It was early 2008. My wife, Liz, and I took an opportunity to sneak away, leaving our 9-month-old twins with her parents to go watch the Detroit Tigers play their second home game of the season.
The offseason prior, the Tigers had traded for a young slugger named Miguel Cabrera and signed him to a massive contract. The entire baseball-loving town was eager to watch him play.
Our tickets were in the very last row of the right field bleachers – the kind of tickets you can afford if you’re spending hundreds of dollars each month in diapers. I remember few details about that game – I remember it was cold, interminably long, and that the Tigers lost – but one has stuck in my mind ever since.
Sitting directly in front of us was a small group, and in that small group was a young man who, early in the game, was proudly showing off his brand-spanking new Miguel Cabrera jersey and bragging about how much he spent on it at the team store.
Cabrera did not have a good day at the plate, going 0-4, and after each at bat, the jersey owner got more and more agitated. After Cabrera’s final unsuccessful at bat of the day, the guy in front of me ripped off his jersey, slammed it into a bag, and went on a long diatribe about that bum, Miguel Cabrera, and vowed to never touch the jersey again.
If you follow baseball, you know that Miguel Cabrera has gone on to have a Hall of Fame career. His offensive numbers place him among a select group of the greatest baseball players of all time. Soon, there will be a sentence written including the phrase “joins Hank Aaron as the only two players in history…”
But, on any given day, he can go 0-4.
There’s a good investing lesson buried in this story.
On any given day, even the best investment in the world can have a bad “game”. Instead of strike outs and errors, investments may miss expectations or be on the bad side of a headline. But, if you have a quality portfolio and avoid fixating on day-to-day results, you too can have Hall of Fame results.