The Gentz family was invited to Comerica Park after several of Mike's friends wrote the club about Mike, who on April 2 lost his wife, Dawn, after a battle with melanoma.
Mike and Dawn were both Tigers fans -- though Dawn first rooted for the Braves -- and the two attended more than 100 games together, Mike wrote, including the 2005 All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
He also wrote of the emotions he felt later that night while in his hotel room at the Motor City Casino, which the Tigers also arranged.
"Here I was, in the middle of the most difficult year of my life, looking across the city I've never been afraid of, toward the ballpark of the team I've never fallen out of love with, having just been guests of this same team who I've loudly cheered for and criticized all my life. Truly, for me, summer goes as the Tigers go, and it's always been that way," Gentz wrote.
"Now, this summer, which is like none I've ever dealt with before, pushed the Tigers to the backseat a bit as I learn how to live this new life of mine. But for one night, they thanked me and they showed me that I am, and their fans are, more than just a seat filler. I can't thank my friends and the Tigers enough."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.