky

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