Who Is The Most Loyal Athlete In The City Of Detroit?

Who Is The Most Loyal Athlete In The City Of Detroit?
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Detroit has a long, storied history of athletes that have dominated the front sports pages nationwide, athletes who have been loyal to their respective franchise, to their teammates, to the fans. 

And most important, perhaps, loyal to the city where they played and lived.

We can go back into the history books and highlight some of the greats across Michigan sports betting

There’s Gordie Howe, who played an amazing 25 years with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, with over 800 goals, 1,850 points in 1,767 games (including one additional season with the Hartford Whalers). 

There’s Barry Sanders, who played 10 Hall-of-Fame-caliber seasons with the NFL’s Detroit Lions, and totaled 10 electrifying 1,000-yard rushing seasons, 10 Pro Bowl selections and over 15,000 rushing yards.

And there’s Isiah Thomas, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound stalwart point guard who led the NBA’s Detroit Pistons mostly in the 1980s, 13 seasons in total with the one team, a team that won championships in 1989 and 1990.

These days, there are several Detroit players that also fall into that bracket of most loyal to the team that drafts and develops them. 

Here at BetMichigan, we did a search for who was for the most loyal athlete that currently plays in Detroit using a point system that awards two points for each season played with the team, two points for each contract signed, two points for each contract signed for three or more years and four points for any pay structure changes to allow cap space for the team.

Top 3 Most Loyal Athletes in Detroit

Rank Player Team Consecutive Seasons with Team # of Contracts # of Contracts Over 3 Years # of Pay Structure Changes Points
1 Miguel Cabrera Tigers15 2 2 038
2Taylor Decker Lions7 2 2 130
3 Dylan Larkin Red Wings7 2 2 026

Miggy Takes the Throne

Certainly one of the players in our rankings, compared to the others, is Hall of Fame bound, while it’s likely not the case for the other two if you wanted odds on Michigan Sportsbook apps.

According to our research, No. 1 on the list of the three most loyal athletes in Detroit is Tigers’ DH Miguel Cabrera, who has played 15 consecutive seasons with the team (507 home runs, 1,847 RBIs), has had two contracts, two contracts over three years and zero number of pay structure changes, for 38 points. That includes a window that saw the loveable Cabrera win the Triple Crown in 2012 and back-to-back AL MVP awards.

Cabrera's productivity has slowed down in recent seasons, but even at age 39, he has said he's content to finish his career on a rebuilding Tigers club, rather than go ring-chasing with a World Series contender. 

No. 2 is Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker, an anchor at the position with seven seasons with the team, two contracts, two of those over three years, and one pay structure change, for 30 points.

No. 3 is Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin (156 goals, 384 points in 528 games): seven seasons, two contracts, two of those over three years, and zero number of structure changes, for 26 points. 

In this day, more than in the past, part of the entertainment factor for fans is watching the off-season open player movement market (see: MLB Winter Meetings). But team loyalty still means a great deal, and it's a trait Cabrera, Decker and Larkin exemplify the most in Detroit.

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Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Michigan and is a long-time sportswriter and editor for BetMichigan

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